Gran Torino

Year: 2008
Production Co: Double Nickel Entertainment
Director: Clint Eastwood
Producer: Clint Eastwood
Writer: Nick Schenk/David Johannson
Cast: Clint Eastwood
As I watched (kind of disinterested) in this film, I saw it break all barriers, become the best performing Clint Eastwood film in history, etc etc, and curiosity got the better of me.

Did I go to the right film? Was everyone else indeed raving about this corny, clichéd, horribly acted, derivative, didactic claptrap?

Clint the director's always had a slightly hammy edge, of assuming his audiences are dumber than they really are, and that m.o. is made glaringly obvious by the supporting cast who appear to have been recruited from beginners' drama classes.

Clint is Walt, a bigoted and grizzled old man who's just lost his wife and wants nothing more than to be left alone with his dog on his porch. He can't even stand to be around his own grown children any more.

So when a Korean family moves in next door, the encroachment of multiculturalism that Walt hates comes ever closer. When he catches the young boy of the family trying to steal his prized car that gives the movie its name, a stunt to prove his manhood to a local gang, it's all the ammunition Walt needs to hate them even more.

But when he sees the creeps off he becomes a neighbourhood hero, the boy's sister befriending him and the women of the family bringing him food and gifts.

Do you think the love they show Walt will melt his stony heart, that he'll come to be an erstwhile father to the wayward boy? Only as certain as you were that the Titanic hit an iceberg and sank...

Not a bad idea (though not very original), but bad scripting, bad acting and every heartstring tugging trick in the movie playbook cobble it mercilessly. And if that isn't enough to make you gag, Clint himself sounding like a dying dog singing the end track will.

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