Set in the summer of 1957, Ferrari’s opening welcomes you with black-and-white images of old racing cars, which is immediately enticing and gives hope that there will be no shortage of action and gas burned. After all, Enzo himself used to be a competitor, although not very successful, but all the more passionate.
Of course, if you expect to learn something more about Enzo, apart from a few micro-snippets from the Second World War, the film only monitors the summer of 1957. The character of the almost 60-year-old Enzo, played by Adam Driver, is already introduced as a respectable wealthy manufacturer who owns a factory for expensive sports cars, but his only real (only) interest is racing.
The filmmakers didn’t particularly succeed in portraying the character either, since practically the only quality they attribute to Enzo is cold-bloodedness. The fact that the movie Ferrari has to deal with his double life with two families (he has a lover and a son with her), to cope with the loss of his first son Dino and also the fact that he spends a lot of money and goes bankrupt, as a character he is incredibly cold and without feelings or emotions .
And this fact is complemented by other scenes when Enzo doesn’t really decide that his own wife is shooting at him or that his factory test driver flies out of the car in a terrible accident before his eyes and dies on the spot. Overall, Enzo doesn’t mess with the pilots at all throughout the film, he seems very, very, very confident and pushes his charges to the edge. And those who don’t want to can get off the bike.
In fact, in some 120 minutes of the 140-minute film, Enzo’s daily life in the summer of 1957 stretches out at times unnecessarily long, which includes visits to the family tomb, his second family, interviews with journalists, clients, debates about the future and, last but not least, family studies influenced by Enzo’s wife holding a half stake in a car factory.
The solution to at least the factory crisis is to team up with a strong partner, which towards the end of the film is represented by a light courtship with Fiat, as well as the need to win the famous Mille Miglia (Thousand Miles) endurance race.
The Mille Miglia actually forms the final, most action-packed and motorist passage of the film, but the viewer-motorist will not miss the somewhat cheap execution of some action shots, where the camera is artificially knocked from side to side, which is supposed to simulate/evoke the action. At other times, the shots (design, angle) are too repetitive.
On the other hand, you’ll forgive the film because finally “something” is happening and famous names such as Stirling Moss appear in the plot, against whom, for example, Ferrari’s horse Alfonso de Portago stands. At the end of the film, expect a big twist, a huge tragedy, one of the few expressions of emotion by Enzo Ferrari, but also a quite unrealistically executed essential trick shot of the accident and its consequences.
In short, the film lacks that “drive”, “juice”, spice for the masses, if you will. The Ferrari theme is big, tempting, but perhaps that’s why a lot of money from the total budget of 95 million US dollars was spent on that gross Ferrari, so there was probably no money left for more well-known actors, i.e. for better film tricks. Apart from the names Adam Drive or Penélope Cruz, you probably won’t recognize any other actors.
On the biographical side of things, we would expect a little more information about Enzo’s life, i.e. the revelation of other character traits. Cold-bloodedness and passion for racing is a bit lacking.
We can’t say that the film should be a must-see, and we can’t even recommend it as a blockbuster of the year, but we’re not talking about a complete flop either. It is an average that targets people for whom the car is not just a can for transportation from point A to point B. The director of the film, Michael Mann, wanted to make the film in the 90s, which perhaps he should have done, maybe it would have turned out better.
The film Ferrari is, with great exaggeration, a very light version of a piece of cake. It is supposed to be a biographical sports drama, but there is only a little bit of everyone and the whole will probably only be enjoyed by real fans of the brand. An enthusiastic motorist will say at most “not great, not terrible” and people who have no relation to cars? So for them, this film can be a dull bore with a few bright moments.