After stepping out of my Charlie’s Angels (2019) screening, where I was the only person in the theater, one of the ushers asked me how I liked it. “Dreadful,” I replied, while purchasing my Ford v Ferrari admission. “Hopefully this one features men acting like men as they burn fossil fuels, throw punches, and stick it to the French.”
FVF is even better than I had hoped, better than its mostly glowing reviews. So much better.
The racing scenes are fantastic and feature almost no CGI. Matt Damon and Christian Bale are as appealing as they have been. And while the French do get it stuck to (as does Ferrari), there’s also an entertaining and important streak of anti-corporatism that drives the movie’s theme and plot. This is not so much Ford v Ferrari as much as it’s Two Individualists v Ford’s Corporate Suits. …
This is also the rare, big-budget Hollywood movie that focuses on the importance of fathers, that depicts two masculine men who are stoic rather than confessional, who prefer to communicate with a punch over a rap session, who drive fast and burn fossil fuels… Who do all this without apology, without a bossy harridan demeaning them about their “toy cars” and how it relates to penis size.
There is nothing pretentious about FVF, no buzzkills, no woke, no lectures, no puffed up sense of self-importance. Which doesn’t mean Mangold doesn’t have a message. Of course he does, and it’s a vital message told through character and theme about being your own man, about not getting chewed up in the corporate collective, about sons and fathers and husbands and wives and friends and chasing the impossible…
Real, and therefore credible. And oh so entertaining.