GRAN TURISMO

★★

FROM VIDEO GAME TO TRUE STORY TO MOVIE

THEATRICAL REVIEW
By Chris Dos Santos
8th August 2023

Last year, PlayStation Productions debuted onto the scene with 'Uncharted'. Based on the video game, the film like many adaptations before had mediocre reviews but achieved moderate box office success. They then released the massively successful 'The Last of Us' series, proving there is a lot of potential in translating classic PlayStation titles into narrative dramas. 'Gran Turismo' is a staple of all of Sony's consoles, but a racing game wasn't going to be the easiest to translate into a cinematic venture - so instead of the story of the game being adapted, this is a true story about a racer turned gamer.

Jann Mardenborough (Archie Madekwe, 'Midsommar', 'Voyagers') spends most afternoons playing 'Gran Turismo', and when Danny Moore (Orlando Bloom, 'Pirates of the Caribbean' franchise, 'The Lord of the Rings' franchise) approaches Nissan into developing a boot camp to taking the best players from the game and getting them out on the track, Jann wins a competition and is considered one of the best in the world. When inducted into GT Academy, Jann is trained by Jack Salter (David Harbour, 'Black Widow', 'Violent Night'), though it's not an easy transition from screen to race track.

SWITCH: 'GRAN TURISMO' TRAILER

This is one of the most paint-by-numbers films of all time. With no stakes, it simply passes by. There is no sense of character, growth, or any kind of momentum. It's the epitome of generic. Every time there is any sense of life - mainly in the racing scenes - you feel no connection because every character is just a cardboard cutout. A lot of the premise is also based on the ethics of taking gamers and making them racers, and every time a crash happens or someone questions them, I just felt myself agreeing, yes, this isn't a good idea, though I don't think that's what they intended the takeaway to be.

The film also alienates any audience member who would be interested in the subject. If you're a fan of the games, you would rather just play the game because that is going to make you feel more like a race car driver than a film. If you're a fan of race cars, the film is centred around a video game so it won't be of great interest to you. 'Gran Turismo' is one of the most successful racing simulators of all time; you don't play it for characters or story - so why should you be compelled to see a movie about it?

This is one of the most paint-by-numbers films of all time. With no stakes, it simply passes by. There is no sense of character, growth, or any kind of momentum. It's the epitome of generic.

'Gran Turismo' is that blockbuster that just comes and goes. You see it maybe because the film you wanted to see is sold out or you've seen everything else. Time will forget this film, and there's just no reason to see this. It's not bad, it's good, it's just there.

Geri Halliwell is in this for some reason, and while everyone has so little to do, she especially has nothing to do. The mum character is so inconsequential to the plot that every time she shows up, you'll wish you'd stayed home and watched 'Spice World' instead.

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