Let Me Drive It My Way.
Directed by Neill Blomkamp
The ultimate wish fulfillment tale of a teenage Gran Turismo player whose gaming skills won him a series of Nissan competitions to become an actual professional racecar driver.
I have never really called myself a sports fan. I can jump in on occasion and enjoy watching a game of almost anything but I haven't ever committed to a sport, team or league. But an underdog sports movie… That I can get behind.
Gran Turismo is both an unbelievable true story and an ingenious piece of product integration that tells the story of Jann Mardenborough's journey from simulation racing at home to getting behind the wheel of a real motorsport car because of the Gran Turismo Academy. The film shows the very real highs and lows of taking on such a risk while being uniquely inspiring to a new generation of gamers who are often told their virtual skills will not amount to anything.
Archie Madekwe is compelling as the young lead with David Harbour giving a punchy performance as his uncompromising trainer and Djimon Hounsou in an emotional father role. I'm not sure what Orlando Bloom was up to but he seems to be having the time of his life delivering every line in such a dramatic fashion it was like his life depended on it.
Director Neill Blomkamp does a great job of weaving the video game and racing elements together, mixing on-screen graphics with real racing footage and exhilarating drone cinematography to immerse the audience in the action. Although the pacing could have been tighter throughout, I was shocked at how much I enjoyed Gran Turismo. It's a film that embraces its unique place in the market and doubles down without skimping on quality.