film reel image

film reel image

Saturday, November 16, 2019

Ford v Ferrari 2019 * * * Stars

Ford v FerrariDirector: James Mangold
Year: 2019
Rated PG-13
Rating: * * * Stars
Cast: Christian Bale, Josh Lucas, Matt Damon

Christian Bale is one of the most ironclad, reliable actors on the planet. You pair him with the equally reliable Matt Damon and the well cast, sleazeball-ing Josh Lucas and you get a spot-on, co-starring team. Damon and Bale don accents and trade torque/throttle in Ford v Ferrari (my latest review).

Ford v Ferrari's true story goes like this: A car designer named Carroll Shelby (Damon) and a hard-edged race car driver named Ken Miles (Bale), try to best Enzo Ferrari's souped-up automobiles via the 1966 Le Mans. In truth, Ford v Ferrari is a longing film that ends on a down note but it's not without a touch of energy and the almighty whimsical.

Image result for ford vs ferrari movie scenes"Ford v Ferrari's running time flies by even at 152 minutes. Most of these minutes involve mild emotion undercut with some heart-pounding, endurance race sequences. If you like a superior sense of time and place, then Ford v Ferrari will give you your mid 60s fix. And if you wanna see a more sophisticated version of say, Days of Thunder, then Ford v Ferrari will make you forget about that commercialized, Tom Cruise vehicle (no pun intended).

Directed by New Yorker James Mangold with its vroom vroom scenes shot at ground level, Ford v Ferrari is the type of flick that needs to be seen with the best movie theater sound system possible. Mangold knows how to film racing action no doubt. He avoids all the Fast & Furious BS and instead opts for minimal flash and loads of stash. Yup, it's about the clamor here. You can hear the fuel burning, the tires screeching, the engine humming, the studs spinning, and the racers rubbing. It's decibel, ear orgasmic.

Image result for ford vs ferrari movie scenes"Now Ford v Ferrari does fail to fully flesh out its 2-3 main characters (that's rare for a 2 and a half hour pic). And yeah, the film's first half has a lot more collared, dramatic momentum. Still, with smooth direction by James Mangold, some capable editing by Michael McCusker, some sleek rides, and a bleached out, beach blanket be-bop look, Ford v Ferrari provides the viewer with an old-world night at the cineplex. Call it "stampede for speed". Rating: 3 stars.

Written by Jesse Burleson

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