Ford V Ferrari Review: Christian Bale & Matt Damon's Motoring Drama Is Not Really About Motoring

Bruce Wayne and Jason Bourne hit the tarmac together.

Ford v Ferrari (PG13)

Starring Matt Damon, Christian Bale, Caitriona Balfe

Directed by James Mangold

If you come to Ford v Ferrari expecting it to be about the clash between two automaker giants, you’re mistaken. Well, it is yet it isn’t. 

There’s more to Logan director James Mangold’s latest than meets the eye: it’s also a bittersweet bromance between rebel American car designer Carroll Shelby and fearless — and obscure (quick, go Wikipedia him) — British racer Ken Miles (Christian Bale). 

The duo are tasked with building a revolutionary car for Ford to compete against the reigning Ferrari brand at the 1966’s 24 Hours of Le Mans race in France. Again, not very sexy for non-Top Gear viewers. 

The entertaining, if a little long, true-life tarmac drama isn't just about shifting gears and burning rubber. It's a classic David vs Goliath tale where Miles and Shelby are David and Goliath is — surprise, surprise — not Ferrari, but Ford’s risk-averse corporate cadre.

The best parts in the movie aren’t the races but the behind-the-scenes tussles in the boardroom. Josh Lucas is excellent, a bit one-note perhaps, as the exec from hell, who wants to run the show  but doesn't want to get his hands dirty. You know his type. 

Is Ford v Ferrari really about motoring? Or it is a movie about any endeavour (like moviemaking) where creatives have to put up with crap from the least creative people (aka the suits) in the room? (***1/2)

For more on Ford v Ferrari, listen to our chat with Daniel Martin on CNA938’s Trending.

Photo: 20th Century Fox


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