Saturday, November 16, 2019

Review: Ford v Ferrari

Release date: November 15, 2019
Running time: 152 minutes
Starring: Matt Damon, Christian Bale, Caitriona Balfe

Ford v Ferrari tells the unlikely story of when the Ford Motor Company sought to reshape its image and start a European racing team to win the 24 Hours of Le Mans race.  Ford taps the most famous American race car builder / driver, Carroll Shelby (Matt Damon) to make this happen.  Shelby, in turn, relies on his friend Ken Miles (Christian Bale), a brilliant driver and mechanic who is more comfortable around cars than people due to his tendency to say exactly what he is thinking.  These two start an unlikely odyssey to take on Ferrari in the most grueling and famous race of the year. 

Despite Ford v Ferrari telling the tale of corporate bravado, the main draw of the film are the personalities of Shelby and Miles.  These two men had very different personas but shared a love of racing and a desire to be the best.  The conflict and camaraderie between these two race icons is painful and exhilarating to watch, as is the product of their collaboration, the Ford GT40.  Damon and Bale are amazing to see, with Bale especially going all out as Miles.  

As you would expect, a movie about race cars should make you feel like you are experiencing one.  And Ford v Ferrari does not disappoint.  From the loud whine of the engines to the boom of the cars on the track, Ford v Ferrari's sound is top notch.  Additionally, for theaters that are equipped with some sort of force feedback, the vibration of the race is perfectly communicated through the seats, really making you feel like you are behind the wheel!

Ford v Ferrari tows the racing line for national pride, and thankfully stays on track.  It doesn't derail itself with unnecessary nationalism despite the clear America vs Italy rivalry.  Rather, the focus is on competition and business pride, which was a pleasant surprise.  The movie is also on the long side, but like the Le Mans race, it takes time but has a great pay off.

Ford v Ferrari is a high octane experience with fantastic acting, a compelling story, and a combination of exhilarating sound and heart pumping race scenes that will make you think you are on the track!

Watch it

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