Director: Ron Howard. Cast: Chris Hemsworth, Daniel Brühl, Olivia Wilde, Alexandra Maria Lara. 123 min. Rated R. USA/Germany/UK. Biography/Action.
Ron Howard's latest venture into car chases (after 1977's Grand Theft Auto), works like a sinus wave. The first half, the true-story rivalry of two world-champion racers, is mostly about the race; not the driver. Then midway through, one driver is seriously injured, and while he struggles to get back into the race, the drama's emotional stakes suddenly shoot sky high. Then, there's a final scene that dumbs everything down so low, it ruins the past two-hour fun of breathtaking 70's style grainy cinematography, and Hans Zimmer's thrilling music. If Howard could've only left out that one final scene out...
Confession: Ron Howard is a good director. But look at his past works. Splash, Cocoon, Willow, Backdraft, Far and Away, The Paper, Apollo 13, Ransom, The DaVinci Code. All good movies, but as Kenneth Turan of the LA Times says about Rush: "... it has style, but lacks a heart." I can make the same claim about almost all of Howard's movies - except for A Beautiful Mind, which does have a heart, but that credit mainly goes to Jennifer Connelly's performance, and not necessarily Howard's direction.