Ford v Ferrari
By James Davidson
“Ford v Ferrari” is the true tale of American car designer Carroll Shelby (played by Matt Damon) and driver Ken Miles (Christian Bale) who worked together for Ford Motors in 1965 to build a super race car. Ford is trying to beat Italian car company, Ferrari, in the prestigious 24 Hours of Le Mans endurance car race; a race that Ferrari dominated in the early part of the decade. The two close friends must learn to work together and put their selfishness aside while fighting the bureaucracy of Ford, in order to win one of the most respected races in the motor racing world.
I had never heard of this story before I saw the previews for this movie. I had heard of Carroll Shelby, but didn’t know he had ever designed race cars for Ford, or that Ford had ever competed against Ferrari in the Le Mans. But the movie looked like it was well-made and there are plenty of big-name actors in the film, which is headlined by Matt Damon and Christian Bale. So I definitely thought that this movie had potential and was looking forward to seeing this unknown (to me) story.
I will say that as someone who didn’t know much about Le Mans, only that Steve McQueen was in a movie about it, the film did an excellent job at setting the stakes and explaining how big of a deal this race actually is. The movie also made sure that I understood how difficult it is to even finish a high-speed, 24-hour-long race, much less to win. This made the already nerve-wracking racing scenes even more intense. The high speed scenes in all of the races definitely kept me on the edge of my seat and my heart pounding.
The movie was very well-paced. I thought since the film is two and a half hours long that there would be some slow spots, but the time, much like the race cars, seemed to fly by. There was plenty of racing action, and in between the racing there was plenty of interesting sub-plots to drive the story forward.
Matt Damon and Christian Bale both did an excellent job acting in this film. The way they depicted the characters was spot on. Both Shelby and Martin have huge egos and were both a bit selfish. The way they worked together and sometimes clashed heads, made them seem almost like brothers. They even came to blows a few times which was fun to watch and even comical at times. The two actors worked very well together and had great chemistry, they really helped take the movie to another level.
While the acting was excellent, I had a hard time buying that some of the characters actually did the things depicted in the movie. I know this is a true story and that most of what was depicted actually happened; however, I’m not sure if some of the character development was translated well enough on screen for these actions to make sense. I mentioned before that both main characters had huge egos, at the end of the film both characters are asked to do something that seems completely out of character. Without trying to give too much away, they both end up doing what was asked, and it seems completely out of line with the way both of the men are. I know that this specific scene happened in real life, but I’m not sure the movie shows enough character development for me to believe that this would actually happen.
“Ford v Ferrari” is rated PG-13 for some language and peril. If you don’t mind a little bit of language, this movie should be appropriate for families with older teens and preteens. It would be a great family movie and everyone should enjoy it. I definitely recommend this movie if you are interested in cars at all, even if you’re not, you should enjoy this movie.
“Ford v Ferrari” is a fantastic biopic with heart-pounding race scenes and amazing acting. Some of the characters seem a little inconsistent, but it doesn’t take away from the excitement of the movie at all. I will definitely see this movie again and would recommend it to anyone looking for a great film to take the family to see, or a great date night film. It earns 4.5 out of 5 stars.