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Author Topic: Ferrari Movie Review  (Read 328044 times)

Offline Jericoke

Ferrari Movie Review
« on: December 30, 2023, 03:25:43 AM »
Movie Review:  Ferrari

I’ve been looking forward to this movie.  Michael Mann is a great director.  Adam Driver and Penolope Cruz are fantastic directors.  Ferrari is THE name in racing.  The stars were lining up to create the definitive racing movie.

Alas, the stars crashed and burned.

The definitive racing movie is still ‘Ford v Ferrari’.   Whereas ‘Ferrari’ feels like something from the past.  The ‘biography’ approach of the movie is just recreating events that may (or may not) have happened.  They don’t follow the modern idea of a biography having a theme, telling a story.  Similarly, the ‘racing’ aspects of the movie just feel like someone filming Sunday drives, not the intense racing action that ‘Ford v Ferrari’ gave us.

Before I get into more detail about how the movie disappointed me, it’s not completely lost.  Adam Driver plays an absolutely fantastic version of Enzo Ferrari.  Even though he’s known for being a passionate dedicated racer and larger than life figure, he always seems to be portrayed as a distant aloof authority figure.  Driver captures that passion, a man who has the world on a string, but is on the verge of losing it all.  Honestly, I know far less about Laura Ferrari, but Cruz plays her as the equal of Enzo.  They’re not a ying yang, but two sides of the same coin that make the Ferrari company what it is.  She’s just as passionate and dedicated as Enzo, and Cruz is the equal of Driver in any scene they share, and very much holds any scene she’s in without him.

Alas, the rest of the cast, they do a fine job, but there’s very little for them to do, and they’re not elevating what they’ve been given.  There are plenty of drivers in the movie, and the group of them have no personality at all. There’s nothing to tell them apart.  Some of them are playing famous drivers.   I think.  I couldn’t keep track.  We’re told they’re daring men, willingly taking their lives into the hands for glory, but we don’t really see that.  ‘Rush’ really makes that the central point of the movie, having the drivers deal with the potential mortality of the sport and accepting that.  ‘Ferrari’ doesn’t come close to that bar, which makes it pale in comparison.

As I mentioned earlier, the racing scenes don’t hold a candle to the ones in ‘Ford v Ferrari’, but for a movie coming out in 2023 I shouldn’t see actors filmed against blue screens nor mannequins in car crashes that are just cars rolling down a hill.  Despite showing several races, there are two scenes with any drama or interest at all, and it’s virtually impossible to tell what’s going on the rest of the time.  We’re given no help knowing who is in which car, or which cars we are supposed to be cheering for.
The biggest sin though is there is no story.  Plenty of threads are present.  Enzo is a bit of an asshole who has never had to face consequences, except things that happened in the past off screen.  Maybe a movie about those consequences would be interesting.  The company is in trouble, but somehow winning a race is going to save it.  Why is the company in trouble?  How will winning a single race save it?  He’s cheating on his wife, but he’s not forced to choose.  He’s got an illegitimate son who needs to be recognized… or not… before his confirmation, but that’s only addressed in a post script text block.  What makes Enzo a great car designer?  IS he a good car designer?  Is he responsible for the drivers he hires, or are they just hired guns who live and die?  When there’s a fatal accident, who’s fault is it?  Again, that’s not really part of the movie, but also summarized in a post script text block.  So many interesting threads, but they just end up in a jumbled pile.

Except, in the final scene with Cruz and Driver, we do finally see what the movie is about.  We find out why the movie is called ‘Ferrari’ and ‘Enzo’ or ‘Enzo Ferrari’ or ‘Mille Miglia’.  Even though we’ve been following Enzo, it turns out the movie is about Laura Ferrari’s journey.  She’s the one holding everything together the whole time, putting the ‘support’ in supporting character.

The movie isn’t great, but Driver and Cruz are worth watching.

Parental warning:  there is a graphic (true) car crash.  It’s foreshadowed a mile away, but there’s dead and dismembered bodies all over the place.  The scene is made like it’s the centerpiece of the movie, but it’s a historic footnote to the story.

Offline cosworth151

Re: Ferrari Movie Review
« Reply #1 on: December 30, 2023, 04:53:44 PM »
I'd love to see it but the closest place I can find it showing is almost a hundred mile round trip.
“You can search the world over for the finer things, but you won't find a match for the American road and the creatures that live on it.”
― Bob Dylan

Offline Jericoke

Re: Ferrari Movie Review
« Reply #2 on: December 30, 2023, 05:10:37 PM »
I'd love to see it but the closest place I can find it showing is almost a hundred mile round trip.

I would have been VERY disappointed to drive that far and then suffer through 'Ferrari' lol

As it happens, the night before I saw 'Ferrari' I did drive about 100 miles to see John Oliver perform stand up comedy in Niagara Falls.  That was a far more entertaining evening, including 4 hours of driving through heavy fog.

Offline cosworth151

Re: Ferrari Movie Review
« Reply #3 on: January 05, 2024, 05:59:56 PM »
I finally got to see it with only a 50 mile round trip. (The theater did have "DreamLounger" power recliner seating)

All in all, I liked it. The cars alone made it worth the trip. Seeing Marino Franchitti, as Eugenio Castellotti, blasting around the Modena circuit in a real Ferrari 801 GP car was amazing. Even the replica cars were custom built to match laser scans of the real thing. They're built on Caterham underpinnings. (see link below).

The gore was a bit overdone for my taste. Still I've seen far, far worse racing films.

My favorite line of the movie - In a scene with Enzo, the drivers and team engineers in the factory cafeteria, one of them says, "The British have a wonderful new invention. They call them brakes."
“You can search the world over for the finer things, but you won't find a match for the American road and the creatures that live on it.”
― Bob Dylan


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