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Wednesday, June 29, 2022

Ford v. Ferrari – Molto Bene

Ben Nietzel
Ben Nietzel works as the principal of Saints Mary and Mathias Catholic School. He also enjoys coaching Muskie football and reviewing movies.

Muscatine Living

 Ford v. Ferrari is based on the true story of the rivalry that developed between Ford Motor Company and Ferrari in the 1960s.

Pro – Interesting

Based on a true story, Ford v. Ferrari is a compelling story. When a failed acquisition ends in embarrassment and insults from Ferrari boss Enzo Ferrari towards Henry Ford II, things get personal. Ford dedicates a sizable chunk of its massive resources to beating Ferrari in the race that matters most to Ferrari, the 24 hours at Le Mans. With the help of former winner and designer Carroll Shelby (Matt Damon) and his brilliant yet difficult test driver friend, Ken Miles (Christian Bale), Ford begins to develop the Ford GT40. With Ken behind the wheel, Ford takes its super car to Le Mans in 1966 with the hope of dethroning and embarrassing the Italians. It’s a great story of perseverance, friendship, and the human capacity to screw up even those things that matter greatly to us.

Pro – A Car Movie

Anyone who loves, or even just likes, cars is going to love this movie. While Ford and Ferrari obviously feature heavily in the film, the film is a buffet of vintage sports cars from the 1960’s. It’s certainly going to be nostalgic for many, but even for the younger crowd, it’s fascinating to see all the fifty-year-old classics flying around the big screen. 

 Not only is the “scenery” nice, but Ford v. Ferrari does what all great car movies do, it puts you behind the wheel. It’s filmed in such a way so that the audience can feel the speed and power of these amazing machines as they hurtle down the racetrack and around town. In some ways, it’s Fast and Furious for the “blue plate special” crowd, and yet, these cars are so undeniably cool the appeal is universal. Just be warned, it’s a little depressing leaving this film and going outside to start up your Ford Escape or Toyota Sienna.

Pro – Top of Their Game

Ford v. Ferrari must have taken all the money they saved on coming up with a good title and rolled it into their acting budget. Academy Award winners Damon and Bale anchor the film. Both are fantastic in this film. Damon is excellent, as he is constantly forced to walk the line between doing what he knows is right and the many corporate mandates he receives. Bale manages to make Ken Miles into exactly who Ken Miles was said to have been, a guy who could be a stubborn, unlikeable jerk, and yet a legendary racer loved and revered by many. It’s not something easily pulled off in the run time of a movie.

John Bernthal (Punisher) is great as Lee Iacocca, who comes off looking much cooler than a kid growing up in the 80’s would have expected. Special mention should also go to Remo Girone’s Enzo Ferrari, who was excellent in his brief scenes.

Ford v. Ferrari is a great movie. It’s fun, it’s interesting, and it’s an awesome car movie, even for people that really aren’t into cars. Don’t let the horrible name fool you, this is a movie that you’ll want to check out. Race down to the Fridley Palms Theatre because this movie and it’s 7,000 RPMs are best experienced on a big screen with a big sound system.

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