Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Gran Torino (2008) R - 4 Stars

What a great movie Clint Eastwood has produced. Though at first, I was wondering how he got away with it, considering all the racial comments. But the movie has an extremely honest breakdown between the two ethic groups, which form unlikely bonds in the end. Clint is getting old but still manages to bring that crusty yet, "Dirty Harry" attitude to his character.

Walt Kowalski (Clint Eastwood) is a Korean Veteran, still bitter from the war, and stuck in the middle of a Detroit neighborhood living next to Koreans and the gang of Hmong teens that plaque his streets. His wife has just passed away and he's finding that his own children are just wanting to stick him in a home, rather than deal with him. As a matter of fact, the only things that mean anything to Walt are his dog, his M1 rifle that protected him from the Koreans, and his spit shined polished classic Gran Torino.

One night, Tao (Bee Vang), Kowalski's teenage Korean neighbor, attempts to steal his Gran Torino, as part of a gang initiation. As Walt may be old but he's not dead, he manages to foil the attempt with his trusty rifle. Later, when the neighbors realize their son was responsible for the almost theft, their cultural pride forces them to offer Tao to Kowalski to work for him one week in order to make amends. They insist and Walt finds it easier to go along with them as they won't take no for an answer.

Kowalski decides to put Tao to work across the street cleaning up the eye sores of the run down homes, he's been facing these last few years. But when Tao turns out to be a hard worker, Walt decides he's possibly worth saving and helps him out by teaching him the trades of construction, eventually even finding him a job. Walt also discover that the only way he can come to terms with painful memories of his past is to face his own bitter prejudices head on.

Also staring Ahney Her as Sue and Christopher Carley as Father Janovich.

2008 - Gran Torino - American Film Institute - Best Picture
2008 - Gran Torino - National Board of Review - Best Original Screenplay
2008 - Gran Torino - National Board of Review - Best Actor

Village Roadshow Pictures Entertainment, Warner Bros. Pictures
Director: Clint Eastwood
Writers: Nick Schenck, Nick Schenk
Producers: Clint Eastwood, Robert Lorenz, Bill Gerber
I viewed 7/08


suZen said...

Just saw this movie - it was great!

Anonymous said...

It wasn't korean its hmong...