An American team of engineers and designers have to build a Ford racing car in order to beat the Ferrari team for the Le Mans Race of 1966.
A sports drama that not only shows the competitive entertainment between two powerhouse car companies, but most importantly, shows the fun dynamic between the two main leads.
Performances for the film were all good. Matt Damon and Christian Bale did really well in the roles of both Carroll Shelby and Ken Miles. Their interplay and dialogue between each other were the best. These were two characters that had similar goals but had different approaches on how to achieve that goal. How they played off one another in building the best Ford racing car was interesting.
The other characters were well done and perfectly cast. The American mechanics had that sweet comradery that could be resonated greatly. I thought that the character of Henry Ford II was a bit cartoonish, but as the movie progressed, I’ve gotten over that and kind of like his character overall. He and the rest of the side characters had some fairly funny moments.
The whole process of building and creating the GT40 was cool. The characters spouting out the mechanic lingo was nicely done. The whole journey from start to finish worked. One cared for the American side, not so much the company Ford, but the mechanics who built the car in the first place. When it came to the part near the end when Miles didn’t get credit, one felt bad for him due to the corporate industries.
The emotions were there and it helped carry the weight of the film, primarily for Miles’s side. This was a guy, like Shelby, that wasn’t going to take no for an answer. He would do whatever it takes to get what he wanted. One wanted to see him succeed, but at the same time, not get hurt. Much like how his wife and son reacted when Miles nearly died in the middle portion of the film.
All of the racing sequences, particularly with the climax at Le Mans ’66, was so well done. The sounds and cinematography put forth an intense and exhilarating ride without a doubt. One would surely be on the edge of their seats and cheer for Miles to win against the Ferrari gang. I like the little efforts of the American team sabotaging the Italian team by any means. It was cheesy sure, but it was very fun to watch unfold.
In terms though of Miles’s death toward the end, I wish it would have been executed better. After his fatal crash, the film seemed to abruptly fast-forward 6 months. There was not enough time to let the death feel impactful. It was emotional for the conversation between Shelby and Miles’s son, but it would have been more effective if there was at least another scene to show the significance.
This was very long, especially for this kind of movie. This was something that could have been shortened by 30 minutes. The first act was a bit slow at introducing the characters and central plot/dilemma that the film was bringing forth.
“Ford v Ferrari,” is a well-done racing drama. It had strong performances, an entertaining dynamic between the two leads, great racing sequences, and it delivered the right amount of emotion to make all of those things matter in the end. Even with its excessive runtime, this is a film that one should definitely check out.
YouTube: Tk Theater Productions