I’m usually not one for movies involving racecars unless we’re talking Talladega Nights: The Ballad of Ricky Bobby. But with awesome co-lead performances from Matt Damon and Christian Bale, James Mangold’s Ford v. Ferrari, albeit a tad long, is a fantastic movie.
We follow Carroll Shelby (Damon), the owner of Shelby American, and Ken Miles (Bale), a down-on-his-luck race car driver and mechanic. These two friends have to put differences aside to come together to defeat Ferrari with a Ford, which Miles thinks is laughable, at the 24-race Le Mans in France. What they soon realize is there is more to racing than just a car. It was also very political as far as working with Ford Motor Company and all of them having the same vision.
The leads were phenomenal, which wasn’t surprising. Damon and Bale always put everything they have into movies and it really was shown in this movie. Their banter back-and-forth carried the movie because there were parts where it felt long. The scenes they had together really required your full attention because they commanded that much attention in their dialogue, which was a little corny at times, but it didn’t detract from the overall experience.
The next thing was the story, which was quite captivating. I really do not care about sports cars or racecars in any way, and I am not a fan of NASCAR. However, this movie drew you into the story because it used drama to keep you interested. Carroll Shelby put everything on the line not only for himself but for Miles. As for Ken Miles, he was on the verge of losing it all for a slew of reasons. It was so easy to root for these two because they truly were great characters and it was very easy to attach to them.
That’s not to say there isn’t anything wrong with the movie, but there isn’t anything major. The dialogue, as mentioned, was a tad clichéd at times. But I think that it works for this movie as it kept the movie light on its feet.
The other issue was the run time. Sitting at well over two hours, it does feel slow at times and I think the energy of the film could have benefitted from cutting the time down here and there.
Issues aside, this was a fantastic dive into a topic I really wasn’t familiar with. I don’t think I’ll be wearing a hat with the number 3 on it anytime soon, but I will have a better appreciation for the sport as a whole and I think most audiences will too.
MY SCORE : 90/100