Exhilarating: Our Review of ‘Gran Turismo’

Posted in Movies, Theatrical by - August 25, 2023
Exhilarating: Our Review of ‘Gran Turismo’

There’s something about racing movies that gets the blood flowing. Maybe it’s the thrill of the high speed action, the squeal of the tires and the roar of the car. Or maybe it’s cheering for the underdog looking to win the big one that makes racing movies so entertaining. Whatever it is, Gran Turismo is the latest entry into the genre. And it’s well worth watching on the big screen.

Jann Mardenborough (Archie Madekwe, Midsommar) has wanted to be a race car driver all his life. Unfortunately he’s never had the money needed to pay for a car or training to follow his dreams. What he has been able to do however is master the PlayStation video game Gran Turismo. The racing simulator taught him the ins and outs of the sport, including everything he needed to know about the cars. He learns this without ever having stepped foot inside a race car or on a track. As one of the best players in the world, Jann is invited to compete against other gamers and learn how to race real cars instead of simulated ones. And the winner gets the chance to enter a real race. It’s a risky venture, but one he’s willing to take all the way to the 24 Hours of Le Mans.

Gran Turismo is based on a true story, and like all true story movies there is plenty of fiction in it. While some might question whether gamers ever set foot on a race track, that part is at least 100% accurate. Generally the story of the movie is accurate, but if you want the full truth you can easily find it online. Regardless of the facts, Gran Turismo is an exhilarating movie that will make your blood race. It’s very formulaic underdog story that we’ve watched many times, but it’s one of the better ones out there.

As usual, director Neill Blomkamp does a great job creating action scenes. The only difference is this time he’s cut down on the violence and swearing and gotten a PG-13 rating. Madekwe does a great job in the lead role as well, making you want cheer for him as he follows his dreams. But it’s his co-star David Harbour (Stranger Things) who steals the show. Harbour plays his coach, a failed driver who regrets past decisions and clearly speaks his mind on whatever he’s thinking. His wit never dulls throughout the film, and he will make you laugh when it’s on display.

The marketing for Gran Turismo may scare some people away. After all it focused on the aspect of a video game player wanting to be a race car driver. It might make some believe it’s a video game movie, or unrealistic. It’s neither of those things however, and the movie doesn’t put a lot of time into pushing the video game aspect. What it is however is a movie about an underdog chasing his dreams. It’s a movie you can sit back and enjoy for what it is, while sitting in the driver’s seats with Jann.

This post was written by
While Roderick has only been writing movie reviews for a relatively short time, he's been a fan of film for as long as he can remember. It's a love affair that started when he saw Star Wars at a drive-in theatre in Kitchener when he was four years old. In the past decade he's fulfilled his dream of interviewing celebrities, attending red carpets events at festivals such as TIFF and writing reviews for outlets such as Realstylenetwork.com. He's always on the hunt for the next big thing to hit the screen.
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