First Hit: Extremely well-made film about the rivalry of 1970 Formula 1 racing legends James Hunt and Niki Lauda.
This is a sit back and hold on to your seat film, as Ron Howard, makes everyone seem integral to the story, including the cars.
The British Hunt (played by Chris Hemsworth) is a charismatic, hard drinking, smoking and instinctive race car driver. His goal is to drive fast and win races. He doesn’t know much about the details of the cars he drives, he just knows when they are good and how to drive them fast.
His archrival is Austrian Niki Lauda (Daniel Bruhl) who is meticulous, knows everything about the cars he drives and knows the risk of everything he does. These two guys are as different as night and day, except they both like to go fast. We are immediately immersed into each of their personalities as Ron Howard makes sure you “get” what each of these guys are like.
Then there are the cars; the sound and power of these cars comes through on this film in spades, yet it doesn’t overwhelm the film or scenes. The races are used as check points on the evolution of the driver’s lives.
Hemsworth is very good at portraying the intense, likeable, Hunt and gives the audience glimpses of his depth as a person. Bruhl is absolutely amazing. His embodiment of one of the most famous drivers is amazing. Peter Morgan wrote a fabulous script that let both the characters breathe while the racing was the stage. Howard shows, yet again, why he is one of the best directors around.
Overall: Whether you like racing or not, it is wonderful and intense film. It is a Rush.