Rating (2.5 out of 5)
Summary: The background of the reviewer can be important in understanding a critique. I thoroughly enjoy car racing. I religiously watch formula 1 and I think the 24 hours of Le Mans is a grueling race that defines careers. When I say this movie missed the mark for me, it is difficult because I love the subject.
The title doesn’t capture the actual plot of the story. This should have been “The Ken Miles Story” because that was the focus. Lost in Ken Miles was the story of Ford versus Ferrari. Documentaries on Netflix providing more insight into the actual Ford v Ferrari drama. And that drama is tremendously fascinating.
To summarize, this is about Ken Miles and his love of racing, and how the win at the Le Mans was mistakenly stolen from him. The first race between Ford v Ferrari is told to us while Ken and his wife dance on the factory floor. The racing scenes only appear when Ken is involved. There were other cars there, but we didn’t see them. Most of the time I was perplexed at the approach and then others I was bored as Ken and his wife had to discuss their future. Yawn!
Plot: Ken Miles (Christian Bale) struggles to make a living racing cars. Ford decides to beat Ferrari at Le Mans but they need help. They ask Carroll Shelby (Matt Damon) for help. Carroll asks Ken to race his cars. Can they all team together to win?
Detail: I watched the documentary “Shelby American”, which focuses on Carroll Shelby and “The 24 Hour War” about a week afterward. These are the movies I expected the dramatic reenactment. Both of these documentaries are extremely engaging and I would recommend them to anyone. Heck, my wife enjoyed “Shelby American” more than “Ford v Ferrari”.
The problem with the film is it never official picks a lane. Are we following Ford and their battle, which case we need to follow that management team? Are we following Carroll Shelby and the rise and fall of his reign at the 24 hours of Le Man? Are we following Miles and his career as a race driver/engineer? They tried all 3 and we ended up with a limp noodle of a film.