GRAN TURISMO is now playing in theatres
The past couple of years have seen all-time great video game adaptations like UNCHARTED and THE SUPER MARIO BROS., and that trend continues at least a little bit longer with GRAN TURISMO, an elevated gamer movie that is made for the big screen. Part video game movie and part thought-provoking biopic, Neill Blomkamp’s high-octane, and inspirational, thrill ride is an experience like no other.
GRAN TURISMO, which tells the real-life underdog story of Jann Mardenborough (Archie Madekwe) as he goes from avid video gamer to professional race car driver after winning a competition, sets out to accomplish multiple goals, and does so without sacrificing one aspect for another. And now that it’s finally playing in AMC Theatres locations nationwide, there’s no excuse to pass up the opportunity to see this entertaining, emotional, and all around fun theatrical experience.
Honoring Gran Turismo’s History
Before GRAN TURISMO shows Jann Mardenborough forever transforming his life, before the character is even introduced, the movie pays respect to the history and legacy of the Playstation racing simulation franchise on which it is based. This introductory chapter honors the iconic video game and the way it revolutionized the industry and introduced many gamers to the world of professional racing.
The level of detail in this prologue is also great for a number of reasons. First, those who have played one or all eight primary games in the series will be taken on a trip down memory lane, as it explores the origins and impact of the games. Second, those who have never picked up a controller are immediately made aware of the significance of the games and why they would mean so much to someone like Jann.
Video Games And Real-Life Racing Unite
In addition to combining the worlds of video games and real-life racing together to tell GRAN TURISMO’s story, the movie also brings the two together in several visually arresting sequences that will surely leave you in awe.
For example, there’s a scene early on in which Jann is sitting in his gaming rig that looks like the stripped-down interior of a car participating in an online race. As the race goes on, a virtual car forms around his setup, making it feel like he’s on the track. The opposite happens in a later sequence where the young driver thinks back to the lessons he learned in his thousands of hours of digital racing to pass a key opponent.
There are also incredible sequences where the action looks like it was taken directly from the video games with heads-up displays and that signature camera angle.
Intense, Dramatic Action
On top of being a great video game movie, GRAN TURISMO is also a wonderful racing film, one filled with intense and dramatic action, as well as a surprisingly emotional and tense narrative that doesn’t really pull its punches. Each of the various racing sequences on Jann’s journey to becoming a professional driver are meticulously crafted and choreographed set pieces that make it feel as if you’re watching an GT race at tracks like the Dubai Autodrome, Nürburgring Nordschleife, and Le Mans. In these scenes, GRAN TURISMO becomes less of a video game movie and more of racing drama in the same vein as FORD V FERRARI, RUSH, and DAYS OF THUNDER.
That being said, GRAN TURISMO is also a highly emotional drama that doesn’t shy away from difficult topics like near-death experiences, anxiety, and grief, as well as how all three of those can affect someone even years after the inciting incident. This is illustrated greatly with the relationship shared by Jann and his trainer, Jack Salter (David Harbour), a former race car driver whose life was forever changed by a tragic accident. This bond, and how it grows over the course of the film’s two-hour runtime grabs hold of you and doesn’t let go.
The Ultimate Underdog Story
GRAN TURISMO could best be described as the ultimate underdog story, one that feels like a combination of RUDY and ROCKY with hints of TOP GUN: MAVERICK, especially when chronicling Jann’s rise through the GT Academy program in the first half of the movie. The way in which Blomkamp tells the story of the gamer-turned-driver is nothing short of amazing, each act having a different goal to accomplish, with increasingly higher stakes.
From Jann trying to prove to his father, Steve Mardenborough (Djimon Hounsou), that what he’s doing goes beyond playing video games to trying to convince Nissan marketing executive and GT Academy founder Danny Moore (Orlando Bloom) that he is the right person for the job despite his lack of media readiness to showing the racing world that he has what it takes, the young driver is always the one fighting for something, be it a chance, a podium, or respect.
Just like other all-time great movie underdogs, Jann is a character you can’t help but root for from start to checkered flag.
GRAN TURISMO, one of the must-see August releases, is currently playing in AMC Theatres locations nationwide, giving millions of moviegoers a chance to experience this one-of-a-kind elevated video game movie experience.
GRAN TURISMO is now playing in theatres