Rush is an enjoyable movie that doesn’t require much thinking. It centers around James Hunt (Chris Hemsworth) and Niki Lauda’s (Daniel Bruhl) famous rivalry from the first time they met till their final showdown in the Formula One World Championship of 1976. While the movie was entertaining it lacked certain key characteristics. Namely, there wasn’t much character depth, and there were no non-White, LGBTQIA and/or substantial female characters.
Rush followed Hunt and Lauda’s careers on a very surface level, and the movie didn’t even bother to portray the two as complex human beings. Instead, the two protagonists acted out a seemingly precontrived bullet point list of traits for each of their characters, and that was it. Their characters had no depth, there was no past history to illustrate how Hunt and Lauda became who they were, and there were no moments where the protagonists were given an opportunity to react and work through complex real life situations. The only (non-subtle) impression viewers were supposed to have of the men was that they were both assholes (which was literally reiterated multiple time by the protagonists). The writing of the script was more like an outline of key events than anything else – Hunt sleeps around, check; Lauda sounds like a stick-in-the-mud, check; Lauda and Hunt are rivals, check; Lauda and Hunt make witty banner, check etc. The writing was even worse for the women of the film.
The two prominent (prominent being a very generous word) women of the film were the wives of Hunt and Lauda, Suzy and Marlene. The women’s parts had even less depth than the men’s, and the audience literally knew nothing about them. The women had no hopes, no dreams, no personality, and no background. The women’s sole purpose in the film was to lurk around in the background and remind viewers that the two men did have lives outside of racing. Any other time a female appeared in the film, she was not there to showcase any great ability or trait or even to be human, but was instead there to be sexualized and objectified. The representation for LGBTQIA and non-White characters was even worse in that there were no LGBTQIA or non-White characters.
The film is based on true historical events, but it is still a stretch to believe that there were no LGBTQIA or non-White people involved with any of these people or events. It is also especially hard to believe that I only saw one non-White face (which only lasted for one second) when the Formula One race is an international race. While this film is entertaining it’s definitely not making any great strives towards representing greater diversity within film nor is it representing reality.