Gran Turismo: Movie Review

Gran Turismo Movie Review: Captures the Thrill and Mayhem of Motorsport

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As video game adaptations go, "Gran Turismo" (or "Gran Turismo: Based on a True Story") succeeds because it decides to let go of its video game roots heavily right after the very first scene. This may be named after the popular Playstation racing simulator series but its narrative could have stood on its own even without the label. What we get is a drama-filled and inspiring story about pursuing your dreams and achieving greatness even in the most unlikely of circumstances.

Danny Moore (Orlando Bloom), a marketing executive at Nissan, pitches the idea of GT Academy to Nissan's motorsport division in which they accept but under the condition he hires someone experienced in racing to lead the project and ensure the safety of those involved. He recruits former race driver Jack Salter (David Harbour). In Cardiff, Jann Mardenborough (Archie Madekwe), struggles to fit with his family as his father (Djimon Hounsou), a former professional football player, disapproves of Jann's lack of realistic aspirations for himself. But when Jann is selected as one of GT Academy's recruits, his once impossible dream may just become reality.

We're sure you had your doubts about "Gran Turismo" - we certainly did. How could anyone make a compelling story about a video game that has no narrative at all? Luckily, "Gran Turismo" had the real-life GT Academy competition to work with and this was the gateway this film needed to make a decent run for it. The results are far from perfect but are way above decent and certainly exceeded our expectations. It certainly blew us away with the film's ability to capture the highs and and lows and magic of motorsport oh so well. In fact, people who were with us in the cinema cheered, jeered, and shouted as our lead character worked his way through his racing rivals. Ironically, racing was also the one of the film's biggest flaws. For us, the film summarized a lot of its races into montages - completely missing on a lot more emotions and raw thrills in our opinion. This, for us, was the decisive factor that could have made "Gran Turismo" into an instant classic or just a great film. Sadly, it's the latter. There are other minor issues that stood out like Jann's family being absent once GT Academy started and scenes that didn't quite made sense as they were marketing pushes for Nissan and Sony. At the end of it, "Gran Turismo" even with its flaws could have been a lot worse but it could have been better also. It's a great sports drama with enough atmosphere and spunk to hook you in.   

Rating: 3 and a half reels

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