REVIEW — “Ford v Ferrari”
Featuring fun and fearless film-making at its finest, Ford v Ferrari is a period piece that captures the devil-may-care attitude of the early days of racing.
Based on the remarkable true story of the visionary American car designer Carroll Shelby (Matt Damon) and the fearless British-born driver Ken Miles (Christian Bale), the film follows the duo as they battle corporate interference, the laws of physics, and their own personal demons to build a revolutionary race car for Ford Motor Company and take on the dominating race cars of Enzo Ferrari at the 24 Hours of Le Mans in France in 1966.
Together for the first time on-screen, Damon and Bale are a dynamic dream team. Bale’s Ken Miles is a crusty Brit driver whose undeniable racing prowess is only eclipsed by his stubbornness. His reputation for being difficult is a recurring thorn in the side of Damon’s Shelby.
With good ole boy charm running on all cylinders, Damon finally gets to embody his infamous Matthew McConaughey impression on the big screen. He also gets the opportunity to have an on-screen bromance with someone other than Ben Affleck.
Under James Mangold direction, the race scenes are electric. The in-the-driver’s seat intensity will get your blood pumping and have your BPM matching the film’s RPMs. Ford v Ferrari is also stock full of classic Hollywood archetypes. The film features powerful supporting performances from Jon Bernthal, Caitriona Balfe, Tracy Letts, Josh Lucas, Noah Jupe, Remo Girone, and Ray McKinnon.
While the two leads perfectly juxtapose one another to hilarious effect, their connection seems to always be kept at arm’s-length. If their relationship would’ve gone a layer deeper, then the dramatic punch of the film’s conclusion would have resonated more powerfully. Nevertheless, the film is a wholly-entertaining and thrilling achievement by all involved. 4.5/5
Ford v Ferrari is rated PG-13 for some language and peril.