When it comes to cars we like them fast and furious, or at least for many that is the dream as handling the monster speed can be overwhelming. So that’s where racing comes in, a means to extend one’s self into the faceless visage of a Nascar or Formula One in hopes of seeing their heroes win. Yet, what goes into a racecar? For the die-hard fans and car enthusiasts they understand the mechanics behind it, but for fans like me, well there is a lot more under the hood of the vent. Today’s movie is all about the battlefield of racing, though perhaps more of a look into the window of the past in the international racing venue. Tonight we look at the rivalry between two big car empires, in their battle for supremacy as I review:
Movie: Ford Vs. Ferrari (2019)
Surprisingly Decent Pace
Plenty Of Character Integration
Seeing the Rivalry From Many Sides
The Technical Jargon Mixed Well
The Musical Score
The Sound Effects
The Finale Of Racing
The Drama Vs. Reality
A Little More Integration Of The Wife
The Ending After The Race
Biography dramas usually don’t run at a pace that entertains me fully, but Ford Vs. Ferrari succeeded in this endeavor and put the pedal to the medal in storytelling. The elements of describing the business deals, politics and even development of the car are all a carefully blended together to be engaging without being overbearing for this reviewer. It finds a way to make all this business jargon funny, putting just enough spite, attitude, and stubbornness to work and masterfully relieving the dialog heavy plot. What impressed me even more though was seeing the character integration into this film, finding ways to make characters I care about and how I hoped the policies would not shoot them in the foot, which is key to helping me stay invested in a drama. Bale in particular was my focal point, his character having the most lines cast out and the central engine that drove this car. He plays the part well, adds that charm he brings to many of his roles, and then melds with the rest of the teams. Throw in all the dialogue filled with the jargon and you had me feeling like I was part of each group in the decision to battle the big boys.
However, despite all the heart of the film, most fans are going to want to know how the special effects department works in this film. Good news, for America’s love of making things loud, bold, and powerful continues on this look back into the past. For guys like me, the musical score at times amps up the elements with its background noise augmenting the scene and making my skin goosebumps rise in that emotional way. Now add the layer of the sound editing and effects and you get the major effect of this movie. Those who love to listen to their engines roar as they fly down the street, or identify the clicks of the perfect transition to the next gear are going to love this movie. All those elements brought together with the theater sound drop you into the driver seat and gets the blood pumping. Finally, combine that with the visuals and you’ve got yourself a movie that somehow takes what many consider a dry sport of turning left and instead give you the dynamic element of being in this life or death thrall. When combined with the story, it’s magic and gives a purpose to remain entertaining, which can be very difficult in a racing movie without gimmicks (comedy of the Love bug or action of the Fast and Furious).
Despite the realistic nature of this film though, it still has some elements I would have liked to see curbed. One, the predictability of the film is still there from the foreshadowing alone, though if you know the history of this movie’s plot you’ll of course predict the ending (which I didn’t). Despite the appreciation for the special effects, yours truly has sensitive ears, so the full volume of the engine roaring can be a little painful/ingratiating if not careful. These minor components aside, the movie’s constant question of drama vs reality comes into question, and I feel there was a lot of magic integrated into the film compared to the reality. It adds entertainment, but I wonder just how much of this was true to paint the characters a little more notably, more so Matt Damon’s character or the arrogant vice president. In terms of further character integration, I would have liked a little more of the wife, who though was involved throughout the film, felt there was a little more she could have had in here to really pull the film to full circle. My biggest dislike though was the last twenty minutes of the film, which I will not spoil. The film had another point that I felt would have been better to end, and while I understand why they did the last part in terms of closure, the last 15-20 minutes could have been edited down where I think the true story ended, wrapped up with a nice information card montage they do. It’s times like these where the last piece is placed that sometimes throw me the wrong way, but I will of course recognize the honor and work they did do in those final moments.
Overall, Ford Vs. Ferrari delivered what I expected and more. It was a drama/biography that was not boring to watch, with a pace that like the car continued to work and immersed you into many aspects of the war between these two. A fantastic balance of story with technical prowess is going to be the entertaining factor for much of the audience and looking at the people around me during my showing should impress the target audience. Sure, it’s predictable, a little time bloated, and loud, but the only factors are potentially the movie magic blowing things out of proportion and the potential ending that really had me bugging. Otherwise, outside of not being the most original idea or the most dynamic telling of a story it works for a trip to the theater.
My scores are:
Movie Overall: 7.0