GT Academy is a unique event that closely connects the world of video games and reality. With it, Gran Turismo players can get a chance to get into the world of real car competitions. Of course, the competition is huge, but the goal is worth it. In 2011, thanks to the GT Academy, 19-year-old Jann Mardenborough was able to become a professional racing driver, having never seriously engaged in driving before. The film adaptation of Gran Turismo is dedicated to him. How it turned out – read our review.
Pros: an inspiring story about the success of an ordinary person; well-staged segments with racing competitions; a worthy implementation of all the strengths of the sports drama genre Cons: the timing for a local story is too long, which led to the appearance of drawn-out scenes; general banality of the script; fans of Gran Turismo games may not get enough of the car accents
“Gran Turismo” / Gran Turismo
Genre biographical sports drama
Directed by Neill Blomkamp
Starring: Orlando Bloom, David Harbour, Archie Madekwe, Djimon Gonsou
Release year 2023
Boyfriend Yann (Archie Madekwe) dreams of becoming a professional racing driver. But he grows up in a poor family that does not have the opportunity to provide for his dream. Therefore, when through the game Gran Turismo he learns about the existence of GT Academy, with the help of which he can get into the world of motorsport, he desperately clings to this chance. Now he has to prove to his family, competitors and coach Jack (David Harbour) that he is capable of becoming a real racer. And for this you need not only to be able to drive well.
If you have watched at least one sports drama in your life, then to some extent you already know what Gran Turismo will be about. The film follows all the laws, canons and templates of the genre, so there is nothing to surprise it. This is not to say that this is outright bad, but many viewers clearly expected something different from Blomkamp.
The problem is not even entirely in the absence of any breaks in the script cliches, but in the general prolongation of what is happening. Even though you know roughly from the start what path Yann will take to achieve his dream, it would still have been more entertaining in a more focused presentation. But instead of 90 minutes, the film lasts all of 135, which is why it is filled with passing scenes and stating obvious points that have already been voiced.
But still, the story is attractive and captivating, as it works on the time-tested formula of “the underdog achieves success through all the problems.” Something in our soul constantly demands such stories to make life a little easier. And the authors of “Gran Turismo” realize such a story in the most accessible and exciting form.
Gran Turismo as a video game series has always been about the celebration of the automobile, in which every detail has been recreated with the utmost precision. Almost car fetishism in a playful form. Gran Turismo trades that manic passion for a more humane story in which cars are merely tools to an end.
Fans of the original series of games may not really like this approach, but the reasons for choosing this vector are obvious. Still, most people want to get a full-fledged story, and not admire cars for more than two hours.
Local actors help bring out the human side of the film’s story. Orlando Bloom and David Harbor are the most pleasant to watch in every scene with them, even if their images are as opposite as possible and resemble the “good cop and bad cop” technique. The chemistry between them is also not great. And Archie Madekwe deservedly turned into a teenager who overcomes all difficulties and strengthens his spirit to achieve his dreams.
When it comes to racing competitions itself, Gran Turismo has no problems. Blomkamp managed to recreate all the tension of car racing, for which millions of people around the world follow this sport. The races here are a struggle between both individuals and machines, and in symbiosis they achieve the incredible effect of immersion in the competition.
Of course, as a biopic, Gran Turismo takes a lot of liberties. The production team sacrificed authenticity for an exciting show. And everything would be fine, but the too long timing still noticeably diminishes the delight.
Sony is determined to take over the box office with its adaptations of PlayStation games. Uncharted with Tom Holland showed that the company has every chance of achieving this. “Gran Turismo” is another strong application, which, alas, did not become a real breakthrough. But if Sony continues to maintain at least this level of quality, the cinema will clearly be enriched with many good films. And there, even that “breakthrough” is not so far away.
Gran Turismo is an unexpected film in Neill Blomkamp’s collection of works. And it’s all the more pleasant that the result was good. This is a decent sports drama, which for some reason has forgotten the expression “the best is the enemy of the good”, which is why it is lame in places – but only in places