Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Gran Torino

When this first came out I really had no interest in seeing it. Even when it was getting rave reviews from people I still wanted nothing to do with it. But, it came through on my sister's netflix and we decided to watch it.

I am not sure what kept me away - perhaps it's the fact that I don't feel Clint Eastwood is a really good actor, in fact he is pretty horrible in my opinion. I have been running through his movies that I have seen in my head and I cannot come up with a single one that I have enjoyed. That could have been the driving factor of me not wanting to see this film.

But, I did anyway. And, Eastwood was again not that great of an actor - but the film around him was good enough and I was able to not let his overacting and horrible, horrible voice keep me from enjoying it.

Gran Torino is the title of the movie and a symbol to a bond that is formed throughout the film between Walt (Eastwood) and Thao (Bee Vang), a Hmong teenager who lives next door.

Walt is a Korean Wat veteran who hates pretty much all races - including his own offspring. He is basically an old crumudgeon, which is kicked into a high gear after his wife passes away.

Thao and his family move in next door to Walt, and he does his best to stay away from them and not interact. Thao's cousin is in a gang in the neighborhood and feels that Thao should join the gang as well - as a part of his initiation he must steal Walts' Gran Torino. Walt catches him, however, and Thao's family insists that Walt use him as a laborer to help repay and regain respect to their name.

Thao's sister, Sue (Ahney Her), also befriends Walt and puts up with all of his racist comments and horrible attitude. Walt even begins to enjoy her company - although I doubt he'd admit that. Sue was a standout character for me and I really enjoyed the acting job by Ahney Her.

Anyway, the rest of the story is about the bonding between a racist old man and his Hmong teenage neighbor. There are definitely a lot of subplots that occur throughout the film that are all pretty interesting, but that is the main one.

I would say this is a pretty enjoyable film and I can definitely relate - I know a ton of older gentlemen that act about the same as Walt does in this film. It's good to see that a leopard can change its spots.

Probably my favorite Eastwood film - acting wise. I have still not seen (but I will) his other films that he has directed.


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