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Well, first of all, it does help a lot if you are into racing. It helps you to have a better understanding of its characters and the circumstances and the movie overall is a just more fun and interesting one that way. Having said that; everybody should still be able to appreciate and like this movie on at least some levels, since it's a very well made and told one.

To be honest, I was starting to get fed up with modern day biopics. They all try to do and tell too much, with as a result that nothing ever fully works out and they often are afraid to offend anyone, so they play things safe, which often results in some very one sided and shallow movies. This movie all manages to avoid this, by not really being a biopic about Niki Lauda or James Hunt at all.

It may sound strange but the main reason why this movie works out is because it isn't ever going into too much detail and doesn't tell you too much about the movie its two main subjects. It only just tells you the things you truly need to know for this particular movie its story. In a way it's a very simple and straightforward movie but because of that it's also one that never bores, or becomes a too heavy and serious one to watch. Yes, you can even call this movie a bit of a shallow one, since there aren't ever any real good emotions or tension in it but that doesn't mean that it isn't an interesting or engaging one.

It's also a good thing that this movie doesn't villainize or glorifies any of its two main characters. Instead, the movie shows both their good and bad sides and in a way they are equals, both driven by their passion for racing and hunger for wins. How they approach things may be different but both share the same goals and desires. So really, it's not like you're rooting for just one driver to win. It's a very neutral movie, in just about every sense of the word.

Since the movie is set in the '70's it's also a great period piece. It's a great looking movie, without ever exaggerating anything. It's a subtle one, that isn't constantly busy and focused on trying to impress, with the next big race or crash. That doesn't mean that the races and crashes aren't great to look at though. Racing back in the 'old days' seemed far more interesting because of the simple fact that you knew it still was far more dangerous back then. Not only were cars and all safety less advanced but also the racetracks themselves. It makes the races in the movie some pretty intense ones and they look pretty authentic as well, despite the heavy use of CGI.

But this movie is more than just a racing movie. As a matter of fact, it doesn't ever feel like a racing movie at all, since the movie at all times puts the emphasis on the two main characters and their rivalry, rather than on the actual racing championships and all of the tactics and other side things involved with it.

If you still aren't sure about it if Chris Hemsworth is a good actor or not, wait until you see him in this movie. He gives an excellent performance with lots of range. Daniel Brühl, who has just as much screen time, if not more, was equally great as Niki Lauda. All of the other characters are secondary ones and I mean REALLY secondary ones. But that's OK really. It allows the movie to keep its focus and means that the movie isn't filled with needless distracting and any side plots that aren't ever going anywhere.

This is a great and perfectly entertaining watch, that besides manages to work out as an interesting one as well, especially when you're into racing and racing history.

8/10

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About Frank Veenstra

Watches movies...writes about them...and that's it for now.
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