In recent years, films like “Ford vs Ferrari” and “Rush” became some of the most exhilarating theatrical experiences. “Ford vs Ferrari” even won an Oscar for its snappy editing. It built the necessary tension without losing the momentum during the race sequences. As viewers, we often watch these movies to seek an adrenaline rush. While both “Rush” & “FvF” kept us glued to the screen, “Race for Glory: Audi vs. Lancia” (Original title: “2 Win”) feels quite sterile for the most part. Despite having a similar element of rivalry and an underdog tale, it falls surprisingly flat and feels lackluster.  

“Race for Glory” is inspired by real-life events from the 1983 Rally World Championship. It revolves around the feud between Germany’s Audi and Italy’s Lancia. A majority of its runtime unfolds in back-room discussions that shed light on how commerce plays a part in these races. A company’s win or loss can effectively shape its brand personality or cause, at least, some short-term damage. The film briefly shows how public perception, based on these flashy events, plays a part in the company’s sales.  This particular detail reminded me of last year’s “Air” – since it focused on the aspect of brand image. It showed Matt Damon’s character, convincing other Nike employees to support his vision to improve the brand’s performance. Despite being a dialogue-driven film, it did not feel dull or tedious, even for a single moment. 

“Race for Glory” squanders the opportunity to use its writing to its advantage. I don’t mean that the dialogue writing had to be as entertaining as in “Air.” But the writers could have at least worked a bit more on the human element that’s behind these decisions. After all, the story is essentially about a perceived loser rising above his limitations, tolerating insults and disrespect to finally emerge victorious. Regardless, the film rarely rises to that level of greatness. Its English-language dialogues also seem more directed toward proving a point than being organic. 

A still from 'Race for Glory - Audi vs Lancia.'
A still from ‘Race for Glory – Audi vs Lancia.’

The writing could have effectively portrayed Cesari’s strong will – to rise above Lancia’s then-state. After all, it is an underdog tale. Unfortunately, it never quite captures our belief in their passion the way movies like Aaron Sorkin’s “Moneyball” or “Air” do. The script is so painfully by-the-numbers that it rarely leaves a moment of strong emotional connection. 

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Of course, there are moments of excitement every now and then. “Race for Glory” is structured similarly to “Ford vs Ferrari” – in terms of how it distributes its timespan. After a while of build-up, the race finally begins in the end. However, the race scenes do not excite us nearly enough because of their uneven editing. In such cases, filmmakers can gradually amp up the tension to make us wait for the finale. However, the direction for “RfG” feels almost disinterested in presenting these finer details.

Besides, we do not feel for the characters as strongly as we do in “FvF.” The 2019 film took its time to build the arc for Christian Bale’s character. We rooted for him as we rooted for Brad Pitt’s character in “Moneyball.” Both used the father-child relationship to make us care for their passion. “Race for Glory” misses that chance despite Riccardo Scamarcio’s admirable performance. The film introduces Jane McCoy (played by Katie Clarkson-Hill) as a supporting pillar for Cesare. However, her character has almost nothing more to offer than being just that.

Daniel Brühl, who plays Audi’s Roland Gumpert, appears rather fleetingly but has a strong presence. Even his cameo in “Inglorious Bastards” is more impactful than this role. “Race for Glory” just does not give us enough of a chance to form any opinion about him. In usual narratives, such a character could have at least been used as a strong antagonistic force. In “RfG,” Gumpert’s presence is hardly felt to that degree.  

To conclude, “Race for Glory: Audi vs. Lancia” had plenty of elements to make it work. It had strong actors like Scamarcio & Brühl to do the heavy lifting. But with undercooked writing, they could only do so much.

Read More: Where to Watch & Stream the racing movie ‘Race for Glory: Audi Vs. Lancia’?

Race for Glory: Audi vs. Lancia Links: IMDb, Wikipedia
Race for Glory: Audi vs. Lancia Director: Stefano Mordini
The Cast of Race for Glory: Audi vs. Lancia: Daniel Brühl, Riccardo Scamarcio, Volker Bruch, Katie Clarkson-Hill, Esther Garrel, Giulio Brizzi

Where to watch Race for Glory: Audi vs. Lancia

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