Jeri Jacquin

Coming to Bluray and Digital from director Neill Blomkamp, PlayStation Productions and Sony Pictures Home Entertainment is the story of gaming to reality with GRAN TURISMO.

Danny Moore (Orlando Bloom) takes a chance going to Nissan and pitching an idea no one else would dare. The idea is to find the best Gran Turismo video game players and turn them into real race car drivers. The concept is so far fetched that Nissan agrees! Turning to someone who can train the racers, Moore calls on Jack Salter (David Harbour) who needs a moment and a talk down from his driver to walk away and join in the vision.

At home, Jann Mardenborough (Archie Madekwe) is a teenage gamer who is set on Gran Turismo much to his father Steve’s (Djimon Hounsou) dismay. When it is announced that there would be a qualification race to join the GT Academy, Jann believes this is his chance to prove his father wrong. When his chance is put to the test, Jann has to again compete but this time against the other gaming winners to get the final seat.

Jann realizes he must earn his professional license to get a contract with Nissan. Race after race, the young man learns what it takes to go from being behind the wheel of a video screen to the wheel of a real race car. Up against tested racers, he is also up against those who don’t believe a gamer should be anywhere near the race track and put him in danger. After many challenges, it is Le Mans that will test Jann and Salter to finally do what they both have dreamed possible!

Madekwe as Jann is a young man with a dream that is not impossible even though others around him might disagree. Given the chance, Jann is proving that not only is dreaming a good thing but that he is going to go further than he ever imagined. I truly enjoyed watching Madekwe portray the young driver. He is portraying a real person of course but he does it to the point that I forget he isn’t the real Jann. That’s what a surprise this was for me.

Harbour as Jack is a man who has his own issues and carries a big of an anger bag around with him. Not seemingly a nice person with his snaps and quips, he finds a relationship with Jann that is solid and positive in a way the young man needs. I always enjoy watching Harbour create his characters and their range or lack of range of emotion, he mixes them together and what comes out is so very cool.

Bloom as Moore is a marketing executive at Nissan who came up with the idea to bring gamers to the race track. He is a bit over zealous and an even bit more controlling, but up against Salter he doesn’t win much of the time. His success is his career and understandably he wants things to go well, when they don’t – he melts down a tad but sees that Jann is really in it. Bloom doesn’t get as much screen time but when he is, the emotions are clear and set. Win!

Shout out to Maeve Courtier-Lilley as Audrey, Jann’s love, as she sees something special in the young man and cheers him on at every track turn.

Other cast include Josha Stradowski as Nicholas Capa, Daniel Puig as Coby, Pepe Barroso as Antonio Cruz, Emelia Hartford as Leah Vega, Sang Heon Lee as Joo-Hwan Lee, Max Mundt as Klaus Hoffman, Mariano Gonzalez as Henry Evas, Harki Bhambra as Avi Bhatt, Lindsay Pattison as Chloe McCormick, Theo Christine as Marcel Durand, Nikhil Parmar as Persol and Takehiro Hira as Kazunori Yamauchi, the creator of Gran Turismo.

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Special Features include 4K UHD, Bluray and Digital Extras, Deleted & Extended Scenes,

The Engine: Driving the Visuals,,The Pit Crew: Action and Stunts, The Garage: The Amazing Automobiles, The Plan: The True Story of Jann Mardenborough, and The Wheels: The Fast-Acting Cast. On DVD the Special Features include The Plan: The True Story of Jann Mardenborough and The Wheels: The Fast-Acting Cast.

The Gran Turismo game came about in 1992 by Kazunori Yamauchi as he took five years to complete. The idea was to create a game that came to be subtitles “The Real Driving Simulator” with vehicles that drive like actual cars. Each incarnation of the game created more and more definitive aspects as Gran Turismo released its 7th version in 2020.

GRAN TURISMO is definetly exciting for several reasons, one if that it is the true story of a young man who stayed true to his dreams. It is also a story that resonates with other gamers who have dreams, perhaps not to race, but to do what others think they may not. Even the creator Yamauchi could never have imagined how his own dream would become so captivating to the world.

It is also the story of a young man who sees the world differently in that his loves his father despite their differences, has great fondness for his coach Salter and concern for his fellow racers whether they know it or not. Mardenborough’s story is a classic ‘rags to riches’ but it is also an inside look at what it took to accomplish his goal.

Director Blomkamp managed well to mix the story with intense and pretty darn awesome racing action. Hearing and seeing the interaction between Jann and Salter was intense and exciting at the same time and brings so much to the story being told.

In the end – from gamer to racer!



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About the Author

Jeri Jacquin

Jeri Jacquin covers film, television, DVD/Bluray releases, celebrity interviews, festivals and all things entertainment.