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Gran Torino

by

Jeff Nelson

Gran Torino focuses on character development

Gran Torino
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Too many films these days have superb special effects, but forget about the character development. This is extremely important to the film and can make or break it. Luckily, Gran Torino is one of few modern films to focus on this aspect.

A grumpy old man, Walt Kowalski, owns a 1973 Gran Torino, but some troublemaking teenagers try to steal it. From then on, this old man is devoted to reforming youth, starting with one of the kids who tried to steal it, who turns out to be his nice and innocent neighbor. He soon takes steps to protect the kid's family from gangs that foul their neighborhood. The idea for this film has been used before, but Gran Torino messes with the cliché bits from those movies. The script is witty and smart with some decent humor. The dialogue is good and fits the mood of the film.

The fact that Clint Eastwood is the main character is enough to prove that the acting is spectacular. He never misses a mark and does a terrific job in his role. Clint Eastwood put everything he has into this role and it shows. The acting of the neighboring family is mediocre, unfortunately. Clint Eastwood is the best of the best for this film as he is the main character and the director.

The concept of the film becomes extremely dark, so the visuals should follow the emotions of the film. Most of the film is dimly lit, but still has a hint of a warm light. The camera angles aren't anything too crazy, but the film is edited well.

If Gran Torino is to be compared to anything, it could almost be Rambo when he's retired. Walt Kowalski is a badass and isn't someone to mess with. The film's humor is hit and miss, but most will make the audience chuckle. This film is entertaining, but may not be for everybody. The ending is sad, but still beautifully crafted. Clint Eastwood is still a fantastic filmmaker, Gran Torino is definitely worth checking out.

My Rating = Four Stars

Next movie: Sherlock Holmes (2009)
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