|25 august 2023
Gran Turismo takes audiences on a thrilling journey through the world of racing simulation and real-life motorsport, weaving a story of determination and passion that captivates gamers and motorsport enthusiasts alike. The film brilliantly depicts the journey of Jann Mardenborough (Archie Madekwe), a young simulator driver, as he transitions from virtual racing to the intense challenges of the track. The initial difficulties and frustrations Jann faces mirror the experiences of many newcomers to racing simulators, creating an immersive entry point for viewers.
The film deftly balances the personal and competitive aspects of Jann's journey. Djimon Hounsou also delivers an emotionally charged performance here as Jann's skeptical father, reflecting the generational gap between traditional and emerging e-sports. David Harbour's portrayal of Jack Salter, a tough and initially skeptical coach, adds depth to the mentoring dynamic that develops between him and Jann. This actor, world-famous for the excellent Stranger Things series, once again finds himself in an important role after Tommy Wirkola's cult hit Violent Night (2022). As Jann's skills develop, the bond between these characters grows stronger, culminating in a heartwarming mentor-protégé relationship.
One of the film's strengths is its stunning depiction of iconic racetracks. From the Red Bull Ring to the Nürburgring's Nordschleife, each circuit is beautifully staged, immersing the viewer in the world of high-speed motorsport. Meticulous attention to detail, including in-car and drone footage, adds to the authenticity and excitement of the racing sequences. While the film lends a Hollywood touch to the action, it refrains from excessive exaggeration, ensuring a realistic and captivating experience.
As the film finds its stride after a somewhat hesitant start, the evolution reflects Jann's growth as a racer. The narrative development underlines the message that perseverance and dedication lead to success. As Jann faces the challenge of obtaining his FIA license and competing on the international stage, his journey resonates with themes of self-discovery and overcoming obstacles.
Gran Turismo stands out for its ability to bridge the gap between gaming and motorsport, appealing to a wide range of audiences. Gamers will appreciate the authenticity of the film, which depicts the challenges posed by the transition from virtual racing to real-life circuits. Motorsport enthusiasts will delight in seeing iconic circuits and the intensity of motor racing on the big screen.
While the film doesn't reach the level of Neill Blomkamp's previous works (District 9 (2009), Elysium (2013), Chappie (2015)), it remains an intense, immersive, exciting and inspiring cinematic experience. The performances, circuit realism and heartwarming mentoring arc combine to create a film that leaves a lasting impact. Gran Turismo is a must-see movie for anyone intrigued by the world of motor racing, and it successfully captures the spirit of determination and triumph that defines the journey from virtual to reality. Definitely the feel-good movie of August.
Directed by Neill Blomkamp
Written by Jason Hall, Zach Baylin
Story by Jason Hall, Alex Tse
Based on Gran Turismo by PlayStation Studios
Produced by Doug Belgrad, Asad Qizilbash, Carter Swan, Dana Brunetti
Starring David Harbour, Orlando Bloom, Archie Madekwe, Darren Barnet, Geri Halliwell Horner, Djimon Hounsou
Cinematography : Jacques Jouffret
Edited by Colby Parker, Jr.
Music by Lorne Balfe, Andrew Kawczynski
Production companies: Columbia Pictures, PlayStation Productions, 2.0 Entertainment, Trigger Street Productions
Distributed by Sony Pictures Releasing
Release dates : July 30, 2023 (Circuit de Spa-Francorchamps), August 9, 223 (France), August 25, 2023 (United States)
Running time : 134 minutes
Seen August 6, 2023 at Gaumont Disney Village, Room 12 seat A16