‘Ford v Ferrari’ Review
By Jerrison Oracion, Senior Columnist
During the era of the space race, another epic race was happening—the car race. All the major companies were trying to build the fastest race car of all time. Having that title and reputation would mean that their consumer cars would also be seen as the most rapid and capable vehicles around, which is a very desirable fame to have.
In the early years of the car race, Italian car maker Ferrari was in the lead, winning many major races that the rest of the automobile companies could not keep up with. So, Ford Motor Company challenged themselves to build a car faster than Ferrari’s cars. The idea they came up with was the Ford GT40—its development and the competition between the two companies are highlighted in Ford v Ferrari.
The movie is another surprise hit of this year. It was shown in the both Toronto International Film Festival and even the Vancouver International Film Festival. It was the number one film in its opening weekend, beating the new Charlie’s Angels film. Ford asks former race car driver and car dealer, Carroll Shelby (Matt Damon), to design the car that will beat Ferrari and make history. Shelby suggests putting a British driver and mechanic that he met (and helped) at a race—named Ken Miles (Christian Bale)—on the team. With Miles’ expertise of car mechanics, and Shelby’s marketing skills, they have a good shot at developing the Ford GT40. Despite their disagreements, they need to defeat the forces against them in time for the biggest car race: the 24-hours of Le Mans.
There were a few scenes in the film, especially during the opening, where it cuts from shot to shot in a few seconds. It is interesting that car races in the 1960s were very long—even so long as an entire day. The Daytona 500 was also a very long race (taking at slowest around four hours in 1960) which happened during that era. Maybe this is because the cars in the 1960s were not as fast as cars of today’s standards.
Christian Bale’s portrayal of Ken Miles is great. He was so good at playing a classy English bloke that he might as well be playing himself. The scenes where Miles explains car technology are very precise, accurate, and show that he knows what he is doing. Bale could get Best Actor in the Academy Awards next year, but he is going to have to compete with Tom Hanks for his portrayal of Fred Rogers in A Beautiful Day in the Neighbourhood.
There is also a great performance from Jon Bernthal—from The Walking Dead and The Punisher (2017)—who plays Lee Iacocca, the vice president of Ford. The scene that spotlights his skill is in the beginning of the film. Iacocca goes to Ferrari’s headquarters to try to buy the company from CEO Enzo Ferrari. The car sounds during the racing scenes are very realistic and sound as if you were there. The surround sound effects flow very well when the cars move across the screen.
Ford v Ferrari is one of those films that shows with a lot of hard work, the best may be trumped.