One of the hottest new racing movies, “Ford v Ferrari,” stars Christian Bale and Matt Damon. Photo from IMDb.
“Ford v Ferrari” is the latest racing biopic that tells the story of racer-turned-car designer Carroll Shelby and racer Ken Miles. The two are hired by Ford Motor Company to design and race against Ferrari in the 24 hours Le Mans race in 1965-1966. The James Mangold directed drama is a truly interesting, suspenseful and humorous racing film with great performances and good pacing to justify its long runtime.
Christian Bale and Matt Damon truly fit their roles of Ken and Carroll respectively, and they both have a good repertoire with one another throughout. “Ford v Ferrari” incorporates a lot of interesting history through the use of good editing techniques that puts the viewer right into the key events of the story. One scene will have the two leads talking about an upcoming race and the film will automatically cut to the race in action.
The film’s racing sequences are quite suspenseful and more realistic than most racing films I’ve seen lately. They are well-paced, which leaves plenty of time for the film to develop its main characters and situations. There is even just enough backstory for its main characters and the Ford Motor Company to inform the audience of the stakes of the race without going too in-depth on a particular subject.
Even the characters of Ken’s wife, Molly, and his son, Peter, played by Caitriona Balfe and Noah Jupe, are very well developed and entertaining in their scenes. “Ford v Ferrari” also really succeeds due to its sharp writing with plenty of effective humor to lighten the otherwise tension-filled plot of making the deadline of the races.
The dialogue sequences, whether between Ken and his family or Carroll with the head of Ford Motors, never go on too long and consistently move the plot forward with sharp editing. Not a moment within the film is boring, and there are plenty of heartfelt moments towards the film’s final moments while never losing focus on the overall plot. All of the characters are well developed and Ken Miles goes through a pretty good transition into being more team-oriented by the film’s third act.
In contrast, “Ford v Ferrari” does suffer from the unnecessary constant tension of Leo Beebe, played by Josh Lucas, who seems to simply be against Ken throughout the entire film. The only other real unnecessary aspect of the film is the few over-the-top inspirational sequences between Ken and his family.
“Ford v Ferrari” concludes with a truly great race sequence that works on levels of both suspense and drama due to its length and constant tension. Overall, “Ford v Ferrari” is a truly entertaining racing biopic that combines good dramatic and comedic material from the film’s great performances and consistently interesting story throughout its long runtime. For me, I would give “Ford v Ferrari” an eight out of 10.