FILM REVIEW: Ford v Ferrari

Fast and furious: Matt Damon and Christian Bale are a powerhouse duo in real-life racing drama Ford v Ferrari, rated M, in cinemas now.

Fast and furious: Matt Damon and Christian Bale are a powerhouse duo in real-life racing drama Ford v Ferrari, rated M, in cinemas now.

You don't need to have the slightest interest in motor racing to enjoy Ford v Ferrari.

The new film from director James Mangold is a brilliant true story about the classic Ford motor company entering the racing sphere in the mid-60s, and the two men who helped make it a reality.

Matt Damon and Christian Bale take the lead roles in Ford v Ferrari, as former racer turned car designer Carroll Shelby and hotheaded racer Ken Miles.

The pair have an easy chemistry, a friendship that is not hard to believe and invest in.

While both Damon and Bale are powerhouse actors, it's the latter who really shines on screen in this racing drama.

Bale has always had the ability to disappear into his roles like fellow Brit Daniel Day-Lewis, and Ford v Ferrari is no exception.

Even though Miles is a little rough around the edges, quick to anger and has a high opinion of himself, Bale infuses him with such warmth and passion for what he does that it's impossible not to like him and cheer him on.

The film takes audiences through Shelby and Miles' work creating a Ford vehicle that could take on a Ferrari in the world's toughest race - Le Mans.

Le Mans is a 24-hour race held in France and in the mid-60s Ferrari had the win on lock.

And while the title may read Ford v Ferrari, the real battle in the film is Ford executives v Shelby and Miles.

The suits don't believe Miles - with his turbulent personality - fits the Ford aesthetic and try to remove him at every opportunity, despite the fact that he's the best man for the job.

A brilliant cast of support players enhance the film, from Tracy Letts (Lady Bird) as Henry Ford II to Josh Lucas (Red Dog) and Jon Bernthal (The Accountant) as senior Ford management.

While Ford v Ferrari may be a touch on the lengthy side - clocking in at just over two and a half hours - director Mangold is so skilled it never feels boring or overdone.

Which should be no surprise given his filmography includes such gems as Walk the Line, Logan and Girl, Interrupted.

Whether you're a racing fan or just a fan of good stories told well, you won't go astray catching Ford v Ferrari on the big screen.

Rating: 8/10