Film review: Ford v Ferrari
Car designer Carroll Shelby and driver Ken Miles build a one-of-a-kind Ford race car to challenge Ferrari at the 24 Hours of Le Mans endurance race.
Ford v Ferrari tells the true story of Carroll Shelby (Matt Damon), a racing legend who is contacted by Ford to develop a race car to beat Ferrari in the 1966 Le Mans Circuit.
Shelby enlists the help of Ken Miles (Christian Bale), a renegade racing driver, nicknamed ‘The Bulldog’, to help take down Ferrari’s contingent of supercar drivers.
The pair have to not only battle on the racecourse but also with the executives at Ford who are determined to keep Miles from the track due to his prickly nature.
Both Damon and Bale excel in their respective roles. The two play off each other with ease - though it’s Bale who is given more to do as the cocky and brash British driver.
The pair’s relationship is that of bickering brothers and a scene towards the end of the film where the two squabble over groceries will have audiences in stitches.
The supporting cast is also sublime, especially Tracy Letts who steals every scene as Henry Ford II. The cigar toting mogul’s vendetta against Enzo Ferrari is one for the ages.
On the surface Ford v Ferrari may look like a film for racing diehards but there is depth to the film which will appeal to both fans of the genre and the uninitiated.
My wife, who would struggle to tell the difference between a Ford and a Ferrari, was enamoured with the film and looked up details behind the true story after the credits rolled.
Where Ford v Ferrari speeds past the competition is the race scenes, which have viewers on the edge of their seats. Seldom do movies capture the magic of a live race, but the film is shot in such a way that the roaring of the cars and frenetic energy is translated perfectly.
To that effect, Ford v Ferrari is a film that must be watched in a cinema. To view Ford v Ferrari on a television or handheld device would be doing it an injustice. The spectacle of the big screen and the thrashing of your eardrums by the roaring engines is a must.
Even if you aren’t a motorhead, you’ll be blown away by the cinematography, superb acting, emotional story and frantic racing scenes which makes Ford v Ferrari one the best films of the year.
Final rating: 4/5
Matt Damon, Christian Bale, Jon Bernthal, Caitriona Balfe, Josh Lucas, Noah Jupe, Tracy Letts.
If you like this, try:
Senna, Rush, Le Mans, The World's Fastest Indian, Days of Thunder, Grand Prix.