Gran Torino Review

June 11, 2009 at 12:48 pm (Movies)

What’s better than watching an old man use a gravelly voice to ramble and threaten for 2 hours? How about Clint Eastwood a.k.a. Dirty Harry use violence to make his point and then represent an older version of Christian Bale by using a gravelly voice through the movie? Gran Torino is not only a movie that you absolutely need to see, it’s one of the best movies I’ve seen a while filled to the brim with deep drama, a captivating story, some stellar performances by Clint Eastwood, and even some humor here and there. The story follows an older widower by the name of Walt (Clint Eastwood), who, mourning after the death of his wife, is left alone to deal with his life. He’s basically been left alone by all of his friends and family, and simply wants to live out the rest of his days without anyone bothering him, and that includes his new slew of Asian neighbors. Pretty soon though he puts himself into the middle of a neighborhood gang war, and is forced to deal with the consequences. First off, my hat goes off to Clint Eastwood for a beyond stellar portrayal of the classic curmudgeon. He perfectly portrays in his own gravelly voice all of his thoughts, whether or not they’re nice, and instills a genuine fear in the audience. In other words, he doesn’t care what you think and he will scare the crap out of you with some of the stuff he says, like-

  • “Ever notice how you come across somebody once in a while you shouldn’t have f$&ked with? That’s me.”
  • “The hardest thing a man has to live with isn’t what he was ordered to do. It’s the things he wasn’t ordered to do.”
  • “[about Korea] We shot men, stabbed them with bayonets, chopped up 17 year olds with shovels.”
  • “I confess that I have no desire to confess to a boy that’s just out of the seminary.”
  • “I think you’re an overeducated 27-year-old virgin who likes to hold the hands of superstitious old ladies and promise them eternity.”
  • Any my Favorite-“Yeah? I blow a hole in your face and then I go in the house… and I sleep like a baby. You can count on that. We used to stack f$^ks like you five feet high in Korea… use you for sandbags.”

Clint Eastwood proves in this one that he didn’t put up his awesome ways just when he finished up with Dirty Harry. The best aspect of the movie is hearing Walt, this multi-layered character, carry each sentence that leaves his mouth with an intensity and experience that makes you realize this guy has went to hades and back, and just wants to be left alone. The entire storyline of the movie kinda follows this pattern too. There’s a certain weight, a certain depth of realism with a touch of intrigue that makes it incredibly real and gritty but yet still watchable. The grittiness in part thanks to the 82 F Bombs, which, personally didn’t bother me. Do you really think gangs driving by are gonna say “Bro I’m gonna FUDGE you up!”? The language is never flashy, but it’s real. The story is only complimented by a real sense of drama that truly envelopes you in the story and makes things all the more real, you’ll be rooting for all of these characters, especially Walt, by the end of the movie. Sitting through the movie at a time of day at which I’d usually fall asleep I didn’t yawn once during this movie. In fact I was sad and willing to watch another hour by the end of it. It’s almost kinda funny how Clint Eastwood directs this so well, and he’s directing himself, his own character, which only makes the final resolution make all the more sense and more peaceful. The only real fault I could find was that yea, it could get a little slow in the middle when the gang violence kinda takes a break between the first and final acts. Pretty soon though through the act you start to get a feel for things. Gran Torino is a lot of things. In a way it’s a gang story, in the other it’s a story of a man passing on knowledge, in the other it’s a man learning about the burdens he carries, in another it’s a really deep dramatic story that will have you on the edge of your seat supplemented by stellar performances by an acting legend. Most of all though, it’s my new favorite movie. If you take anything from this, Gran Torino is a movie you have to see, and is a movie you will enjoy from the beginning scenes to the final resolution with Clint Eastwood singing away. 

5 out of 5

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