Cinematic Releases: Ford v Ferrari (2019) - Reviewed

There are a dime a dozen movies that come out during awards season. Films that aim to ask the big questions. Some are good, some are okay, and some are jaw droppingly pretentious. These are the type of films that are designed to play with audience expectations and leave them guessing long after the credits have rolled. These films are modestly budgeted and usually are festival darlings that fly under the radar of most filmgoers. Ford V Ferrari is a film that is not only award worthy but a damn fine film as well. 

Ford V Ferrari is based off of the true story of American car designer Carroll Shelby and the British-born driver Ken Miles. These two work together to battle corporate interference, the laws of physics, and their own personal demons to build a revolutionary race car for Ford Motor Company and take on the dominating race cars of Enzo Ferrari at the 24 Hours of Le Mans in France in 1966.

This biographical drama directed by James Mangold (Logan) is one of the most engaging and exciting films of this year. It contains some really well crafted driving sequences courtesy of Oscar Nominated cinematographer Phedon Papamichael. The sequences ring with a lot of dynamic shots and energy that makes the driving sequences in this film sing. The races are some of the best shot moments in cinema this year and worth the price of admission on it's own. 

While they both provide engaging performances separately, Damon offers a great deal of charisma. The last couple of years Damon has been in some dull and strange movies so it's nice to see him in a film that is good and it reminds you of just how good he can be with the right material. Shelby is a great performance and allows Damon to have some fun and try something new. But the movie absolutely belongs to Christian Bale. He manages to steal every frame he’s in. He is the heart and soul of this movie, giving on the most fun and entertaining performances of this year. And when they're onscreen together, their chemistry becomes dynamic and endlessly watchable. 

This film is not reinventing the wheel as it's formulaic structure-wise as they come and does follow the sports biopic formula enough to not be too off putting. The film's strength is in how it tells the story. It's immaculate on a technical level, with the sound mixing, editing, and score responsible for most of the overall experience. Overall, as cliched as it is, it's still entertaining, and it still knows how to hit every predictable beat with full force. 

FORD v FERRARI is a solid, roaring, muscle fueled film from James Mangold about setting aside ego & pushing each other beyond our limits. If you love stories about cars, engineering, racing, and good old fashion bromances, you will like this one a lot. I imagine that I will watch this one a lot when it's on TV. 

--Liam O'Connor