Ford vs Ferrari

Sports films have always been popular with audiences. The thrill of competition, how the seemingly impossible was achieved has seen many such movies pass into enduring fame. What these works have in common is showing how sport isn’t the most important thing but about the personalities involved. ‘Ford vs Ferrari’ remembers this with the intense real-life battle of emotional will just as gripping as the sport itself.

In the early 60’s, American car maker Henry Ford (Tracy Letts) offers to buy French manufacturer Ferrari. When his overtures are rebuffed, Ford instructs his chief engineer Carroll Shelby (Matt Damon) to design a racing car. This is no ordinary car as Ford wants it in the fabled Le Mans car race against Ferrari. Enlisting the help of British driver Ken Miles (Christian Bale), Ford’s pride knows no limits in the race to the finish line.

Under James Mangold’s steady direction, ‘Ford vs Ferrari’ turns into a winner. These types of ‘underdog trying to overcome the odds’ type movies can fall into cliché territory. That doesn’t happen here as Mangold teases the best out of his performers and paces the story well. You barely notice the lengthy run-time with the corporate interference, family dramas and determination to win maintaining a compelling edge.

Although the acting is of a consistently high standard, the real star of ‘Ford vs Ferrari’ is the racetrack. The way the racing scenes are shot really brings you into the danger and excitement of the sport. Blood, sweat and tears are certainly felt with the sporting and emotional elements packing an equal punch. The period setting is effectively utilized, giving a sense of time in an interesting era in car racing.

‘Ford vs Ferrari’ is a very solid piece of film-making. The story is allowed to ‘breathe’ with the bitter rivalries and sportsmanship captivating. Even those who don’t like any sport should be enraptured by the speedy visions which may make viewers gain respect for those partaking in such daredevil exploits.

Rating out of 10: 8

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