Director: Ron Howard
Featuring: Chris Hemsworth, Daniel Brühl, Olivia Wilde, Alexandra Maria Lara
Genre: Drama, Sport, Biographical
Age Rating: 15
Running Time: 123 Minutes
Chris Hemsworth (Thor, Snow White and The Huntsman) and Daniel Brühl (Inglorious Basterds, The Bourne Ultimatum) tell the story of one of the most famous rivalries to grace the tracks of Formula One. In the 1970s, James Hunt (Hemsworth) and Niki Lauda (Brühl) went from being F3 Champions to the most ruthless and newsworthy F1 drivers of their time.
A fierce rivalry which begun on the tracks of a F3 race in Crystal Palace in 1970, would continue for the next decade. Hunt, driven by the ‘glitz and glamour’ of a Champion’s lifestyle, clashes with Lauda throughout, who sees his opponent as a ‘little boy’ who cannot let go of his lavish lifestyle, for something more meaningful. Both characters have a completely different outlook on life and what it takes to be a ‘Champ’, but both are also equally unlikeable. Personally, it is very tough to empathise with, or feel sorry for either of them throughout, perhaps due to a lack of back story knowledge, but one thing is for sure, at a few points you will be on the edge of your seat, in shock at what you are witnessing.
Chris Hemsworth takes his sarcastic ‘Thor-like’ attitude to brutal heights in this film, putting down Niki Lauda whenever he sees necessary, and Daniel Brühl brings his condescending whilst polite approach to his character, which we also see in ‘Inglorious’, portraying himself as smarter and wiser than James Hunt at every chance he gets. Exceptional and emotional performances as the wives of the two racers, from Olivia Wilde and particularly Alexandra Maria Lara, do make you wonder why exactly these women stuck by these fame and glory driven men.
Finally, I have to point out that the visual art of this film is spectacular. We are very used to the scenes of a F1 race by now on the television, but not quite like this. If you are a surround sound owner, you are in for the full racing experience!
Recommendation: A visually great film and a definite watch for all! Grab it in Blu Ray or in a high quality copy if you can.