3 August 2014

Crashing The Party

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I don't like sports, however that's not to say I have anything against sports movies- so long as they do something more inventive than spunk out the usual shit about being an underdog. Despite the obvious appeal of watching Stallone get his face punched in, I'm not a huge fan of Rocky however I'm certainly willing to turn my back on anybody that doesn't love Raging Bull. Of all the sports to have films about them, it seems like boxing is the most popular which I suppose is simply due to the dramatic ways in which people can get their mush fucked up. I thankfully haven't been exposed to that much crap but I did see Goal a little while ago and obviously hated it. Like football itself, I guess I just found it hard to feel much tension over some smug little shits ability to use his over-valued trotters to nudge a ball into a net. Obviously that's not a blanket rule and I'd always have an open mind but the general thing seems to be that sports films are better when they're about the player and not the game. With this in mind and considering what I said before, I'm surprised there hasn't been more films about racing cars. Are they even called 'racing cars'? Because when I read that back just then, it sounded like it was written by a child with learning difficulties... Fuck it- they're cars and they race so I'm not wrong to say it. Anyway, I'm surprised there haven't been more films about racing cars because they can have the same guff around them in terms of story but it's broken up by some high speed chases. I wouldn't ever watch F1 by choice but in terms of movies, I can't see anything unappealing about interesting characters being blasted around a track in a fuck off car that's using a rocket as a butt plug. 
With this in mind then I'm sure that you'll understand that I was very much looking forward to seeing Ron Howard's film Rush. From what I knew of it, the idea sounded exciting enough and I quite like Thor so what's not to enjoy? Well, I suppose there's Ron Howard but as much as he directed such arse-dribble as The Da Vinci Code, he's also the man who brought us Angels and Demons too so... no, you're right, he's not the best director but as those in the know will know, he still makes a damn good narrator. Anyway, so Rush tells the story of two suicidal fucks who raced these deathmobiles back in the ancient times of the 1970's. James Hunt and Nikki Laude are two men who couldn't be more opposite if they tried with one being fun, good-looking and charming and the other being German. Well, he's Austrian but to the rest of the world it's basically the same difference. He's weird looking and and an efficient worker which sounds German to me. Throughout the course of the film, we watch as they both rise up through the ranks and struggle with their various personal issues, whereas Hunt struggles to avoid having a drink, Laude is simply a miserable cock who'd rather spend more time ensuring he doesn't die in a fiery death of burnt flesh and mangled limbs than have a good time... What a fucking jobsworth 

This looks like fucking Rainbow Road!
So- what is there to like about this film? Well loads, I guess. Firstly the racing scenes are amazing. If sports shows could actually film their events with as much tension as this then I think I'd be hooked. But if they don't want to spend millions of pounds per race on world class cinematographers, crazy cameras that weave through the cars and an orchestra that play along live then that's up to them. Lazy, lazy sports coverage! The one time I actually watched the F1 live, nothing happened because it was pissing down with rain and so the cameras just lingered on some twat with an umbrella for three hours. What an exciting slice of titty dribbles that was to watch. The racing in this film though is great with the cars whizzing along at such a speed that it's like watching God jizz rainbows down asphalt. From what I could tell, the driving seemed to be done for real here which, in my opinion, is key to a good driving scene. Stunts are amazing to watch and really add an extra level of magic with the car flip bridge jump in The Man With The Golden Gun being surely one of the most impressive things done for film. Watching a few pixels that some fucking nerd has shaped to look like a speeding car however is about as exciting as tossing off to Victorian ankle porn whilst wearing an oven glove. There's obviously a few things that have been CG'd here but that's fine because there's also a few crashes and despite being a heartless monster, I'm not yet at the point where I actually need to see death to have fun.  

I suppose the biggest problem however is that although everything is great, the whole thing occasionally feels a little too mainstream at times. Not that there's anything wrong with being mainstream I suppose, it's just a slightly more rewarding experience when a film takes at least a couple of risks. There are moments here where literally everything we can see is being mumbled at us from a crowd of Basil Expeditions as though my brain might not quite be smart enough to keep up with the concept of what a race is. I understand that not everybody is into F1 and so might not know all the rules but I also understand that I'm one of those people and my IQ is slightly higher than that of an inbred dog trying to gnaw off its own dick. The supporting characters too are painted rather broadly with Britain in the 1970's looking as though it was populated by a crowd on their way to a Slade concert. I think it doesn't help the film either that it is released in the shadow of the documentary Senna which dealt with a similar subject to this but in a much more absorbing and informative way. I couldn't give two shiny shites about all these racing cars but even I have to admit that Senna was more gripping than an arthritic whore during the peak hour of the wanking shift.  

However like I say, this was a really great film which is partly down to the action scenes and is also down to the performance of its two lead actors. On the characteristic side is Thor who bounds from scene to scene whilst trying to fuck anything with a couple of tits after seducing them with his plumby British accent. He's basically what I imagine Austin Powers thinks he is. Laude on the other hand is also brilliantly played by Daniel Brühl who really has the harder job of having to make an unlikeable twat sympathetic. Although to be fair, as events play out the way they do, it's not that hard to eventually feel bad for the poor fucker. I have almost no knowledge of F1 history and so when the thing that happened to him happens, it's a complete shock. One minute everybody's having a great time playing race cars and the next he's got a hoover in his lungs and has committed himself to the Harvey Dent look. I'm trying to be vague in case people reading don't know what happens but I imagine I've probably given it away anyway... Fuck it- it's history... You can't spoil history and it's hardly a twist because it's in the trailer. The film was written by Peter Morgan who, after his excellent work on Skyfall, is hard at work on James Bond 24. Well, if he's struggling to find a freakish villain for his next film then he could do worse than a ratty little Austrian with a melted face.  

These were definitely not happy days!
By the end of 2013, this film appeared on quite a lot of critics top ten of the year list and I can see why. Considering it's basically a story about two men who don't really like each other whilst driving around in circles for a bit, it is remarkably exciting. This is probably my favourite of Howard's films which isn't necessarily the highest of praise but I do mean it from the bottom of my frozen heart. It might have been heading for an obvious conclusion but with its crashing second half, this film manages to break out of what could have been a predictable movie and became something a lot more interesting. If only the actual sport could be presented with a dramatic three-act structure and over the course of a reasonable time span, then maybe it'd be as good as it's movie adaptation. The end of this film approached something close to being emotional but like online multiplayer, reality is just the same old pattern of unending drivel. Repetition, repetition, repetition... what a load of old shite. 


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