When he’s not fighting baddies as the Earth’s Mightiest Avenger, Australian actor Chris Hemsworth dominates Netflix’s most popular movies. Rush, a biographical sports movie featuring Chris Hemsworth and Daniel Brühl, is now ranked #8 most popular movie on the world’s largest streaming service.
Rush is a 2013 biographical sports drama centered on one of the biggest rivalries in Formula One history: the one between James Hunt and Niki Lauda during the 1976 Formula One motor-racing season. The movie was written by Peter Morgan, showrunner for Netflix’s The Crown, and directed by Ron Howard (Beautiful Mind, Cinderella Man), with Chris Hemsworth as Hunt and Brühl as Lauda.
As we previously stated, the movie is based on a true story of 1976’s Formula One adversaries with diametrically opposed temperaments. James Hunt, portrayed by Chris Hemsworth, was a swaggering bad-boy Brit with daredevil car stunts that made him the fans’ favorite. Lauda was a charisma-impaired Austrian, performed by Daniel Brühl, whose excessive use of the F-word merited the film with its R-rating. If Hollywood ever really tried to put together perfect rivals, this is where it did.
By 1976, both drivers managed their way into Formula One racing and competed for the world’s fastest. Lauda, a cerebral assessor of risk, puts his best into engineering a faster car, while Chris Hemsworth’s “party-boy” Hunt stakes all on his risk-taking driving skills. As the movies would have it, the rivals burn up the track and push themselves tirelessly to the very limits of their physical and mental being while not wasting any opportunity for pre-race trash talk. Like every other racing sports movie, there’s plenty of interviews, press conferences, on-camera boasting, and a good amount of plotting to maximize speed and leave the competition in the dust. Add a ton of on-race commentary, engine-revving, and you’ve got yourself a racing movie that’s “dressed to impress.” And it sure did.
The movie’s breaking point occurs during a racing scene in the notoriously dangerous Nürburgring Nordschleife, which Lauda tried to cancel because of the bad weather conditions. The race still happens, and after a series of hindrances, the suspension arm on Lauda’s Ferrari breaks, sending the car flying and bursting into flames, causing third-degree burns to his head and internal burns to his lungs. The not-so-charming Austrian then spends six weeks in bed during treatment, watching Chris Hemsworth’s Hunt dominate the races.
During the 1976’s season climax at the Japanese Grand Prix, Lauda, now back behind the wheel, quits the race after the second lap, opting to stay with his wife rather than finish a race he deemed dangerous. Chris Hemsworth’s character finishes the race and wins the championship by a single point. The movie reaches a high point when two characters meet sometime after the events of the 1976 Grand Prix. We won’t disclose any further details to avoid spoiling the movie for those who didn’t watch it.
With everything said, and despite all the middle fingers, F-words, trash-talk, and questionable behavior displayed in a movie, the glamorous and often dramatic lives of these two drivers only serve to tell a higher message. Hunt and Lauda, despite their differences, have spurred each other to their finest achievements in their careers, as is later explained in the movie. Besides a good message, Rush also offers glamour, wit, incredibly cut racing scenes, and Thor. Both Chris Hemsworth and Daniel Brühl were well acquitted for these roles and undoubtedly better looking than the real-life counterparts of the characters they represented.
After Rush, Chris Hemsworth also starred in Men in Black: International, Extraction, and several MCU movies. The Australian actor will undoubtedly remain best known for his role as Thor in the Marvel Cinematic Universe and is set to reprise the role in the upcoming MCU movie Thor: Love and Thunder, scheduled to release in 2022.
Naturally, some things were exaggerated in Rush, but it tells a good story about how rivalry tends to bring the best and the worst in us. The movie was a box office success, earning $98.2 million worldwide, opposing its $38 million budget, and earned a positive response among the audience, reviews, and aggregators. Even Niki Lauda (the real one) liked the film, and you might too. If you haven’t seen Rush, hop over to Netflix, the movie’s currently ranking #8 on Netflix’s list.