Gran Torino

So last night I headed out to see this flick at 10:15PM. I heard it was like good and I like Clint and whatever so I was like whatever I'll go. I picked up some Utz and some Twizz and a water and headed on in. And in the very first scene I'm already annoyed. There's Clint standing at a funeral for his wife. And his granddaughter walks in with a madonna style belly shirt and a belly ring. He zeroes in on it and literally growls in disapproval. She's dressed like that for a funeral!? Outrageous disrespect! Then later she's on her blackberry and he growls again with a sneer. Grrr... he's annoyed. Grr... I'm annoyed too.

First off, I don't care how dumb stupid your daughter is. She's not showing up to her grandmother's funeral all casual in a cut-off belly shirt. And although she might text during the funeral (believable)-- she's not going to do it holding it up high all blatant while popping gum. Immediately I could tell that this flick was gonna be heavy handed in getting its point across. Young people dumb and self-centered. Old people rigid and traditional. Right out of the gate I categorized this thing in a box labeled 'sub-good'. Then sat back, pulled my hood up and stuffed twizzlers in my head. Buckling down for the storm of mediocrity which was on its way.

Within 15 minutes I'm sort of shocked how the whole movie itself seemed pretty friggin amateur hour. Clint made this? The guy who made the 5-cookay Unforgiven? I'm no film maker but there was something weird about it structurally now and then. Like, one scene Clint is in a chair on his porch then he walks into his house. Then you see someone pulling into the driveway and Clint gets out of the car. I'm like, 'Oh! I guess we're in a new scene? Clint went for a drive? Or something.' Shouldn't there be something in between him just disappearing and reappearing?

Also the other main characters were both pretty highschool play in their actorial skills. Like they were in an audition gone bad. Never believed them fully in any scene. And for that matter I didn't believe Clint and his old man, 'Gook this and chink that and jew this and zipperhead that...' Blah blah blah. We get it. At first it was kind of funny that he's willing to go full on slang racist. By the end of the movie it wasn't funny anymore. It was a crutch to give the movie some much needed flavor...

Unfortunately the forever young Clint really seems to have dated himself in this clunker. If it was made in 1984 it would have made more sense. Back when a scary scene is three tough black guys hanging out on a corner shoving around a girl and talking about her "ass" awaiting for a hero who is tough enough to stick a gun in someone's face. Or an asian kid literally reading a book while walking down the street getting harassed by a bunch of gangbangers who are driving along side him at 2 mph with rap music blaring.

By the end of this movie, I was rolling my eyes and feeling squirmy and tortured. I just couldn't believe this was a Clint flick. Coming off a run of amazingly ambitious goodness and respectable misfires-- this really seemed like a weird one to choose. It played as if it could have been written as a class project in some high-end high school.  Cliched, cartoony, typical, worst of all-- the feeling like the person who wrote it had never experienced a lick of it.

Three Good Things About this Movie

- I did think Clint's freewheeling racism was funny alot.
- Got some tingles of nostalgia seeing Clint behind a big gun again.
- I liked the dog.

Three Bad Things About this Movie

- Couldn't help noticing that it was bad.
- The car being a centerpiece? And title?
- The whole build to the ending kinda didn't make any sense from a criminal standpoint all around.

All in all, I don't care what people are saying about this movie. It's a B movie at best. And I don't think it needs to be seen. Rent "Class of 1984" if you want a trip down terrible nostalgia lane. Because that movie at least knows what it is. A cartoon cliche of a snapshot in time. This is just old man Clint grumbling around movie that would have been better off as a fiction story in Playboy magazine with Barbie Benton on the cover. Bottom line, if you take Clint out of this bad movie you know what you get? A bad movie.