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Gran Torino

Movie Gran Torino
Director Clint Eastwoord

Clint Eastwood, Bee Vang, Abney Her, Christopher Carley

When did the man with no name and Dirty Harry hang up their guns? For the last few years Clint’s movies have turned overly to sentimentality, which most people appreciate more than I do. In Million Dollar Baby and Changeling, I felt that in spite of the good story’s and often inspired acting performances director Eastwood relied too heavily on the cheap sentimentality, and dragged it out for what end, to win an Oscar? The endings were not to my taste anyway. As a result, to my own detriment I was overly skeptical entering this movie, and I couldn’t have been more wrong. I’m just going to start by saying this is a wonderful movie, and its Clint’s directorial masterpiece. Ok now I feel I can continue with all that off my chest. Clint was back to acting and directing best, casting probably the only man who could have played the part of the equal opportunity racist regardless of race creed or his own family, and pulled it off, not only believably but he actually made you feel empathic and that he was often in the right despite his anger and blatant nastiness. He said himself that no one else was going to play this part, so to further compliment the casting of this movie, how about the scene stealing Ahney Her, and her encapsulating performance as the happy go lucky youth who could see through the bad in this ex-military and later had to endure utter horror.

There is so much humour in this film, and in a film with much to offer by way of brutality and cruelty, it does exceptionally well to never take itself too seriously and often make you smile and laugh. The relationship between Clint and the neighbouring family is funny because they respect him for saving their son, and he respects that none of the family are spoiled and wonders if he’d have been better off if these had been his family as opposed to his spoiled offspring and relations. This doesn’t stop them from referring to each other as “zipperheads” and “white devil”. In spite of obvious differences Walt Kowalski takes young Thao under his wing and they become great friends, which was essential to the plot so that the ending can occur and be believable. I don’t think anyone at any stage was under the impression at any stage that this film could possibly have a happy ending, which I believe is a slight flaw. It doesn’t allow even slightly for you to be surprised, and I know I’m talking about the great movies here but I like a film that suprises and challenges you. However this is a minor gripe and shouldn’t dissuade you from experiencing this lovable movie. Some elements given the plot and script are easy to sum up. The direction is flawless. The pace of the movie and some of the scenes and the interaction during are also top notch. Its nicely filmed and hugely touching, this film has hit the perfect note with me and I hope it does the same with you.    

This movie scores 8.7/10