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September 12, 2013

“RUSH” and “Snake and Mongoose” -- Finally: Realistic Racing Movies

Erin-Evernham-headshotBy Erin Evernham

“RUSH” and “Snake and Mongoose” are two upcoming racing related movies that are definitely worth seeing. It seems Hollywood has finally shown our sport in a realistic light.

“Days of Thunder” may be one of my all-time favorite movies but, goodness, its racing scenes lacked a lot of credibility. “Talladega Nights,” which did make me laugh a few times, did absolutely no justice to our sport and “Driven”... well, that movie was just way too farfetched for my taste. 

So these two movies, which I have had the privilege of seeing already at advanced screenings, make my racing heart smile. They may not be 100% accurate but the racing scenes were very believable to me. Both movies told great stories about athletes facing rivalry, fear, fame, competition, and personal battles.

Rush-movie-poster-2“RUSH” is based on a true story of Niki Laude and James Hunt racing in Formula One in the 1970’s. These two drivers with two different driving and very opposite lifestyles are fierce rivals but deep down have the utmost respect for each other as racers. Niki has a near-life-ending crash and fights to return to the track while James parties as hard as he races and fights his demons off the track.

The film makers did an incredible job of recreating race segments -- especially the crash scenes -- using some real vintage F1 cars and some replicas (of course).

The incredible Ron Howard produced this movie. If you’re not familiar with his work, some of his resume includes starring in “Happy Days,” “The Andy Griffith Show,” and the movie “America Graffiti.” He has also produced movies such as “Apollo 13,” “How the Grinch Stole Christmas,” and “A Beautiful Mind.” Not too shabby!

Snake and Mongoose Poster“Snake and Mongoose” is based on Don Prudhomme and Tom McEwen and their adventures in drag racing in that same decade. It’s another great story about two tough and resilient competitors tells a great story about their personal struggles and their fascinating marketing ideas -- which led to major cooperative motorsports sponsorships.

It seems this movie had a smaller budget to work with than “Rush” so they used actual race footage instead of recreations, but this still worked for me. The footage was a bit blurry and grainy but at least you knew you watching the real thing.

These movies both hit select theatres this month. They may or may not be appealing to the average moviegoer but anyone who has been involved in any form or motorsports will appreciate both of these films. I personally loved both movies. Maybe it was because I could relate to the drivers, or maybe it was because I have a passion for the history of the sport, or maybe it was just because I felt finally they have made some realistic racing movies!

 

Erin Evernham
Ray Everham Enterprises
 

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