Gran Turismo Movie Review Rating:

Star Cast: David Harbour, Orlando Bloom, Archie Madekwe, Darren Barnet, and ensemble.

Director: Neill Blomkamp

Gran Turismo Movie Review
Gran Turismo Movie Review (Picture Credit: IMDB)

What’s Good: It is to the credit of a moving screenplay, felt performances, and an excellent technical team that the viewer is transported to the driving seat and each turn is felt.

What’s Bad: Some clichés that the scripts resort to, but they aren’t so bothering that you don’t watch the movie.

Loo Break: Only if you can’t hold it longer.

Watch or Not?: It’s a wholesome experience with some flaws, but if you are surrendering to the vision without consuming any promotional content about the movie like me, you are up for a ride, literally!

Language: English (with subtitles).

Available On:  In Theatres Near You.

Runtime: 137 Minutes.

User Rating:

Based on a fascinating true story, a Gran Turismo gamer, Jann Mardenborough (Archie), is selected to race for real with professional racers and on some of the toughest tracks. He takes up the job while the world looks at him as a joke and comes out victorious proving everyone wrong.

Gran Turismo Movie Review
Gran Turismo Movie Review (Picture Credit: IMDB)

Gran Turismo Movie Review: Script Analysis

The biggest risk in sports dramas, and one that is not of the popular knowledge, is that walk that a filmmaker does on the line between going too much into detail, like an educational documentary, and an over dramatic approach that dilutes the central conflict. A perfect balance of the two with a very fine technical team is what can ‘drive’ a movie so complex. We have seen many failing. Additionally, Gran Turismo is based on the life of a living person who serves as a stunt double to the actor playing him in this movie. Yes, for real! So the pressure is not just to prove it to the audience, but also be true to the subject who is himself involved in making it.

Gran Turismo, with Jason Hall and Zach Baylin on screenplay, with the former also credited for story with Alex Tse, is a very interestingly written movie. For someone like me, who hasn’t consumed any promotional content about it, and is also not sound with the racing world, this seemed like a gateway to a new vibe and an adrenaline-pumping zone that I was unaware of. While Direction takes home most of the credit, the writing in Gran Turismo that is equally at par and deserves to be spoken about. It is not interested in writing this story in broad strokes by putting their subject on a pedestal, but it always keeps him on ground so one can empathise with him.

The film is not away from the cliches. Rather, the blueprint is very much like the sports dramas we have seen. An underdog who bounces out of nowhere, a moment of realisation, a fall, the sufferings and attempts to bounce back, people coming in the way, and victory. Gran Turismo literally walks through each of those plot devices and yet feels fresh because it blurs the lines between two worlds that are never meant to meet. It is almost fantasy because who would have thought a gamer who has only driven racing cars with a console in his bedroom will be driving a real one on the toughest racing tracks ever.

It the emotion and bonds the writing manages to create helps. A man with a past that breaks him even today, trying to teach a boy who could be his redemption and claim what he couldn’t, is a trajectory that moves. It is the heart between the machines and eventually the machines getting a life that works in the favour of this movie that at a point, gets on the rim of entering the over-explanatory zone. The teams saves it, though.

Gran Turismo Movie Review: Star Performance

David Harbour, as a father figure, has a unique charm. He can be sarcastic and give life lessons looking into the camera, and I will pay to watch it over and over again. His performance makes you feel like he is someone you know, his pain seems felt and that is how a true performer spreads his magic.

Archie Madekwe proves why there is so much hype around him. He doesn’t have much room to improvise because he is playing a real-life person. But he makes sure that he never gets into mimicking but sticks to acting. His performance is balanced and his outbreaks touch you like they should.

Orlando Bloom as the mediator between Nissan and Jann, is brilliant. He embodies the evil, greedy attitude of the people in power and how they can put lives in danger to prove their point and earn big. Every life for them in a commodity they invest it. If someone doesn’t make it, well, an experiment that didn’t work. Bloom makes sure you hate him but also look at him as the middleman who has to serve. A very good performance.

Gran Turismo Movie Review
Gran Turismo Movie Review (Picture Credit: IMDB)

Gran Turismo Movie Review: Direction, Music

Neill Blomkamp’s love affair with machines and fitting a heart into them continues with Gran Turismo. For a man who has built a career around movies that talk about fantasy and technology, he has a story that is nothing less than a fantasy but has happened for real. He makes sure that he blurs the line between the two worlds for Jann, not just ideologically but visually.

Jacques Jouffret, with his camera, helps Neill in achieving some very interesting visuals. When they blend the two worlds by imagining a racing track around Jann when he plays the game in his bedroom, and the gaming UI around him when he is racing for real help a lot to the viewer who wants to understand the mindset of the part.

Lorne Balfe and Andrew Kawczynski’s music isn’t subtle at all. They want you to feel a certain way, and they don’t make the music underplay but keep it quiet in the face. It helps, and sometimes it doesn’t.

Gran Turismo Movie Review: The Last Word

Gran Turismo is a good film and deserves an audience. The filmmaker has managed to create a moving film with a cast that understands the responsibility of telling this story.

Gran Turismo Trailer

Gran Turismo releases on 25 August, 2023.

Share with us your experience of watching Gran Turismo.

For more recommendations, read our Barbie Movie Review here.

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