Ford v. Ferarri is the first real blockbuster level racing movie we’ve had in some time. This is because the subject can get boring in a hurry for non race fans if handled poorly. This is certainly not the case here as the star powered, sharp direction keeps us moving along the entire way.
When a sluggish 1960s American car market, and a business deal gone bad, pin the classic American car manufacturer against it’s faster and more stylish Italian counter-part, it’s up to car designer, Carroll Shelby (Matt Damon) and his reckless driver, Ken Miles (Christian Bale), to deliver a victory in the 24 hour LeMans race in France. Along the way, they’ll discover that the infighting inside of their own company is almost as fierce as the competition on the track.
Damon and Bale play off each other really well, and Jon Bernthal (The Punisher), puts in a great third performance as Lee Iacocca, but the real star here is Director James Mangold (Logan), who puts us in the car with Bale during some awesome race scenes, while delivering some great shots of the tracks where our story plays out. The narrative also ensures we love our heroes and despise their rivals, while staying true to it’s racing action.
At just over two and a half hours, the film, like the cars it features is a little heavy at times, catching some drag in the process. The film speeds past a perfect ending to give us 20 more minutes we could have done without.
Ford v. Ferarri is still a first place finisher and it should get it’s share of attention from the award shows early next year as Damon, Bale, and Mangold all put in notable work.
Ford v. Ferrari
Rated: PG 13
Running time: 2hrs 32 minutes