Chris Hemsworth has formula for success
At first glance, Chris Hemsworth has nothing that might appeal to me. In photos he has a pretty, windswept surfer-dude look that suggests his main stock-in-trade will be sweet absolutely nothings. He's blonde and Australian. Up until now, he's made no decent films, including Thor and Avengers Assemble.
But now he's made Rush and suddenly he's looking like the next Brad Pitt.
Rush is Ron Howard's rousing biopic of World Champion Formula 1 racer James Hunt. It will make Chris Hemsworth a star. Let's not beat around the bush; he's a knockout. The happy gappy smile, the fabulous deep, throaty voice and the rock'n'roll joie de vivre – like a young Mick Jagger dipped in sunlight – all conspire to outmanoeuvre the challenges of the Noel Edmonds' hair. I make these observations on artistic grounds; the film's dynamic is dependent on Hunt's seductive powers working their magic on the audience. Ahem.
What's unusual about Rush is that it encourages us to be equally sympathetic to two fierce enemies, rather than doing the old heroes and villains thing. Posh Brit Hunt is fun, crazy, sexy, and dangerous. Austrian Nicki Lauda is furrow-browed and pragmatic, grim-faced and pernickety. They insult and goad each other. But the respect that becomes mutual is shared by the audience, taught to see both sides by the compromising Howard. The UN could use him.
Hunt died of a heart attack when he was 45. I never cared before I saw Rush. But I shed a little tear for him on the way home.