Shelby won the 24hr Le Mans in 1959, then immediately retired due to health reasons, before selling and designing cars. This leads to him managing Miles, who one could think might be a little ‘over the hill’ being in his mid-40s, and I say that as I’m in that bracket myself, and I wouldn’t fancy driving a car at 230mph down the Mulsanne Straight (the home-run section of the Le Mans race).
Like a lot of films based on real-life stories, and to which I don’t know the outcome, I make sure I don’t look up anything about the characters until I’ve got to the end. Even with 2013’s Rush, I didn’t know what the outcome would be between James Hunt and Nicky Lauda.
In this film, Ford want to win the next Le Mans, but Ferrari have won the last four out of five. Automobile executive Lee Iacocca (Jon Bernthal – Baby Driver) wants them to get cracking on figuring out a way to beat Ferrari, and checking out their hand-built cars. H offers them a partnership deal, but there has to be a rivalry as per the original title, so how do you think that’ll go?
There’s a lot going on in the first third of the film, and given the two separate plots between Ken Miles aiming to race Le Mans, and the other with the competition between Ford and Ferrari (making the US title seem more accurate), it does feel like there’s two separate films being spliced together until things settle down. Hence, it’s no surprise that the film runs for two-and-a-half-hours. However, the two paths do start to cross around 35 minutes in.
In essence, Shelby wants to work with Ford to make a car that’ll beat Ferrari, and they have just 90 days to do it in. The last third is where it all happens with the Le Mans 24-hour race, but it’s a shame the film is so plodding to get there. They could easily have tightened things up to get around the two-hour running time like Rush.
At that swaid, at least, when it gets technical, it’s still very accessible.
The picture and the sound is spot-on for a modern movie, with the roar of the race track hitting home all around you in the speakers.
There’s just one main extra: Bringing The Rivalry To Life (59:52), but it runs for 8 seconds short of an hour, it mixes clips from the film with chat from the cast and crew, and is split up into individual chapters: The Perfect Lap, Directing The Rivalry, The Real Ken Miles, The Real Carroll Shelby, The Real Ford GT40, What Makes a Good Movie Car, Creating An Era, Brotherhood.
Even if the film is hit and miss, it was mostly interesting to concentrating on the chapters in this that focus on the two lead characters.
There’s also an Audio description track if that’s your bag.
The menu mixes clips from the film with a short piece of the score, and chapters-wise, Fox eclipses Ready Or Not‘s 32 with 40! Yes, 40 chapters! Why doesn’t this happen ALL the time? However, as with that movie, the box just states “English” for BOTH languages and subtitles, when there’s more, and you can check those out below. I wish Fox would sort this out.
It also lists the running time as 146 minutes rather than 152 minutes. DVDs run 4% faster than film because they run at 25fps, and Fox have just quoted that format’s figure rather than what it should be for the Blu-ray.
(click on the image for the full-sized version)
Running time: 152 minutes
Studio: 20th Centry Fox Home Entertainment
Released: March 23rd 2020
Picture: 1080p High Definition
Languages/Sound: DTS HD Master Audio 7.1: English; DTS 5.1: French, Spanish, German, Italian; DD 2.0: English
Subtitles: English SDH, French, Spanish, Danish, Dutch, Finnish, German, Italian, Norwegian, Swedish
Format: 2.39:1 (ARRIRAW (4.5K), Dolby Vision, Anamorphic Panavision)
Disc Format: BD50 (Region Free)
Director: James Mangold
Producers: Peter Chernin, James Mangold, Jenno Topping
Screenplay: Jez Butterworth, John-Henry Butterworth, Jason Keller
Music: Marco Beltrami, Buck Sanders
Carroll Shelby: Matt Damon
Ken Miles: Christian Bale
Lee Iacocca: Jon Bernthal
Mollie Miles: Caitriona Balfe
Leo Beebe: Josh Lucas
Peter Miles: Noah Jupe
Henry Ford II: Tracy Letts
Enzo Ferrari: Remo Girone
Phil Remington: Ray McKinnon
Roy Lunn: JJ Feild
Charlie Agapiou: Jack McMullen
Franco Gozzi: Corrado Invernizzi
Don Frey: Joe Williamson
Ford Executive Ian: Ian Harding
John Holman: Christopher Darga
Al ‘Gus’ Scussel: Shawn Law
Aeronutronics Chief Engineer: Emil Beheshti
Bob Bondurant: Darrin Prescott
Reviewer of movies, videogames and music since 1994. Aortic valve operation survivor from the same year. Running DVDfever.co.uk since 2000. Nobel Peace Prize winner 2021.