Yes, you read that right. This really is a Hit Stop feature. I hate this movie.
Gran Torino is a much-loved film amongst my circle of friends and I have no idea why. It came out in 2008, but I only got round to seeing it earlier this year, and I’m thankful I put it off so long. This is a movie that stars and is directed by Clint Eastwood, which for the most part is Hollywood gold. His films always receive a positive critical response and I agree with a lot of the reviews – I’m a massive fan of Million Dollar Baby, for example.
Eastwood plays Walt Kowalski, a name which rapidly becomes a tongue-twister as the movie progresses. He’s a ‘Nam veteran who lives by himself and hates just about everyone around him. His experience in the war has created within him a deep loathing for the Asian community, a problem which is exasperated when a Hmong family moves in next door. Cue all manner of racist outbursts and a general uneasy feel.
I find it very hard to enjoy a movie when the only character of any merit within it is so deeply unlikable. I realise Walt was designed that way, but there’s no positive outlet; the movie is bleak and troubling, and the American flag that hangs not-so-covertly behind him during his many offensive rants is just ridiculous. He’s a savage man and it makes the whole film a slog.
This life-changing series of events is just so remarkably unbelievable that I was taken straight out of the movie. Where just a few days earlier this man hated these people with all his might, suddenly he loves them and makes the ultimate sacrifice for them. I watched it by myself, but I distinctly remember uttering “oh for f**k’s sake” under my breath during the film’s finale.
Gran Torino was such a disappointment for me. It was hyped and built up for so long and it turned out to be total tosh. I realise I’m going against the grain here, the film has garnered positive reviews all over the shop, but what’s movie journalism without a little controversy, eh? And I haven’t even mentioned the awful script and terrible acting, I thought I’d let it off lightly.