RATING: 3.5 stars (out of 4)
Rush is a pretty good movie but only for those who aren’t sticklers about historical accuracy. Fancypants director Ron Howard takes more liberties than he did back when he was Opie and convinced Barney Fife he was stuck in a well when he was really just off in the woods smoking weed.
For starters, it’s a right-wing propaganda piece. Are we to seriously believe Rush Limbaugh was a scruffy German Formula 1 racer in the 1970s? Someone should verify this stuff before they slap it on screen. Actor Daniel Bruhl captures Limbaugh’s surliness and scowl, but his acceptance of socialized medicine in a hospital during an injury recovery montage is highly questionable.
For seconders, the movie completely misrepresents the past of Limbaugh’s rival, Thor, the secret identity of Liam Hemsworth. As Howard tells it, Thor won races by driving so crazily, all the other drivers either veered out of the way or crashed and burned into the walls just to make way for him. As the Ken Burns documentary on Thor’s real-life story shows, Thor actually just bashed all the other cars out of the way with his mystical hammer. Hopefully the sequel to Rush, Thor: The Dark World, will clear up any misunderstandings.
If you manage to swallow all the movie’s lies, you may be able to enjoy the movie for its ragingly neck-breaking sex sequences and super-fast, full-throttle sex scenes. If the movie captures one thing accurately, it’s Thor’s propensity to drive like he sexes and sex like he drives. Also, he drinks like he swings his hammer, and by “swings his hammer,” I am again referring to sex. Some may wonder what the term “formula” in Formula 1 racing stands for, and judging from Thor’s booze-swilling, it undoubtedly refers to ritzy 70s booze.
Thor, you see, practices his racing skills by drinking and sexing, while Limbaugh preps by acting mean and opposing liberal auto industry bailouts while rebuilding engines and smoothing out chassis. Thor does much smoothing of chassis as well, but in Thor’s instance, the smoothing refers to sweet, dirty sex and chassis refers to Olivia Wilde, who plays his supermodel wife. Her job is to disapprove of everything Thor does except for his frequent chassis smoothing.
The dichotomy between the racing rivals burns up this anti-bromance, with each racer one-upping the other, pushing his rival to greater heights than neither could ever have attained on his own. Would Limbaugh have ever dominated AM radio and attained the world record of divorces without Thor’s influence? Would Thor have ever managed to defeat frost giants and derail the evil plans of his megalomaniacal brother Loki if not for his jealousy of Limbaugh’s success? No one can answer these questions but Barney Fife, who falsely assumed Opie was at the library studying rather than dealing coke at town square.
If you really hate sex, fast driving, drinking and Norse gods smoothing chassis than you will absolutely despise Rush. If you get jealous of watching people do all those things, you will also be annoyed by it. But if you like that stuff, can set your jealousies aside and want to pay Opie back for selling your grandparents such great stuff back in the day, see this movie and feel the Rush, baby.
Starring Chris Hemsworth, Daniel Bruhl, Olivia Wilde, Alexandra Maria Lara and Pierfrancesco Favino. Written by Peter Morgan. Directed by Ron Howard. 122 minutes. Rated R.