By Peter Killip.
The Dilemma, Angels & Demons, The Da Vinci Code……Richie from “Happy Days” hasn’t had the best of cinematic output of late, veering more in the ” Shit-Brown” than “Dan” section in the ” Film Quality Shade Book ” (We’re ignoring Frost/Nixon as it fucks with My flow) so upon hearing of plans from the Ron Howard camp to release a film set in the testosterone fuelled world of F1(of which I’m pretty much oblivious) and what’s more it’ll focus on the rivalry between James Hunt and Niki Lauder (Yup, two for two in the oblivious stakes…), You can forgive my not exactly shopping around for sleeping bags for my place in the queue line.
Happily I can report back that this outing has gone to considerable lengths to wipe clean Ron’s “Brown” streak of late( So, so sorry for that image..) and even for someone as blissfully ignorant as myself on the goings on and off the tracks in this “Based (Not entirely sure how much) On A True Story”, found it bloody enthralling. The two leads; Chris Helmsworth (Hunt) and Daniel Bruhl (Lauda) both have solid enough chemisty and are convincing enough when it matters and the dialogue feels lean enough apart from the occasional spoon-feeding moments regarding their “Yin/Yang” co-dependency. Where umbrage was taken in this otherwise fantastic movie were the Crew who were made up from what felt like a Richard Curtis casting call as Hunt’s “Champagne Charlie” entourage, awful and secondly; whatever they did with Helmsworth’s nostrils on the screen.
Now, I appreciate he’s a good looking fella, played “Thor” to perfection, enjoyed his turn in “Cabin In The Woods” also, so understand this isn’t the trademark “Peteypops” bitterness here, it’s just there came a scene at one point in the movie where Hunt is stood behind Lauda on the podium and as Lauda is enjoying the spoils and Hunt menacingly whispers in his ear; ” That wind You feel is me breathing down Your neck….” I almost pissed, completely took me out of the movie, huge, flapping bastards, I don’t know whether they’ve always been that big, have I just noticed them? Are they in fact that big at all? At that particular AMC screen they sure as shit seemed it, bloody vast, I half expected to see Alfred the Butler and Bruce Wayne in there sizing the gaff up.
Other than that it was His showy channelling of James Bond and George Best that will likely get a fair amount of arses on seats and deservedly so, however, for Me it was Bruhl’s performance as “Rat-Face” Lauda that will keep them there. Seemingly an at first one note character just opens up in front of us as he peels away at the character, daring us to sympathise…. cracking.
So, synopsis; After a recent lull in quality, looks like Ron Howard is finally out of his cinematic “Shit-Stop” at full speed (Christ……apologies). Seriously though, check out Helmsworth’s flarers…..fucking cavernous.
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