I guess we’re at that time of year where great movies start popping up all over the place like a very intense game of Whack-a-Mole. There is still plenty more for me to see, but my most recent venture was with Ford v Ferrari, a movie that rides along quite nicely.
It’s based on the true story of Ford’s frustration with Ferrari smashing it at the races. Despite Ford’s commercial dominance, the massive company cannot stand for a small Italian group to be doing better in this area. It cannot be tolerated! (I bet this was what Disney felt when Netflix was swimming in all of the green when they were the only streaming service in town. I can see that being a movie in a few years!)
The movie follows two guys with a strong passion for racing cars. They have to build a super fast car in order to beat Ferrari while contending with constant pressure from corporate interference and which takes all of the fun out of their project. This is the best aspect of the movie besides the racing which we will get to. Carroll Shelby and Ken Miles are portrayed as two guys who have a great understanding of the sport, but whose creativity is limited by Ford’s insistence on a mainstream, marketable approach. This immediately makes you resent Ford more so even than Ferrari who we barely know anything about. You’re rooting for the little people working for Ford as the movie does a really good job at making you like them.
Christian Bale is utterly fantastic and makes the whole movie. He’s this greasy car enthusiast who doesn’t give a crap what Ford wants. Matt Damon was also pretty good and had a good comradery with his co-star. This movie is quite a gleeful experience. Every scene feels like we’re out for a nice sun shiny Sunday drive. What helps is that the movie goes for a comedic approach although at times it can be a bit of overkill.
Some of the characters felt a bit stereotypical. For such a quick experience it started out very slow. So slow that the trailers did a better job at giving me a good idea of what the plot is about. The slow start also threw me off when you get to the middle and some things are hastily explained. It’s also never clear how much time has passed. This would not normally bug me if not for 75% of the movie taking place in the scorching afternoon.
Best for last, which doesn’t make much sense in racing terms. If you love cars zooming down the race track then you will adore these sequences. The sound design is excellent and it’s one of the only reasons why I’m glad I watched this in a cinema with great surround sound. The great camera work helps give a idea where Miles is and what’s going on in the race. The final race at Le Mans is one of the best final sequences I have seen all year.
Ford v Ferrari is probably the most crowd pleasing movie I have seen in a while. It’s a well made movie filled with great moments and silly ones. 8/10. You don’t have to be a big fan of cars or sports to get a good kick out of this.
I have got some big projects coming in the next few weeks so stay tuned for that goodness and I have been The Blog Complainer, signing out.