Gran Torino

Bomb Rating: 

When a man can direct, produce, act and write the score for his own movie he's either God, a genius, or just thinks he's a genius. Seeing as though Clint Eastwood might be older than God, I'm leaning toward the former. The man is old. He's pre-democracy old. It's like trying to ignore a pigeon's carcass lying on top of your spicy chicken pasta at dinner time. And there's maggots crawling on the pigeon.  

A Vietnamese family moves in next door to miserable codgery old Walt (Eastwood). The son, Thao (Bee Vang), is forced to try and steal his puce green Gran Torino car in some sort of traditional Asian gang initiation which might explain why I always see hoardes of Asians roaming used car lots. The boy and Walt make friends. There is gang trouble, people get hurt and Walt ends up the hero.  The plot is so predictable and flimsy that the collective yawn of audience members this weekend might produce the equivalent of a black hole.  If this leaves gaping pockets of "nothing" where movie theaters used to stand like horrible acne, I'll be eternally grateful to Gran Torino for popping those pimples.

I couldn't help but notice that Clint Eastwood has become a sad parody of past roles that he has played. Kind of like old men rehashing their days in the army, Clint is reliving his glory days. Walt Kowalski is like a demonized manifestation of Dirty Harry, Jose Wales and Blondie surfacing in a mind teetering on senility. He has the need to spit all the time like he's chewing tobacco. Attempts at menacing scowls contort his face, but it's more like a doddering grandfather making funny faces at his grandchildren. And the man still thinks he's intimidating. What he doesn't understand is that we're not cowering because of the gun in his hand, we're cowering because his twisted, arthiritic fingers make us cringe and remind us that we might have a similar fate.

Gran Torino is a challenging film to watch.  Walt Kowalski is the funniest character Eastwood has ever unintentionally made. For a lesson in racial slurs, watch this movie. I don't think I've ever heard such creative ways of insulting minorities in my life. On the other hand I was sucked into watching a Vietnamese actor displaying the emotional range of a wet lump of coal for the entire movie.

It's obvious that Clint is trying to squeeze another Academy Award out of this one before he finally kicks it. Why else would he load the movie with talentless Asian theatre actors who, according to some of their voices, think they're in an anime cartoon? It's because they make him look good.

Where did they find these actors? Well quite obviously they bought them from a textile factory in Cambodia, and along the way herded a group of Asian migrant workers from the oriental ghetto onto the set with them. And there you are, a cast - made in China, just like the rest of the crap we buy.

I won't tell you if he dies or not. I'll let that nugget of screen gold drag you through the hordes of Vietnamese people to the end when you can see it for yourself. But be prepared. A twist in this movie is as involved as a four piece puzzle. Everything is exactly as it seems.


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Hey cranky skanky

The owner of this site is a cretin's picture

Hey cranky skanky moron,

Slapping you around intellectually is becoming a tiresome hobby. But you badly need it again, so here goes.

Hmong are not Vietnamese, and they're not Cambodian. Or Chinese, or Thai, or Japanese, or Korean. They're Laotian. (For you idiots, that means they're from a country called Laos. Go look it up in that big building you've never been in, the one with all the books called the library.) But then again, to redneck dumbasses like you, all Asians look alike, so what the fuck. No doubt you also frequent catch-all "Asian" restaurants for idiots who make us white people look bad, featuring Thai food plus "chop suey" and "sushi".

Reading film "reviews" written by a microcephalous idiot with the mental agility of a water faucet handle is bad enough when said idiot believes an actor with the pedigree of Clint Eastwood is disqualified from acting because of being "arthritic", as if successfully living for a long time were some kind of disease. But it borders on intolerable when all Asian ethnic groups get lumped together into one based on their having "slanty eyes" (as opposed to Eastwood's "squinty" ones). You're giving cretins a bad name.

Try to go out and rent some kind of clue, won't you?


Coaster's picture

Originally from the mountainous regions of Southern China, the Hmong now inhabit Vietnam, Laos. Cambodia, Thailand, and Burma.  If you don't believe me, ask my wife: A first generation Hmong immigrant.  When she read your blithering screed, she laughed so hard, she spilled some fish sauce on the damed keyboard.  Thanks to you, I'll either have to get a new keyboard or give up using the number pad. 

Perhaps if they're having a sale on clues today, you might pick up a few for yourself, too. 

To go along with that number pad, perhaps

RidingFool's picture

you'd like some pad Thai. Or not.

Personally, I'd rather be eating European. Wanna see a picture of her?

I watched this movie, and I can say with some relish, it grew tiresome, given the idocy of the writers who insisted on making Clint a caricature of every single, ignorant bigot known to inhabit America, and elsewhere.

Speaking of relish, have any of you tried the Costco three-cheese jalapeño smokies? Heresy, I know, but I actually like them with ketsup. Or ketchup.

I report. You decide.


TheQueen's picture

I truly love comments like yours Cretin, it reminds me that there are people out there that REALLY think they know better. HAHAHAHAHAHA! Excellent! What a nonce:)

Mr. Cranky, am in complete

Enemy Combatant's picture

Mr. Cranky, am in complete accord with your take on GT. The by-numbers, lowest common denominator didacticism was excruciating. Good point about Clint surrounding himself with talentless and mediocre actors in an attempt to look good.

That the prefabricated curmudgeon once assembled automotive raptors in Michigan was a nice paleontological touch, however inadvertant.

Seen the film and have to

Anonymous's picture

Seen the film and have to say it was brilliant this review does the writer no favours. Find a new Job

Gran Torino without Clint Eastwood would be mediocre

Dan_in_Cincinnati's picture

You can't put any other actor in the Eastwood role.  Any other actor, and no matter how good the performance, the movie simply would not work.  Also if you aren't familiar with the Dirty Harry movies it doesn't work half as well.  Eastwood is doing another riff on his Dirty Harry character in this flick.  When he makes snide comments about someone's ethnicity you can practically see  him winking. 

The conflict in this movie isn't so much between the characters as it is an internal battle going on inside the head of the Eastwood character.  Will he do the right thing?

{;-) Dan in Miami

i agree with you

Critico's picture

that the movie is just Clint, but he is so entertaining and good that it doesn't matter, i liked the movie a lot, tho i  think Changeling was better. The Hmong girl was cute.

There was a great movie in

Anonymous's picture

There was a great movie in Gran Torino but the Clint Factor kept it from coming out. I guess the person who said if you are unfamiliar with Dirty Harry movies, th movie won't work as well. I saw one Dirty Harry movie and laughed throughout. Why do people think this gnarly snarly guy is intimidating, anyway? Blarg.

He's intimidating because he knows how to accessorize

Coaster's picture

"This is a 44 magnum, the most powerful handgun in the world. Now you're probably wondering if I've fired all six shots or just five. To be honest, I lost count. So ask yourself one question: 'Do you feel lucky, punk?'"

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