The Hollywood race car movie you weren’t expecting.
Ford v Ferrari cast. Photo credit: Hollywood Reporter
A few weeks after the release date, I finally got around to seeing Ford v Ferrari. I went into it expecting a typical Hollywood “street racing, speeding, exaggerated driving” and was pleasantly surprised it was not any of that. I feel like this movie was more of an “underdog story/ trusting your gut tale” more than an automotive film. While it was bitchin’ to see all the race cars and trial and errors of what it took to build the Ford GT, I think the story of pushing yourself to the limit and seeing what you’re truly capable of is more uplifting. “Don’t go expecting a documentary.
The firm isn’t about any of this…It’s about how one man, Ken Miles (Christian Bale), fits into a corporate group structure. About when to shut up and take one for the team, when to push the idiots out of the way.” according to Jason Cammisa, columnist at Road and Track. The movie starts with a man under the threat of losing his shop and being too poor to continue racing.
His son loves the idea of dad being a racer driver and attends all the races with him after being considered too angry and irritable to be a driver for Ford. Carroll Shelby (Matt Damon) gives him a chance and wants him to be the test driver of his new idea for a Ford race car to compete with Ferrari, who has won the Le Mans race three years in a row.
After insulting Ferrari with a proposed merger of the racing teams, Ford is forced to take on the project themselves. Many trials and errors of the gearbox overheating, fires, and brake issues, the car is finally capable of competing in the 24-hour race in Lemans France. One suit, Leo Beebe (Josh Lucas) from Ford, is continually trying to sabotage Miles by replacing him and getting him to lose the race. After losing by slowing down for a photo op, Miles is okay with the 2nd place victory because he was “promised the race, not the win.”
Miles and Shelby continue to develop the car, and due to another brake issue, the car loses control, and Miles passes away while testing. Shelby pays his respects to Miles’ family by returning his things to his son like the wrench his dad threw through the windshield at their first race together. All in all, I really liked his movie and was glad it wasn’t as cliche as Fast and the Furious racing movies.