This is how movies should be made, a perfect mix of raw emotion and heart pounding thrills, the premise might seem like it’s a battle between Henry Ford II and Enzo Ferrari for dominance at the 24hr Le Mans race in the mid 1960’s, but this movie is so much more than that.
Ken Miles (Christian Bale) is a quirky Englishmen who runs a car garage in California, he also races souped up V8’s on the weekend and has great skill on the track. But he’s not exactly a people person although his son Peter (Noah Jupe) looks up to him and he has great banter with his wife Mollie (Caitriona Balfe).
Ken is also somewhat of a ‘car whisperer’; he talks to the cars he races in the hope for the ‘perfect lap’. On the other side of the world Enzo Ferrari (Remo Girone) and his beautiful machines have been churning out perfect laps for years in dominating Le Mans but in doing so they’re bleeding money.
Meanwhile the behemoth Ford Motor Company has gone into a slump and Henry Ford II (Tracy Letts) whose nickname is “the Deuce” has challenged his employees to come up with an idea to sell more cars or don’t bother coming back to the factory.
An executive Lee Iacocca (Jon Bernthal) comes up with an ‘out of the box’ plan to race at Le Mans, as the car buying public loves ‘winners’. Matt Damon is Carroll Shelby, the cowboy hat wearing racecar driver turned automotive designer, Shelby is the man Iacocca is hoping will build a car fast enough to take on the Ferrari’s at Le Mans.
The scenes on the track are heart pounding stuff as you hear the engines screaming around the track at unholy speeds trying to hit 7000 rpms, but you don’t have to be a car head to enjoy this movie; the friendship between Ken Miles and Carroll Shelby takes center stage and is pivotal as they not only battle the Ferrari’s but the meddling Ford executives as well.
Directed by James Mangold (3:10 to Yuma) who does a great job in this true story of building the drama off the track, this is a movie that will make you laugh and cry, it will shock and send you into a range of emotions, its all the ingredients you need for a great movie. A few times I found myself literally smiling through the scenes, owning a 1966 Mustang I know how rich the mid to late 60’s were to the Ford legacy.
The supporting cast is wonderful, look for Deadwood’s Priest Ray McKinnon, but this is the Damon and Bale show, they have great chemistry and continually bounce off each other. I’ve seen a few fantastic movies this year, Joker, Once upon a time in Hollywood, A Star is born, but this undoubtedly is the movie of the year.
hallymustang rating: 📽📽📽📽📽 5/5