If you were to judge a movie from its title you would think Ford v Ferrari would be a movie about things that don’t go together. There is a failed logic to that thinking, and before 1966 you would be correct, but that was then and this is now and they have proved they can be in the same garage. Now it may not feel right to have a Ford minivan parked next to your Ferrari , but on the race track things are pretty even now, so this is the story when Ford was laughed at thinking it belonged on the same track as some of the fastest cars around, and the two men who changed that.
Being one of the world’s largest auto makers should make a lot of people happy, but that is not the case for Henry Ford II ( Tracy Letts). You see once you have conquered the roads, you want to do that with them all, so Ford wants to becomes a force on the racing front. They try and take the easy route first by trying to buy Ferrari, but when that fails, Ford sets out to beat them at what they are the best at. So Ford builds a car that can run Le Mans and they tap Carol Shelby (Matt Damon) to make that happen. Shelby has a plan to get there, but it will all be for not if he can’t have the driver he wants in Ken Miles (Christian Bale). Ford though thinks Miles is not a “Ford” guy and while he lets him help get the car ready, when it comes to the racing part, they have their own pick. After failing the first go around, Shelby gets his way and he and Miles get to work and build them a car that not will only beat Ferrari, but also make sure they know who beat them.
Making a list of the best race car movies can be pretty easy, but of those movies on that list, which one of them do you actually remember? There are a lot of good ones for me, but very few if any great ones, that just changed in my eyes. Ford v Ferrari might be my favorite race car ever, not just because the race scenes filmed by director James Mangold and cinematographer Phedon Papamichael are incredible, but also because of the cast. Damon and Bale are just perfect in their roles and while everything on the track looks and feels as intense as being behind the wheel. Without them, it would be like a car without an engine. This is, for the lack of a better description, a great ride and one that will have you testing what your car can do on the way home. I knew this had all the right parts, but it just was a matter of how they worked together and let me tell you Ford v Ferrari is fine-tuned racing machine.