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Walnut High School | 400 Pierre Rd. Walnut, Calif. 91789

the hoofprint

Walnut High School | 400 Pierre Rd. Walnut, Calif. 91789

the hoofprint

Walnut High School | 400 Pierre Rd. Walnut, Calif. 91789

Gran Turismo’s storyline goes off the track

A half decent movie that enters the era of video games becoming films on the big screen.
Photo sourced from Sony Entertainment

As the world enters a new era in which video games are ever more present and popular, it’s no surprise a movie like “Gran Turismo” would attract audiences across the globe. “Gran Turismo” tells the true story of Jann Mardenborough, a video gamer who got a chance to race real cars after winning an online competition playing the racing game titled Gran Turismo. As with many “based on a true story” movies, the storyline has novelty enough to draw audiences in, but the movie suffers from overused tropes and a predictable ending.

Archie Madekwe portrays Mardenborough in the movie, providing enough emotion to make the audience feel for the character and his struggles. It is almost impossible not to root for the young Mardenborough as he navigates a world full of doubters. David Harbour also does a great job as Jack Salter, Mardenborough’s coach and mentor who throughout the movie transforms from a cold, detached personality to one of Mardenborough’s greatest supporters. 

These relationships between characters give the story a greater emotional appeal rather than simply relying on the story’s novelty. The mentor-mentee dynamic fits well within the story and the banter demonstrates a multidimensional aspect to their emotions. The hesitant acceptance of Mardenborough as a real racer highlights how Mardenborough’s journey was not easy, adding an aspect of connection between him and his coach.

Not all relationships in the story are as well thought out, however, as the romance between Mardenborough and his girlfriend felt out of place and clunky. It seemed as though the movie forgot about their relationship at times where it would have made sense for Mardenborough to have his girlfriend supporting him. Similarly, Mardenborough’s rivalries with other racers felt rushed though they did provide an interesting element of uncertainty. It seemed that as soon as Mardenborough was competing with someone, the issue had been resolved and they were suddenly friends again.

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The soundtrack to “Gran Turismo” perfectly fits the storyline. Salter and his Black Sabbath were practically inseparable, giving the audience an immediate way to recognize his presence. Also, more modern music like Bon Iver’s “Wash” and Farruko’s “Pepas” perfectly matched the energy of the scenes they backed.

Director Neill Blomkamp did a great job with the race scenes in both the video game scenes and real life versions. “Gran Turismo” is able to recreate the excitement of watching actual racing and I applaud the movie creators for being able to retell the story of a 24-hour race in less then 15 minutes. 

Although the storyline is predictable, the actors and directing make “Gran Turismo” a decent watch and anyone who enjoys racing or video games could find something in the movie to like. Overall, “Gran Turismo” is an okay take on an inspirational sports movie, but it certainly won’t go down in history as one of the best.


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About the Contributor
Marissa Alejo, Copy and Coverage editor-in-chief
Hi my name is Marissa Alejo, I'm a senior and I'm the Copy and Coverage editor-in-chief for The Hoofprint. Outside of The Hoofprint I am on the girls soccer team and also play club soccer. In my free time I love watching sports and reading.
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