Gran Turismo | Review by: Benjamin Garrett


I grew up with the original PlayStation, and Gran Turismo spent a lot of time in that disc drive. The attention to detail and realism - there was no other racing game like it. Over the years the GT series has shown us the developers truly understand and respect racing, and cars in general. This movie does right by the games’ legacy, while also telling a true underdog story in the process. 

The film follows gamer turned professional driver Jann Mardenborough (Archie Madekwe), who was selected as part of a contest by Nissan to put gamers behind the wheel. As with most biopics, much of this story is a retelling of true events, but there’s a lot that’s changed for the sake of storytelling and entertainment value. Thankfully, these embellishments don’t diminish the inspirational message, and rarely feel like cheap additions thrown in to play on your emotions. David Harbour is fantastic as Jann’s driving coach, giving the best performance in the movie. 

Like a car hugging the track, the plot moves fast. Covering a lot of ground in Jann’s rise to fame, the movie flies through his training and many of his early races very quickly, and doesn’t give the viewer the experience of watching those races from start to finish. The montage style storytelling keeps the pacing brisk and effective, but a big part racing’s appeal is getting to see how each race is won or lost, which we don’t get much of. 

Every moment we do spend on the track is fast, loud and intense. As we’ve seen with his past films, Neil Blomkamp knows how to shoot action, and brings that skill set to the drivers seat in a way that had me anxiously gripping my armrest watching cars hurtle down the track at 300MPH. I loved the inclusion of elements from the game, such as CGI place rankings above the cars and digital race lines on the asphalt. 

If you’re a fan of the games or racing movies in general, Gran Turismo is a must watch. It sometimes feels like a big PlayStation and Nissan ad, but this inspirational underdog story has some serious torque under the hood. 


Review by: Benjamin Garrett

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