With the 2019 Newcastle 500 just hours away from turning our fair city into revhead central, it only seems fair that I review Ford v Ferrari this week.
Based on a true story, the flick stars Matt Damon as visionary car designer Carrol Shelby. A driver forced out of the sport he loves by a heart condition, and struggling to make his company a success on his name alone, Shelby needs a break.
Enter the Ford motor company, not yet the powerhouse car brand we know today.
Approached by a savvy Ford employee Lee Iacocca (Bernthal) who wants to impress his boss, Shelby is given a blank cheque to build Ford a car capable of taking on the mighty Ferrari at the annual 24-hour Le Mans in France.
Forced to deal with corporate bullshit and meddling, as well as the car building limitations of the mid-’60s, Shelby must face his own personal demons to realise his own dreams and the dreams of everyone around him.
If this isn’t enough, he also needs to handle the insanely talented but highly volatile Ken Miles (Christian Bale). Miles has a reputation for trouble, but Shelby knows he’s the only driver who can give Henry Ford II the win he now desperately needs to place Ford next to the great Ferrari on the world stage.
Should I watch it?
First, let me assure you that the eye-watering 152 minutes of movie will fly by.
To be honest, I was shocked when I saw the running time as I was writing this review because it didn’t feel anything like 2 ½ hours.
And this isn’t just a movie for petrol heads either. It’s based on a true story so falls into the realms of ‘you can’t make this shit up’.
And you couldn’t.
It’s a well written, fully fleshed out, character-driven story. With lots of subplots and minor characters, you’ll be enthralled from beginning to end.
Ford V Ferrari could’ve been made in the ’70s. It could’ve featured old movie star types like McQueen, Newman or Redford.
It has this cool, retro old school vibe that is mesmerising. Damon is perfect as the balm to Bale’s hot-headed Miles. As for Bale, hello yet another Oscar nomination.
This is really a great movie. Fun, educational, entertaining, enthralling and just a bloody good story. And not a scantily clad pit girl in sight.
This is the movie The Fast And The Furious wishes it could be when it grows up.
4 ½ stars
Running Time: 152 minutes
Release Date: In cinemas now
Cast: Matt Damon, Christian Bale, Jon Bernthal, Caitriona Balfe, Noah Jupe, Josh Lucas, Ray McKinnon, Tracy Letts