Serving the Fullerton Community Since 1922

The Hornet

The Hornet

Serving the Fullerton Community Since 1922

The Hornet

Movie Review: ‘Ford vs Ferrari’ displays the winning spirit of America through superb acting and effects

20th Century Fox “Ford vs. Ferrari” is a combination of Matt Damon and Christian Bale’s incredible acting performance. With stunning visuals, audio effects and intriguing plot development the film creates an adrenaline filled cinematic experience.

The film was directed by James Mangold who is renown for directing “Logan” and “The Wolverine.” Mangold excellently displayed the historic tale of two captains of America’s auto racing industry.

Matt Damon as Carroll Shelby at a race in Willow Springs, Calif. in 1964 Photo credit: 20th Century Fox

The outstanding leading cast consisted of Matt Damon playing sports car builder, Carroll Shelby. Christian Bale plays the hot-headed and temperamental British racing legend Ken Miles. The supporting cast were Caitriona Balfe playing Mollie, Miles’ wife. Jon Bernthal as Ford Mustang developer Lee Iacocca and Tracy Letts as the former CEO of Ford Motor Co., Henry “Hank the Deuce” Ford II.

While both lead actors displayed contrasting acting styles, Damon and Bale complimented each other and accurately displayed the historic friendship between Shelby and Miles.

The supporting cast effectively portrayed the key historical figures from America’s automotive industry that interact with the main characters. Each actor played their part effectively and accurately portrayed the people they represented from a bygone era of American exceptionalism and industrial dominance.

While most of Mangold’s work mostly consists of action films, “Ford vs. Ferrari” is a different type of action. Instead of creating violent scenes with CGI and choreographed fight sequences, “Ford vs. Ferrari” relies entirely on practical effects and the skills of retired professional race car drivers and stuntmen.

Christian Bale's character, Ken Miles, inspects the motor going to be used in his 1965 Ford GT40 for the race at Le Mans in France Photo credit: 20th Century Fox

To create the nostalgic feeling of the 1960s’ Rob Johnson, the production’s vehicle director obtained over 460 classic vehicles to be shown throughout the film.

Every scene involving an automobile whether it was a depiction of a crash, a still shot or a drive by was created by using practical effects. The real cars and mechanical skills kept the movie realistic and nostalgic.

Financially, the film had a large budget costing 20th Century Fox $97.9 million dollars. The film topped this weekend’s box office earning $31 million.

The film had strong patriotic elements throughout the film giving context to the struggle the characters were experiencing. The focus on Shelby and Miles’ military service, personal sacrifices and fellow countrymen are displayed throughout the film.

The filmmakers showed how the first time an American automobile manufacturer was deemed competitive enough to compete in such a prestigious international race like “Le Mans.”

The film displayed themes like freedom of enterprise, unfaltering determination and individualism that demonstrated the uniqueness of America’s automotive industry and car culture in the 1960s.

“Ford vs. Ferrari” is not just for gear-heads and car enthusiasts. This film is enjoyable for anyone who appreciates a story telling about characters with humble beginnings through hard work and determination work their way to success.