Gran Turismo | Review by: Stefano Bove


With every brand trying to build a movie universe, Sony made an excellent decision to base Gran Turismo off of the real life events surrounding the GT Academy and winner of the academy, Jann Mardenborough in 2011. This Sim-driver turned racer was given the opportunity to race against ninety-thousand of the worlds best sim-drivers  for an opportunity to drive a real car with the GT Academy and Nissan. 

The story begins with a dream to show the world that simulation racing and gaming is not just for fun and could be applied in real life. Danny Moore, played by Orlando Bloom spearheads the GT Academy and this grand opportunity for many gamers. He enlists Veteran driver, Jack Salter, played by David Harbour to train the winners to be real racers. Jann comes out on top and is given a spot on team Nissan to race competitively with the help of Danny Moore and Jack Salter and begins his career as a professional driver. 

As a racing enthusiast, the film does a fantastic job visually of bringing Gran Turismo and in-racing challenges to the big screen and is a solid introduction to the racing world for people who are unfamiliar with it. Jann Mardenborough's career has had many highs and lows, many of which are displayed in this film in the form of many on track rivalries and real life threatening incidents. 

David Harbour's character, although he was made up for the film, he is one of the best parts of the film and is the best written character in the film. Orlando Bloom's character only served a purpose in the first half of the film and is a very forgettable character. So forgettable that he could have been completely written out of the second half of the movie and nobody would have noticed. 

Gran Turismo is a true underdog story but even underdog stories have to have a level of believability. The pacing of the film is so fast that it makes Mardenboroughs skills seem unrealistic. This is due to the fast transition from race to race that seems as though the whole movie takes place within a summer but in fact, they took place over multiple years but the film fails to make us aware that this much time is passing. Even his time at the GT academy felt rushed before jumping right into a race with drivers that had years of experience over him. This film could have accomplished more with a tighter racing schedule and more character development in between races. Even with all of my nitpicking, it is still a great translation from game to the big screen that is extremely different from any other attempt at a live action video game adaptation. 


Review by: Stefano Bove

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