A movie that sounds as good as it look: a Ford v Ferarri review

Evan Wyatt, Staff Writer

Ford v Ferrari is an exciting historical film, as well as an endearing buddy film. It recounts Ford’s failed attempt to buy the storied Italian company, Ferrari, and their subsequent battles on the racetrack, namely at the 24 Hours of Le Mans. 

The main characters of the film are the legendary American car designer, and 1959 Le Mans winner, Carol Shelby (Matt Damon) and the maverick British racer and mechanic, Ken Miles (Christian Bale). After being diagnosed with a heart condition, Shelby can no longer race. However, he is approached by Ford who, after being rejected by Ferrarri, set out to beat them no matter the cost. Miles is the racer recruited to help build and test the car, although this almost goes off the rails due to the bureaucracy and politics of a company like Ford. The chemistry between Damon and Bale is one of the best parts of the film in my opinion. The two veteran actors play their characters very well: Damon as the charming Southern face of the movie and Bale as the renegade and dedicated driver. 

Interestingly, while the title of this film is Ford v Ferarri, a more accurate title would be Shelby and Miles v Ford. The fact that Miles doesn’t really “embody the values of Ford” really rubs Henry Ford II and the other higher ups really wrong, and they’re constantly trying to get Shelby to go with different drivers, which creates a really interesting subplot. 

My favorite thing about the movie was, undoubtedly, the sound. Hearing the legendary Ford GT40 roaring around the track in a loud surround-sound theatre was one of the most enjoyable theatre going experiences I’ve had recently. The Oscar nominations for Sound Editing and Sound Mixing are well deserved and I’m pulling for this film to win both.

While the acting is fantastic, and so is the rest of the movie, it kind of succumbs to some typical sports cliches: a lone wolf character, a good old fashioned comeback, and some pretty sick montages. Yet, I couldn’t help but enjoy every second of this movie. I’ve recently gotten into motorsports and this was a great movie telling the history of some of the most eventful years in racing, and I would recommend it to people who appreciate strong acting, beautiful sound and visuals, and very cool cars.