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What a 'Rush'
Marketing is such a deceiver. Even though I've followed the production of Ron Howard's Rush since it filmed early last year, I was swayed by the marketing to the point where I thought the film's actual focus had shifted. Not so.

The initial synopsis I read when the film was still in the shooting stages described it as a tale of F1 driver Niki Lauda with a focus on his rivalry with Englishman James Hunt. Now, as someone whose interest in the film was piqued because of the actors involved (specifically Chris Hemsworth), I was a bit bummed that he was more of a tangent rather than the focus. In hindsight, I confess that my fangirling blinded me to the fact that this would be a plump role for him, but I'm getting off topic.

So Bruhl was to be the lead and Hemsworth the supporting character which still excited me as Bruhl had won me over back Inglorious Basterds and a trip through his backlog.

Then something shifted. Namely Avengers. With Hemsworth's rising star, it was a no-brainer that marketing would spin it to make him look like a co-lead with equal focus on both men. I remained skeptical (yet secretly overjoyed) as the initial synopsis stayed with me, but the onslaught of Hemsworth's name and face made it so that I could conceive of the film focusing on both of them.

And that's where I was wrong again. While the film wonderfully balances between the two men's differing lifestyles and their rivalry, it's pretty much Bruhl's film. He has the meatier plot as well as the pleasure of book ending the film with a somewhat clunky voice over device.

All that aside, I thoroughly enjoyed the film. I hesitate to say that I loved it, but I certainly want to see it again in theaters. It hit the notes I wanted it to hit, and it affirmed to me that Hemsworth is more than a pretty face (and what a pretty face it is). Sure, one could yell about confirmation bias, but there were times where I was completely absorbed in the drama of it all rather than anticipating if he would be taking his shirt off. And yes, Bruhl is definitely the stronger actor, but I would have been more surprised if he had phoned it in. He is a phenomenal actor, and I was expecting him to hit it out of the park. And hit it out of the park he did. I really hope this is the movie that he pushes for awards consideration rather than The Fifth Estate.

Getting back to my point once more, Hemsworth delivers a wonderfully nuanced performance of his own and while I doubt that he'll be in awards' discussion this year, this will certainly open the door to meatier roles. I am completely overjoyed for him.