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Gran Torino (2008)

May 8, 2009

8/10 Grumbling Scowls

When I first saw the trailer for Gran Torino, my immediate reaction was somewhere along the lines of “this is the best thing that’s ever happened to this planet”. Maybe I was getting ahead of myself, but Clint Eastwood is quite frankly a God among men and I’d pay the price of admission to watch him grunt on a toilet for two hours.

The movie follows Clint as an aging Korean War vet/angry bigot that becomes the unlikely friend his next-door neighbor, a Hmong Vietnamese teenager whose family is being terrorized by local Hmung Vietnamese gangsters. Story of my life.

The writing is simple but effective, it’s funny in an Archie Bunker kind of way, and the movie sticks with you after you leave the theater. But when push comes to shove as to what makes this movie so kick-ass, it’s Clint.

If you liked Clint in his badass prime (Dirty Harry, Unforgiven, The Good, the Bad and the Ugly), then even more reason to see Gran Torino. When he’s not sitting on his porch tossing back Pabst Blue Ribbon like it’s going out of style, he’s patrolling town to make sure every thug and hoodlum shits their pants when he so much as points at them…angrily.

So what if he’s 78? You’d shit your pants too.

Unfortunately, the only thing holding Gran Torino back is everyone but Clint. The Hmong neighbors that he befriends are all untrained actors and it shows. Normally these kinds of things are easy to overlook, but every conversation I’ve had about the movie always leads back to one horrendous display of acting on behalf of the Hmong teenager that Clint takes under his wing. One of those situations where the theater starts laughing instead of shutting up.

Anyway, go see Gran Torino. I’ll admit, I’m a little biased, but it really is a great movie and Clint gives a hell of a performance that’s a far cry from “Dirty Harry: Broken Hip“.

“Grrrr…Now go shit yourself.”

3 Comments leave one →
  1. anon permalink
    July 19, 2009 9:03 am

    Sorry to nitpick, but they are not Korean. They are Hmong from Vietnam, as they say repeatedly in the movie.

    • Aiden R permalink*
      July 20, 2009 8:49 am

      My mistake, man. Thanks for pointing it out. The necessary changes have been made.


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