Clint Eastwood is awesome, he put yet another great film under his belt. Gran Torino is definitely one of the best films of the year. It may possibly be the best movie I have seen so far this year. Don't be surprised if it doesn't end up on the top of my top 10 movie list for 2008 taking ‘The Dark Knight' down to number 2. Yes, I thought it was that good. There have been tons of amazing films this year that entertain you and take you for a ride, but ‘Gran Torino' is just solid filmmaking and story telling. There are no special effects to blow you away, or pretty people to gawk at. This is a low budget film, which relies on nothing but story, and a character you can't help but like. So simple and it kicked me in the face.
Clint Eastwood plays a character named Walt Kowalski who is a Korean War veteran that lives in an old worn down neighborhood where all the white people have moved out and the Korean people have moved in, throw a few gangs in the mix and you get an idea of where Walt is living. Walt is a very prejudice man. I wouldn't really say he is racist even though he uses a good amount of racial slurs such as swamp rats, chinks, fish heads, zipper heads, spooks and a few others. I think most people will see this character as a racist but the guy just really doesn't like many people, no matter what race the person was. Walt is just an old school kind of guy that hates they way the world has changed. He is a very negative person who grunts a lot when he doesn't like something and he doesn't like most things. He is a very hard and negative man that is changed by the people that he would least suspect.
There is a point in the film where Walt stops a group of gang bangers try to drag a boy away that lives next door who recently tried to steal Walt's Gran Torino. Walt stop this guys from taking the boy by being a freakin bad ass and this starts a series of events that brings Walt into a close friendship with the boy and his family that live next door. He gets to know who these people are, what they are like and develops a respect for them.
There are a ton of good scenes in this movie that will make you chuckle. You can't help but laugh at the way this man is and how he talks to people. It is very original, something I have never really scene on film before. If I have then I can't remember at the moment. There is actually a scene in the film were Walt takes the boy Thao to a barber shop to teach him how to speak like a man. I was fun to watch Clint Eastwood in this movie every time he opened his mouth I could wait to hear what he said next. there was another great seen where Walt drives up to help a girl named Sue is is being harassed along with her friend Trey who is actually played by Eastwood's son and boy Clint really reams on him its pretty funny. He calls him a pussy.
Clint Eastwood is at his best in this movie and deserves an Oscar nomination if not the win. He gave such a powerful performance definitely the best I have seen so far this year. If this is truly the last time he acts in a movie then he ended his acting career on the top. I am watching this movie and wondering if there is a part of him like that in real life that he grabbed onto when taking on the role. The rest of the cast is also good in the film, everyone seemed very natural. The majority of them are actors you have probably never heard of or seen before. I saw a couple familiar faces but none that had a big part in the movie.
Gran Torino is a movie with a lot of heart and soul. This is a rewarding movie going experience, one in which you get to feel so many different emotions, and it is one of those films that make's a person think. I liked everything about this movie, it was solid and strong in every way possible. Clint Eastwood is brilliant story teller, one of the best in Hollywood. If you get a chance to see this then take it. I highly recommend ‘Gran Torino'.