Batman v Superman, Freddy vs. Jason and Kramer vs. Kramer, there's been plenty of battles of the heavyweights depicted before in Hollywood however, none of them have been as fast or as furious as Ford v Ferrari (or Le Mans '66 as titled here in the UK), an adrenaline fuelled race to be the best from director James Mangold.

American car designer Carroll Shelby (Matt Damon) and driver Ken Miles (Christian Bale) battle against the corporation and themselves to build a revolutionary racing car for Ford to challenge Ferrari at the 24 Hours of Le Mans in 1966.
Le Mans '66 does what every great sports film should do in making you care about the characters first and foremost while the sport actually takes more of a backseat. The racing is, of course, rather prominent however, thanks to a great screenplay and James Mangold's direction, Le Mans '66 becomes a thoroughly entertaining ride of courage and determination that makes for such compelling viewing.

When the race sequences do come mind, they are as impressive as you can get, the ferocity of the competition really jumping off the screen, accompanied brilliantly by Marco Beltrami's pulsating score. It really is edge-of-your-seat thrills delivered at a blistering pace, the stunning visual effects and close proximity to all the racing action truly making this a cinematic experience to remember.

Coming to the performances, Le Mans '66 features two great lead performances from Matt Damon and Christian Bale, both lighting up the screen whenever present, particularly when sharing a scene. Throw in some strong support from the likes of Jon Bernthal and Josh Lucas, and Le Mans '66 becomes an even better film with a great ensemble on board.

What makes Le Mans '66 work so well for me is that you don't have to be major racing enthusiast to find something to enjoy, James Mangold making an incredibly accessible film for all to enjoy. I found myself enjoying it as much as Ron Howard's Rush a few years back, which is not a bad thing, at all.

Verdict: ★★★★½


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