DVD REVIEW: Gran Torino

Gran Torino
(Warner Home Video)

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Clint Eastwood is enjoying a later career unlike anyone else. Directing academy-award winning films (Million Dollar Baby) translating beloved modern novels into star-turning performances (The Bridges of Madison County) writing and playing the scores on many of his films and still taking great acting turns, as he does in Gran Torino.

It’s fun seeing Clint once again playing the irascible guy, this time the highly prejudiced ex-Detroit car worker and Vietnam vet, Walt Kowalski. Through a series of mishaps, Walt begrudgingly befriends the Hmong family living next door, slowly mentoring the one male living in a loud house of women, Thao played by Bee Vang (he even lets the kid drive his prize possession, a 1972 Gran Torino). Along the way Clint’s character comes out of his windowed-soul, finds a renewed sense of purpose through revenge, and brings us to an expected, but effective climax.

This is a great little film, populated with what seems to be real people of the Michigan area, a great cast in Walt’s next door neighbors, especially Thao’s sister Sue played with relish by Ahney Her. It’s lots of fun seeing Clint bite his way through scenery, you really can’t get enough of the guy. He’s very much like Nicholson and Pacino, maybe even more so, that you just want to see what an actor of this caliber and age is gonna do at any given moment.

The DVD has a few specials, nothing all that special, including mini documentaries about the Gran Torino.

Ralph Greco, Jr.

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