Jenn Rohm Reviews "Ford v Ferrari"
When I first heard about the story of Ford Motor connecting with Carroll Shelby for creating and designing a car to beat Ferrari at the Twenty-Four Hours of Le Mans in 1966, I got excited. Then I heard Tom Cruise and Brad Pitt were cast in the lead roles, I was truly concerned about their ability to portray the roles of Shelby and driver Ken Miles. As time passed and the casting changed to Matt Damon and Christian Bale, my American muscle car loving self-got excited again as the time approached to see “Ford v Ferrari”.
With James Mangold (Logan) in the proverbial driver’s seat, this is a joy ride through a tiny bit of automotive history. With the Ford Motor Company attempting to assert themselves as more than just an affordable car, they attempt to purchase Ferrari in 1963 and ended up losing out to Fiat due to the fact that Ford wanted to control Ferrari’s interest in the race at Le Mans. Going back to the drawing board, Lee Iacocca (Jon Bernthal) reaches out to Carroll Shelby (Matt Damon) to take on the challenge of developing a car and team to win. Shelby brings in his tried and true team of engineers and designers, along with the best (and most unstable) driver he knows in Ken Miles (Christian Bale) in order to try and beat Ferrari at the game they have dominated for the better part of a decade as Leo Beebe (Josh Lucas) tries to gain favor with Ford in order to stand out on the board of directors, even at Miles and Shelby’s expense.
At the screening I attended, there were a few of the local Ford Mustang clubs, and their passion for the cars was evident in the audience’s energy, which enhanced the experience that much more. This is not to say that only gearheads can enjoy “Ford v Ferrari} because there truly is something for everyone here. From family dynamics to friendships to history and cars, this script is engaging and makes its two-and-a-half-hour run time go nicely. Do be careful with your driving when you leave since there are scenes during racing and testing that had me believing I could drive as fast as those whom have trained to do so. From start to the finish line this film delivered exactly what I was hoping for.