Ford v Ferrari movie poster

Ford v Ferrari

In theaters November 15, 2019


, ,

152 minutes

Directed by:

Starring: , , ,

After the first on-screen nasty high-speed crash during the 24 Hours of Le Mans race, my companion leaned in and said, “and that’s why they don’t run that race anymore.” It’s gnarly, because cars vs. embankments is pretty much a no-win proposition for the driver, and I suppose that’s part of the thrill. Frankly, the enjoyment of watching cars race fast as a sport escapes me; however, as a former driver of a manual transmission, I can say I get it. That’s basically the appeal of Ford v Ferrari. vroom-vroom

In 1963, the Ford Motor Company was experiencing a lag in sales. Not a total collapse, but Post-war babies (you know, the Baby Boomer) are looking for their first slick ride, and they want fast and foreign, not comfortable and domestic. Sexy Lee Iacocca (Jon Bernthal) proposes that Ford enter and win the 24 Hours of Le Mans in France, which is pretty much exactly how it sounds – a grueling race over 24 hours to prove which car company has the more prominent power train. In the previous years, it was Ferrari, and while Ford contrives all sorts of business schemes to own the boutique auto company, the real way to win the hearts and minds of the youths of America is to win the race with a Ford. Enter Carroll Shelby (Matt Damon) – American, brash, confident – a retired race car driver who won Le Mans in 1959 who can build the car Ford needs if Mr. Ford puts up the money. Shelby can’t drive (bad ticker), so he taps Ken Miles – English, hot-headed, and a savant when it comes to engines and how they ride. Together they build cars that can win the Le Mans, but races are not won by just cars, but the drivers who pilot them.

There is a lot of corporate backstabbing in Ford v Ferrari, and that’s how we know this is a David and Goliath story, except David is Ken Miles, and Goliath is the Ford Motor Company. VP Leo Beebe (Josh Lucas) wants an all-American team piloting Team Ford, not this angry Brit he doesn’t like. I don’t know what’s more unsettling about Ken Miles (Christian Bale) – his ultra-calm, accepting exterior about nearly everything life throws at him, or the deadly calm and barely contained rage he appears to use as fuel as a racecar driver.

There’s high drama pulsing underneath the loud engines, and that’s what keeps Ford v Ferrari humming for 152 minutes. Shelby is dealing with Ford, Ford is dealing with Ferrari, and Miles assuring his family this won’t kill him. You don’t have to love cars to enjoy Ford v Ferrari, and I enjoyed it immensely. And I do not recommend this movie with enhanced sound. It’s already loud all by itself.

Ford v Ferrari is Rated PG-13 for swears, people getting punched in the face, some very mild and out-dated derogatory slang, people getting punched in the face, people driving fast, people crashing hard, and explosions.

Ford v Ferrari is streaming now on the following services:
Movie Reelist Contributor: MontiLee Stormer
MontiLee Stormer is a writer of horror, dark and urban fantasy. She’s also is a troublemaker, concocting acts of mayhem and despair for her own selfish pleasure. An avid movie watcher, she prefers horror but will see just about anything if you're buying. Poltergeist (1982) is her favorite movie and she actively hates The Shining (1980) due to its racism, misogyny, the butchering of the source material. She could host a TEDtalk on this single subject. Writing about herself in the third person is just a bonus.

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