Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Gran Torino - PC over the top

Sadly, after a long streak of very impressive (if not hands down brilliant) and successful movies, it seems that Clint Eastwood has decided to take the easy way and to destroy in less than two hours all the respect he'd been building patiently for decades. 'Gran Torino' is the unconvincing story of an old man who discovers in his last days that people from other races deserve respect and affection - whoa, what a revelation... can I have some 'Hallelujah'? 

As evidenced by the mediocre 'Crash' not so long ago, a bad movie can still get overhyped and even get a couple of Oscars, if it focuses on racism as a central point. This is a safe way to keep critics at bay, as everyone will tug what they perceive as the PC line for fear of being labeled as a racist. As much as racism is a serious problem that needs addressing, hammering the message with a blunt tool into the heads of the audience seems counter-productive to me. Unfortunately (and it pains me to say it), 'Gran Torino' is definitely such a blunt tool and Clint Eastwood's worst ever. 

Every single character bar none is lacking persuasiveness. The hard-ass (Korea veteran, that's how hard-ass, capisci?) main character, who never managed to connect with his own children and the only one who can love him is his old dog, but pile some exotic food on his porch and watch him mellow - for better softening effect add the cute girl next door and stir. The cute girl in question, the constantly chirping Sue herself with her near-suicidal not knowing when to shut up - one would think that being cornered by several hostile acting guys should constitute a clue. The annoyingly conscious priest with his two phrases who doesn't get intimidated and insulted despite being shooed off like twenty times in ten minutes. Don't even start me on the credibility of secondary characters as the old hmong lady who of all things is chewing tobacco, the greedy grand-daughter and her clumsy attempts at wringing grandpa’s hands, the stereotypical gang members regardless of race and cultural heritage or the absolutely laughable white guy with his baseball cap backwards, rap gestures and 'bro'... 

The story also runs flat often, not offering enough justification for anything. Why would the hmong gang need Tao in the first place? The shaman prophecy was totally unnecessary and had 'phoney' all over it. The only reason behind Kowalski's sickness (deliberately not named, but we can guess) was adding some drama and drawing the line - see, he's terminally ill, so his life doesn't matter much more to him. Oh, and of course, his name is mispronounced in the hospital so that he can see first hand what it's like. There was no reasoning at all behind the rape, it was just thrown in for the drama and to trigger the final events. 

With all due respect to Clint Eastwood, he should have passed on this one... Unless he just wants another Oscar, which he'll probably get - this movie is definitely Oscar material, it treats its audience like retards and spoon-feeds them shit.
Digg this

No comments:

Post a Comment