‘Ford v Ferrari’ review: Damon and Bale are bros on a mission to win at Le Mans

‘Ford v Ferrari’ review: Damon and Bale are bros on a mission to win at Le Mans

Film tells the exciting story of how Carroll Shelby and Ken Miles made history at one of the most prestigious races in the world

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Matt Damon (left) portrays car designer Carroll Shelby, who teams up with driver Ken Miles (Christian Bale) to beat Ferrari at Le Mans.
Photo: Twentieth Century Fox Film

Who can make a better race car, Ford or Ferrari? Set against the backdrop of the gruelling 24 Hours of Le Mans endurance car race, this high-octane drama delivers plenty of racing action and sheds light on the fascinating story of the only American-made car to ever win the prestigious race.

When Henry Ford II’s attempt to buy Ferrari is stubbed by founder Enzo Ferrari, Ford feels personally insulted and orders his team to beat them at Le Mans. Celebrated sports car designer (and former Le Mans winner) Carroll Shelby (Matt Damon) is hired to lead the team, and recruits eccentric driver Ken Miles (Christian Bale) to challenge the reigning champs.

What follows is an exciting tale of friendship and racing innovation as the two men work together to build the perfect race car, while being hounded by uncooperative Ford executive Leo Beebe (Josh Lucas).

Bale is fantastic as the fiery racing genius Miles who is always in pursuit of ‘the perfect lap’. His bull-headed intensity is played to perfection by Bale, but we also see a softer side of the character in his interactions with his wife Mollie (Caitriona Balfe) and young son Peter (Noah Jupe). Damon is also great as Shelby, who must protect his team against corporate bigwigs who don’t really understand the world of racing.

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Hardcore racing fans will also approve of the film, as legendary vehicles such as the Ford GT40 are brought back to life in thrilling action scenes that really put you in the middle of the action. From the initial testing phase to the final lap, the long process of building a winner from the ground up is shown with style and flair.

Ford v Ferrari is a great movie about the power of determination, friendship and good old-fashioned hard work. With strong performances from both its leads and gripping authentic vintage racing set pieces, it takes the chequered flag for sports drama of the year.

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