Champagne’s only for the podium
Jann (Archie Madekwe) is an avid gamer, who’s given the chance to be a professional racer after winning a video game contest.
Video game based movies don’t really have the best TRACK record (sorry, I couldn’t help it). Yet 2023 is proving to be an exception to that rule.
With HBO’s stellar The Last of Us series, and The Super Mario Movie still sitting pretty as this year’s highest grossing movie worldwide, are we finally starting to see a shift? The thing is Gran Turismo isn’t exactly a video game movie, but rather a movie based on the true story about the sim racers’ competition, which selected the fastest racers to join the GT academy, and attempt to develop them into professional racers.
Much like the tortoise in the race, the movie’s first 20 minutes feel a little sluggish. Overhammering the ‘stop gaming and get a real job’ message, whilst worryingly giving the impression you just might have brought a ticket for a feature long game advert. Thankfully once Jann enters the GT academy, and meets tough trainer Jack Salter (Harbour), the movie starts to shift gears and find its footing.
Salter’s relationship with Jann is where the movie’s heart comes from, and it’s enjoyable to watch the pair push each other on this journey.
As good as their dynamic may be, the real star of the show is the racing sequences. They’re magnetic. Each shot with such ferocity and energy, that you can’t help but get swept up in the high speed action.
In a nutshell
Gran Turismo is a solid sports’ movie, one that hits all the beats it needs to. Yet the electrifying race scenes and warm bond between Jann and Salter elevate it to something worth seeing.