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Gran Turismo Movie Review

In this photo, Jann Mardenborough can be seen along with two drivers, getting ready for the race to start.

   Released on August 25th of this year, Gran Turismo is a racing film that tells the story of a 19-year-old, and his journey from playing video games to a full-on racing career. This film is based on the Gran Turismo racing game series and is based off a true story of Jann Mardenborough, a racing driver who also managed to launch his racing career from Gran Turismo. The film was directed by Neil Blomkamp, with assistance from Sony and the development team of the Gran Turismo video game. 

   The movie was inspired by the Gran Turismo video game series, first introduced in 1997 for the PlayStation. Since then, the game has had 7 releases, with the latest one releasing in 2022 for the PlayStation 5. The purpose of the game is to recreate the racing experience as close as possible, while being accessible to any audience. The game has remained a PlayStation exclusive since its launch, and over 90 million copies have been sold across all games according to the Video Game Sales wiki. 

   The movie follows Jann Mardenborough, who wishes to become a racing driver. His father, however, believes that racing is too expensive for their famil and that Jann should pursue a different career. But when Jann receives the opportunity to race for the Nissan Academy through the Gran Turismo video game, he can’t pass up on the chance. After Jann wins the academy, he is given the chance to race for the Nissan factory team, and eventually is given the opportunity to race in one of the biggest race events in the world, the 24 Hours of Le Mans. 

   This movie was a surprise to me because, on one hand, the movie was about a video game I’m very familiar with, so I assumed the movie wouldn’t an accurate representation of the series. Instead, the movie was one of the best movies I’ve ever seen this year. The racing scenes were some of the best parts of the movie and captured the thrill of motorsports perfectly. Another thing I liked about the movie was the references to real events, such as Jann’s crash in one of the races, and the 24 Hours of Le Mans being a real racing event. 

   However, one weakness of the film was how it kept using the same racetracks. I understand this might be because of the budget, but a wider variety of tracks could have helped the movie a lot. Also, I felt that the movie was a bit misleading, with more of a focus on Jann’s story rather than the videogame Gran Turismo itself. Had the story been centered around the videogame more, the story would have been very different, but it would have satisfied audiences who play Gran Turismo a lot. 

   According to the Box Office Mojo, as of September 22nd Gran Turismo has made 39 million dollars in domestic sales, and 103 million dollars in worldwide sales. Reviews have been mixed, however, with IMDb critics giving a rating of 7.4 out of 10, but audiences giving a 98% approval rating according to Rotten Tomatoes. One thing the audience notes that the critics don’t, is that they found the story likeable because they were able to relate to it. 

   Overall, I think Gran Turismo was a great watch, especially if you’re into motorsports or have played the video game series. It’s an inspiring story, with great action and scenes that show the thrill and passion of motorsports. Even if you’ve never heard of the Gran Turismo video games, this movie is still a good watch, as it tells a story that can leave you inspired to achieve your own dreams no matter how far-fetched it sounds. 


5 Fun Facts about Gran Turismo 


  • Jann Mardenborough (the driver and not the movie character) was hired as a stunt double for the movie for several scenes, including the 24 Hours of Le Mans 


  • Almost every crash scene in the movie was based on a real-life incident, whether it be Jann’s crash or the crash in Le Mans 


  • The Nissan Academy featured in the movie was a real academy hosted from 2009 until 2016, Jann being one of the graduates from the academy 


  • The creator of the Gran Turismo video game made a hidden appearance in the movie, where he was seen at a restaurant in Tokyo in one scene 


  • Cameras were attached to some of the cars in the movie to mimic the appearance of the Gran Turismo video game 



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