Sunday, January 18, 2009

Gran Turino Movie Review 19

"Did you ever notice once in a while you come across somebody once in a while you shouldn't have messed with? That's me!" This is just one of the brilliant lines delivered by Clint Eastwood in Gran Turino.He produced,directed and starred in this movie and gives a great performance.Clint plays Walter Kowalski a Korean war veteran who lives next door to a Hmong family.A what? A Hmong family.They are an Asian ethnic group of China/Laos and Thailand.He is the typical disgruntled veteran as he sees his old neighbourhood now dominated by immigrants but he is literally left flying the flag for the old school Americans.At the start we see his wife has just died so he is now on his own with his family thinking he is just a cranky old guy.He sees them as having no respect for the old ways and wants to be left alone with his faithful dog Daisy.

Thao played by Bee Vang is the next door teenager who is quiet and not very confident.He is hassled by an Hispanic gang but his older cousin's Hmong gang led by Spider saves him.They pressurise him into joining their gang and as part of his initiation he has to steal Kowalski's car.It is not just any car.It's a Gran Turino that Kowalski helped build when he worked in the car factory many years ago and is his pride and joy.Unfortunately for Thao, Kowalski catches him in the act and he runs away.When the gang return days later trying to force Thao again to join their gang Kowalski pulls out his rifle to get them to leave.So the battle lines are drawn between Kowalski and the Hmong gang with Thao and his family in the middle.Thao's older sister Sue played by Ahney Her befriends Walt and his attitude to immigrants begins to soften.

Jigsaw's Verdict (10/10)

The story develops probably how you can imagine but is done in a very good way.It never gets too sentimental and Kowalski keeps calling the Hmong family bad names out of habit!! Clint does a brilliant job in this movie although I still do not think it is as good as Mickey Rourke in The Wrestler.The ending was good also and to me it was unexpected.If you are still unsure about Gran Turino think of it as Falling Down 2 : D-Fens Father!!!! It is like D-Fens had a father and how he would be reacting to society!! I would thoroughly recommend this movie as it had a great story and never got too sentimental.Clint Eastwood is always brilliant to watch and it is great to see him in great movies still.

Amanda's Verdict (9/10)

I really liked this movie too. I thought that it was well-acted with a good solid story. I liked Clint Eastwood as the hardened war veteran who feels powerless in a modern world where he doesn't seem to fit in anymore. It was sad but not too sentimental which I liked. I thought that he is a very good director and I didn't even feel the two hours passing which I think is a very good sign.
In short its a very good movie with a good ending. I would definitely recommend this one for anyone who likes a good film with a very interesting story.

What did you think?


Tony Briley said...

Me and my Filipina wife went to see this, and both of us thought it was a great movie. Clint Eastwood reminded me a lot of my dad, and how he came to love my wife so much. We both laughed hysterically at his one liners toward Asians, and it gave her a lot of insight as to how many feel here and even why. When he told them to stay away from his dog, I thought my ribs were going to break from laughter.

Jigsaw said...

Thanks for the comment Tony.Yes it was a great movie with a great performance from Clint.The film said a lot but did it in an entertaining way.I'm glad your wife liked it also as I wondered what Asians thought of the movie but it dealt with things very well.

Tony Briley said...

I don't know any Asians that didn't like it, but neither my nor I are very sensitive, and neither are most of our friends. It was a very accurate depiction of how that age group perceives certain stereotypes.

Clint was definitely outstanding. I don't know how many more movies he'll be making in the future, but this will be one to remember, especially for a new generation that was able to enjoy it.

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