Fri. Oct 30th, 2020

Toronto Review: Another take on James Mangold’s electrifying race car drama ‘Ford v Ferrari’

Courtesy of TIFF

James Mangold’s latest is an exciting, thrilling and mature form of entertainment

A technical marvel fill of thrills and exciting, edge-of-your-seat moments. James Mangold’s FORD V FERRARI is the kind of adult entertainment studios just don’t do anymore. In a market saturated by $200 million budgeted superhero fare and struggling indie films made for a niche audience, FORD V FERRARI is a terrific example of how mid-budget studio films can and should be. Never uncompromising in vision yet fully accessible, exciting and entertaining, this should be a solid box office hit that pleases both racing fans and general audiences looking for a quality time at the movies.

Focusing on the true of a blossoming friendship and an iconic collaboration between two men whose one trait in common is limitless ambition, FORD V FERRARI focuses on Carroll Shelby (Matt Damon) who enlists the help of speed racer Ken Miles (Christian Bale) to put the Ford Motor Company at the heart of race car making in the 1960s, in an operation to transform the brand’s image and open up a new market for what was known to be a luxury car. Together, the two go head to head with Ferrari, a titan of audo racing.

What the film lacks in depth, perhaps deliberately thanks to Mangold’s sharp focus on the mechanics of racing, it makes up for countless electrifying moments on the racetrack that truly make the film soar, to the extent that puts viewers in the middle of the action, as if they were on the driver’s seat. The story takes us behind the scenes to discover how Shelby and Miles reached the incredible moment of victory but the film’s crowd-pleasing power, and key pull factor, will be the racing scenes.

Surely factoring in this year’s awards season for its stunning sound design, sound editing and film editing, the film holds your attention and never lets go thanks to brilliant technical credits that go all the way in capturing the essence, thrill and risks of racing with great detail and impeccable craft. Commanding performances from Damon and Bale help push the narrative forward and create a compelling story that is superbly put together to entice audiences – particularly Bale, one of the world’s greatest actors, who once again immerses himself in a fascinating character. As Miles, Bale captures the man’s supreme devotion to his craft and dedication to racing in what turns out to be a magnetic performance that celebrates Miles’ determination and conviction. As the story unfolds, the relationship between both men develops into much more than a business partnership and yields a long-lasting friendship.

While the film certainly relishes in conveying the thrill of the racetrack, the heart-stopping moments and the sweet victories against all odds and naysayers, FORD V FERRARI is ultimately a celebration of trust and confidence that two wildly ambitious men had for each other.

Verdict:  Exciting, electrifying and hugely entertaining, FORD V FERRARI is mature entertainment that audiences should seek in theatres. A quality time at the movies bolstered by phenomenal technical credits and committed performances.

Grade: B+

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