Monday, January 12, 2009



I was able to catch a showing of Gran Torino earlier this week, and was pleased with what I saw. I am not a huge fan Clint Eastwood as an actor, mostly because he is a crabby old man in every part he plays. He usually portrays the same part but in a different setting every film. When he was a stud early in his career he was a crabby young man.

This movie is definitely no different as Eastwood plays a bigotry Korean veteran named Walt living in a neighborhood full of new residents. His new neighbors are mostly Hmong people. As you can imagine Eastwood throws out a large amount of racial slurs throughout this film. Korean vet + new Asian neighbors = lots of racism. Walt's wife just died and he is on his own now. All he has left to treasure is his 1972 Ford Gran Torino.

The movie is based around Walt and one of his Hmong neighbors named Thao. Thao gets into some trouble with the Asian gang that is stalking him and his family. Walt ends up saving Thao from being taken by the gangsters as their dispute spills into Walt's lawn, and his life. The Hmong neighborhood sees him as a hero, and Walt begins to enjoy his new zipper head neighbors. The gang persists, and that's the story's conflict of interest. The film brings us through dilemmas until the ultimate showdown. Gran Torino definitely doesn't leave anything unsaid. This film actually had a decent script with intriguing dialogue between its characters. It was even funny at times with Eastwood being bigotry and all.

The characters themselves were very interesting, especially as the film progressed and the characters developed. Walt and Thao had some chemistry at times and were hardly compatible at others. The movie was not too long either which made it better in my mind. Too much face time with Old Eastwood is like starring at death. Speaking of wishing to die, as soon as the movie ends leave the theater immediately. Clint Eastwood sings a song for the closing credits making you wish you were a person who needed to watch every film with subtitles. Or that Mike Tyson bit your eardrums out. Eastwood's singing is American Idol gag real bad. After starring into the face of death, you actually hear death sing. I can't believe anyone who saw this film before it was released to the public didn't suggest or demand a track from any random album ever made. Even Shaq rapping at the end of this film would have finished this film better. Cue the lights!! Come on Shaq baby, DO YOUR THING!

Should you see Gran Torino?? I would say yes if you don't mind way too much racism or Clint Eastwood in general. It has a good story that keeps you interested the whole film with a good ending. The acting from our main Asian star Thao is pretty bad, almost ridiculously bad at times. Eastwood is even stale at times. This film has got Clint Eastwood written all over it. If that floats your boat, go give the movie theaters too much money to see it.


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