Genre: Action/Thriller
Director: Neill Blomkamp
Cast: David Harbour, Orlando Bloom, Archie Madekwe, Darren Barnet, Geri Halliwell, Djimon Hounsou, Josha Stradowski, Thomas Kretschmann, Pepe Barroso, Maeve Courtier-Lilley, Daniel Puig
Runtime: 2 hr 14 mins
Rating: PG13 (Some Coarse Language)
Released By: Sony Pictures
Official Website: 

Opening Day: 24 August 2023

Synopsis: Based on the true story of Jann Mardenborough, the film is the ultimate wish fulfillment tale of a teenage Gran Turismo player whose gaming skills won a series of Nissan competitions to become an actual professional racecar driver. 

Movie Review:

Finally, here comes a movie that is based on a videogame that doesn’t sucks big time. The hurdle isn’t that high in the first place to overcome, good news is Gran Turismo not only manages to but also came in at quite a high score.

Based on the real-life story of British motorsports racing driver, Jann Mardenborough (Archie Madekwe) who first started his career as a “Gran Turismo” gaming expert in Wales. Jann’s life and career took a major turn when he came out as the winner at the GT Academy and went on to participate in the professional circuit.

Along for the ride is Danny Moore (Orlando Bloom), a Nissan motorsport executive who first mooted the idea of turning a video gamer into a racing driver. Then there is Jack Slater (David Harbour), a harsh racing trainer and engineer who takes a no-holds-barred approach to things.

While Neill Blomkamp is known for his flashy visual style and disappointing storytelling in movies liked Elysium and Chappie, Blomkamp seems to be on the right track with Gran Turismo. While the movie indeed features numerous driving and racing sequences, the core of the story lies in the development of the characters whom are considerably realized to the fullest especially with the relationship between Jann and his mentor, Jack.

Jack is the surrogate father to Jann on the racing track as the story goes. From his initial mistrust in the gamer to being a motivating, counselling figure to Jann after a trauma left him uncertain of his future racing career. Those nice quiet moments help to develop the characters and story further unlike another racing theme franchise who has mainly the word, “family” mouthed repeatedly and ended up as mere empty internet memes.

Though limited to a handful of scenes, there’s an emotional side portrayed to Jann’s parents as well. However, Djimon Hounsou and Geri Halliwell (Yes that’s Ginger Spice!) make up for the lack of screentime by giving it all with Hounsou playing the relatable, typical “Asian” dad who doesn’t understand his videogame playing son and Halliwell playing the ever supportive Western mother.

Archie Madekwe (Midsommar) is serviceable enough as the lead and his character has this ongoing thing about Kenny G and Enya which is both funny and real by the way. David Harbour (Stranger Things) no surprise here steals and elevates the show with his very likeable Jack Slater and Orlando Bloom is perfect as the smooth-talking executive.

With a good mix of CGI and physical action, the racing action is generally exhilarating and far more realistic than the F&F franchise. Again, Blomkamp and his team must be credited for making it as real as possible despite the material being based on a videogame. As mentioned prior, Gran Turismo can easily be turned into a messy, loud chaotic CGI fest by Blomkamp and thankfully it’s not in the end.

Definitely Blomkamp’s best movie after his District 9.

Movie Rating:




(Gran Turismo is a winner for fans and non-fans alike)

Review by Linus Tee


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