The ambitions of Ken Miles and Caroll Shelby are known throughout the automobile industry. Their names have been etched on prestigious race tracks as the once formidable force. Movies about their powerful collaboration have been made in the past. But they didn’t have the star power and magnanimity of Christian Bale and Matt Damon. Director James Mangold put together two strong stars and asked them to present a feature film about two iconic characters who made Ford’s name go down the history books of Le Mans.
The story revolves around Ford Motors’ historic win at the Le Mans thanks to the collaborative efforts of Ken Miles (Christian Bale) and Caroll Shelby (Matt Damon). A little back story of the two in question – Caroll Shelby, a car engineer and designer, Ken Miles, a British-born driver are thick as thieves. With the plummeting sales numbers of Ford Motors in 1963, Henry Ford II puts forth a challenge among his marketing peers and asks them to bring a strategy that would yield benefits and put the company’s name back in the market. A rather calculative executive from the team, Lee Iacocco ( Jon Bernthal) suggests that they put a Ford on the racetrack of Le Mans and compete with the four-time winner, Ferrari.
What unfolds further is how the two man army work on this said project. With Christian Bale and Matt Damon on board, you can’t really go wrong whatsoever. The two stars manage to shine, Christian a little more than Matt for reasons centering around the characters they portray. Ken Miles is a dynamic character with impeccable cockiness and an erratic temperament. Sure, it is not easy to get along with him but luckily, when he’s behind the wheels, that’s last of your concerns. Caroll Shelby is more like your smooth-talking sensible guy who is easy to get along with. Both the actors have churned out the best of their characters and portrayed something the audience would relish and devour with joy. Their camaraderie is certainly something worth mentioning as they fight like little boys in the playground. The ensemble cast including Jon Bernthal, Josh Lucas, Caitriona Balfe and more bring more life and colour to the script.
It’s amazing how director James Mangold has used the strengths of all the actors and displayed an amiable film. The adrenaline charged races, revving of engines, exchange of glances at the track and the music in the background all play a picture that motorheadss would definitely enjoy. Not to mention how the comic timing of the characters are so perfect that you’re never left with a dull moment. Well, can’t say the same about the conclusion of the movie. However, when you’re sitting and watching the whole show, you are drawn to the visuals and the storyline.