Sunday, January 18, 2009

Gran Torino at The Somerville Theater

Sometimes it's hard to determine why a certain movie doesn't work for you. This is the way I feel about Gran Torino. There were good points throughout the movie, but in the end something was missing. In Gran Torino, Eastwood returns to being in front of the camera. He stars as Walt, a factory worker, whose neighborhood has been taken over with Asians. A bit of a racist, Walt employs every slur in the book as he interacts with his neighbors. He also grunts alot. Eventually, he befriends his neighbors and gets drawn into their troubles with a local gang. There is something pretty fucking funny as Eastwood as this old racist codger hurling insults at all who offend him. But unfortunately, many of the other characters in the movie seem mostly one dimensional. Eastwood's family for example are motivated only by what they can inherit from Walt. I felt like an opportunity to add depth to the movie was lost in portraying them in such a negative fashion. Also, the trailer to the movie gave a good deal of the plot away with it. Eastwood doesn't like Asians. Saves kid from Gang. Eastwood likes Asians. Eastwood must do something about gang. Pretty much the whole plot of the movie was shown in the trailer. Also, the ending isn't that hard to guess once you've seen most of the movie. Overall, Gran Torino was an interesting choice for Eastwood. A little less important than his most recent films and surprisingly funny, but still missing something.

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