“Ford v Ferrari” is a movie about loyalty, persistency, and dedication. It is an action/drama film which is also about the redemption of Ken Miles (Christian Bale), and Shelby (Matt Damon). Both of them team up in order to win the 24 hours of Le Mans, and the road towards this goal is very rewarding for the audience. Not only do we experience incredible action scenes, but this movie also takes us by the hand to witness how all the characters are deeply impacted by certain decisions. “Ford v Ferrari” will bring you to tears, make you laugh, and get you excited.
This movie is actually so amazing that i don’t know exactly where to start. But let’s start with the setting. The setting is California, and France during the 1960’s. They did a great job getting all the little details correct and managed to present the audience with a real Hollywood 60’s vibe. The cars, street presentation, clothing, and everything else resembles perfectly the setting around it. One of my favorite elements of this movie are the typical 60’s cars. If you are not a classic car fan before watching this movie then you will be one by the end of it. Now you might think that this is one of those movies that are sometimes labeled as a ‘movie for guys’ but this is definitely NOT the case. Even if you don’t like cars you will find this movie impressive because it also focuses on family, love, and friendship.
However, one thing that I found confusing was the beginning of the film. The movie introduces the main actors (their names being presented). Then the following picture we see is the text “Le Mans 1966” with the audio in which a radio voice is stating that this is the 1959 Le Mans race. We as the audience then see the first scene in which Shelby races the Le Mans race. Initially I was thinking that this scene is a flashforward because I thought the scene was taking place in 1966 (as the picture prior described). However, this scene is taking place in 1959 (flashback) as the audio described it. A few scenes later we hear on a radio that it is 1963. This is crucial to know if you want to know the chronological order of this film. In my opinion they should have omitted the “Le Mans 1966” text prior to the first scene. However, it was not such a big issue as it became clear after a while that the first scene is a flashback, and not a flashforward.
The other impressive aspect of this movie is the character development and the acting. Every character is well developed and has a deep background story. I advise you to keep an eye out for the scene where Shelby (Matt Damon) invites Henry Ford II for a ride. At the end of this scene we see that even Ford’s character is well developed to the point that every action, and dialogue are totally convincing and real. Henry Ford II is not being portrayed as some antagonist without a story. His character has as much to contribute to this movie as the protagonists. Additionally, the acting is great and there was not one moment in which i thought that the acting was a little bit off.
The focus on the competition aspect in this movie has multiple layers. There is the competition between Ford and Ferrari, and between Leo Beebe and Ken Miles. This causes multiple situations of conflict in which there is a significant rise in action over the two and half hour movie. One might think that a two and half hour film is too long, but i can guarantee you that this film will change your mind. There is always something happening, and at no point during this movie you have a chance to feel bored. In my opinion there is a perfect balance between the action and drama. Both of these elements are merged perfectly together to the point that I consider this one of the most balanced films made.
Early on i knew that it was very likely that they would need to use CGI for certain scenes, and this was indeed the case. Sometimes the CGI was a little too much, or a little too obvious. Meaning, that it takes you out of the story because it is not realistic. However, such situations were limited to approximately three times. One can make the argument that this so-so (at best) CGI was being used for key moments of the film, and that it therefore significantly reduces the quality of this movie. However, I don’t think that this was the case because in high action situations you don’t notice it so much. And most people won’t pause the movie to analyze the CGI details.
To sum it all up for you; this is an almost perfect movie which you should watch ASAP because it is well written, and directed.