Just saw Gran Torino a few weeks ago and it is a great film. (Been pretty lucky with the films I’ve seen recently – no turkeys yet this year!)
Gran Torino is about a guy called Walt Kowalski (played by Clint Eastwood) who is a widower who fought in the Korean War. He still maintains his prejudices over 50 years after the war – he just does not like Koreans. Living in a Michigan neighborhood Kowalski is constantly grumpy, hates his kids (who are really terrible children) – nothing can make him happy, except his 1972 Gran Torino (car) which he has kept in mint condition since he worked in the Ford factory.
[Spolier Alert from here on!] … His Korean neighbors are Hmong and the young boy (Thao) is put under pressure from his cousin to join his gang. The test, in order to join the gang, is to steal his nextdoor neighbours Gran Torino. Caught in the act, Kowalski sets out to reform the boy and teach him some lessons. Kowalski is actually thought of as a hero in the neighbourhood and is drawn into the life of Thao’s family. To regain his familys honor, Thao is made to work for Kowalski – much to the annoyance of Kowalksi who doesn’t see the point of this tradition.
Walt begins to protect Thao, his family and the neighbourhood from the gangs and due to his defiance he too soon he becomes a target for the gangs. The climax to the film is very clever and also extremely well done.
The film could be a tad shorter but I get bored easily in the cinema. Running time is almost 2 hours (116 mins).