‘Ford v Ferrari’ shows how masculinity can make the world a better place

‘Ford v Ferrari’ shows how masculinity can make the world a better place, by Kyle Smith.

The new film “Ford v Ferrari” is a celebration of three of the most important energy sources in the world: capitalism, gasoline and testosterone.

The race-car drama flattened the latest tired, feminist iteration of “Charlie’s Angels” last weekend at the box office, proving that there’s an appetite for stories that haven’t been told a thousand times before and also for good old star luster, embodied by Christian Bale as British racer Ken Miles and Matt Damon as the Texas racer turned car designer Carroll Shelby. Yet “Ford v Ferrari” isn’t just a fun movie about pressing the pedal to the medal, it’s also an unapologetic salute to all the stuff we’ve forgotten is awesome: America, capitalism, corporations, competition, cars and especially hard-charging, fist-pumping, danger-scorning masculinity. …

Audiences are thrilling to “Ford v Ferrari” because in an age when every corner of the culture is shrieking “toxic masculinity,” the movie is a true account of how masculinity can make the world a better place. That obsessive need to compete pushes man to higher and higher levels. Sometimes that instinct to fight over everything — “to find quarrel in a straw,” in Hamlet’s words — manifests itself in strange ways, as when the two principals beat each other up with the contents of a sack of groceries. The New Yorker dubbed this scene “an erotic tangle,” but the spirit of it is Mars, not Eros. The two men are essentially brothers, and sometimes brothers communicate with their fists. Bravo to a movie that resists the mass psychosis telling us that there is something inherently wrong with acting like a man.