Ford v Ferrari is the newest film from James Mangold. It follows Carroll Shelby (Matt Damon) who recruits race car driver, Ken Miles (Christian Bale), who side with Ford to build their racing program as they try to beat the legendary racing cars built by Ferrari.
I know nothing about cars or racing, but you don’t need to know anything about cars to understand this film, it explains what’s necessary to you and capitalizes on how dangerous racing actually is.
Christian Bale is a stand-out in the film, once again showing what an amazing actor he is. Bale is more memorable character since he is the main driver and has a brash attitude, but Matt Damon is just as enjoyable and is very charming in the film. Noah Jupe stars as Miles’s son, Peter, and they both have a nice chemistry together. Jupe is an impressive young actor from Wonder and A Quiet Place, and I’m very excited to see him play a young Shia LaBeouf in Honey Boy later this year. I must also shout out Jon Bernthal since this may be his first movie role where he shows up on screen for more than 5 minutes.
I do believe the film was a bit too long, though once the racing starts you are simply transfixed in the film’s world. It also plays with the structure of a usual sports movie. The film doesn’t end when the race ends, there’s no training montage, and that helps sets the film a part from other sport movies.
Another thing that helps set the film a part is its characters, which is what the film focuses on more than the car building or racing. The character dynamics are also really fun. You buy that Carol and Ken are good friends, you smile whenever Peter and Ken are together, and you detest Josh Lucas’s character whenever he tries to sabotage Miles.
The camera work for those car races were absolutely thrilling. You were inside of the car with Miles during the race, feeling like you were going 200 miles an hour, not knowing whether or not Miles will be able to win. Those racing sequences showcase the expert craftsmanship Mangold possesses to make a thrilling and immersive film.
Overall, Ford v Ferrari is another great film from James Mangold. Bale and Damon have impeccable chemistry and the racing sequences take your breath away.
I give Ford v Ferrari an A-