Gran Turismo – the video game series – is a hardcore driving simulator for hardcore driving fans and aspirational gearheads. Gran Turismo –the 2023 movie– is less about video game experience and more about the sport of racing itself, and the mostly-true story of a gamer trying to break into the industry. And if what intrigued you the most about Gran Turismo was the story of a real-world racer coming up into the world of professional racing, facing adversity, and succeeding despite countless sacrifices and setbacks, I think I have the movie recommendation for you: Rush (2013), starring Daniel Brühl and Chris Hemsworth, and directed by Ron Howard.
That’s right. Zemo and Thor star as rival Formula 1 drivers, Niki Lauda and James Hunt, starting from their beginnings in the lower racing circuits to them striving for the Formula 1 World Championship. The performances are key here, as Hemsworth and Brühl bring both gravitas and cockiness that all race car drivers seem to have. Howard also presents the races in visually interesting ways, alternating between POV shots and stylized dramatizations, particularly when those inevitable crashes occur.
Maybe Rush isn’t the most historically accurate movie. And maybe the racing sequences themselves aren’t the clearest or most dramatic. But the dramatic performances, the visual style, the captivating relationships between these two drivers at the top of the sport make this an engaging watch. If you want more racing after Gran Turismo, you can’t do much better than Rush.