Movie Review Of Gran Torino In High Definition
“Gran Torino” sounds like a white guy mentors a black kid kind of gritty thing when you first hear about it. You almost cannot believe that Clint Eastwood would even play something like that. While there are some concerning racial undertones here, I was very shocked by how good the movie was.
Walt Kowalski is a military veteran and retired American auto worker. His wife has died and he only wishes to live in some kind of relative peace. He moves into a rough neighborhood and is discussed and angered by the unsupervised children running everywhere committing various crimes. He is not a fan of pretty much any race living around him. He is very old, very armed, and very anti-crime.
The drama of all this comes to a head when Thao, a very shy and very new thug, tries to steal his vintage Gran Torino as part of being initiated into a local street gang. Walt catches Thao mid-boost and the plot is set up. Thao has to follow Walt around, learning how to be a man and act like one. The hate Walt feels comes out strongly at first and the lessons are more centered around racial epithets than around real manhood at the beginning of the burgeoning friendship.
This strange grouping of people might seam like the makings of a comedy, but Clint Eastwood keeps his role in a very serious tone. Thao begins to change for the better and Walt tones down his hatefulness and learns to accept that different people can live together as good people so long as everyone is working toward the same end. He begins to effect the area around him.
The inner city environment comes alive in high definition and it is certainly worth a purchase for your home theater. The sounds of the city come alive thanks to Dolby high def sound. As the young and inexperienced actors he plays with allow their gang-banger characters to begin respecting the old white guy living next door, the old man learns a bit of tolerance toward his darker skinned movie companions. The characters range in style from Asian thugs, racist Italian barbers, upbeat and optimisic priests, and so on. Clint Eastwood is the only actor of notice here.
The life lessons shared in this movie are a big ham fisted, but the draw to the flick is more the human interaction and the depth of the filming inner city life. The shadows and lights come through beautifully in high definition and make this otherwise lackluster movie a modern work of art.