Gran Turismo (2023)

by | Aug 17, 2023 | Movie Reviews, New In Theaters | 0 comments

Gran Turismo is a fantastic live-action representation of the hyper-successful video game franchise and the racecar drivers it would eventually inspire. Taking the underdog story to video game simulation and racecar driving, this film smartly reaffirms the odds stacked against a kid who’s played video games his whole life and how those skills will translate in an actual super car. For all the simulation in the world, there’s nothing like being in a real car to race some of the world’s greatest tracks in several different weather conditions. However, there’s also something to be said for the obsession with detail that many gamers possess and the hundreds of hours they log customizing these racecars with up-to-date schematics and data.

Gran Turismo

Archie Madekwe plays real-life gamer turned racer Jann Mardenborough who grew up in England playing the Gran Turismo game with the highest level of simulation accessories offered to gamers. Having left school and spending most of his time racing the cars and tracks he’s memorized for years; Archie finds little support from his father Steve (Dijmon Hounsou) who think his obsession with video games will never amount to anything practical or meaningful. Things take a turn in Archie’s direction when Danny Moore (Orlando Bloom), a Nissan marketing employee, creates a contest for the best Gran Turismo racers to compete in with the goal of getting a chance to race in a real car against real professionals for Team Nissan.

From here, we launch into the stellar and adrenaline-fueled world of professional racing under the guidance of David Harbour’s Jack Slater, who acts as a mentor and advocate for Jann. Harbour’s team leader is one who’s extremely rigorous and demanding because he knows the risks associated with people driving heavy cars at insane speeds. There’s never a moment where the film doesn’t acknowledge how ludicrous it’s premise can be, but it also manages to keep your hope in Jann alive because you can clearly tell how much time and practice, he’s dedicated to truly learning each course and studying all the pieces of the cars and how they affect the vehicle. Watching how much he cares about cars and racing is extremely infectious and you find yourself rooting for him as his journey takes shape.

Director Neill Blomkamp is known best for District 9, Elysium, and Chappie, making this film a larger departure from the style of movie he’s used to making, but utilizing his visual flair and ability to make great looking action. All the best parts of films like Ford v Ferrari and Rush exist within Gran Turismo, giving us an unbelievably close look at what it takes to truly compete with these cars that are a work of genius and pure craftsmanship. The story of Jann Mardenborough was tailor-made for the silver screen, and it really does show how if you’re passionate about something and truly dedicate your mind and body to it, you can achieve incredible things and prove the doubters wrong every step of the way. Gran Turismo is such a blast and a brilliant adaptation of an already unbelievable story that any fan of cars, video games, and action can appreciate.

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