Disgruntled Korean War vet Walt Kowalski (Clint Eastwood) sets out to reform his neighbor, a young Hmong teenager, who tried to steal Kowalski's prized possession: his 1972 Gran Torino.
At times humorous, at times touching but entertaining throughout, I now see what all the fuss about this movie is. It's fantastic.
Eastwood is just awesome in his role as a crotchety old racist man living in a neighborhood that has been overtaken by minorities. He plays a man who most of us have known at one time or another in our lifetimes who doesn't give a flip about being politically correct. His scowl and growl is almost a parody of some tough guy films he's played, most notably his Dirty Harry character. At the same time though, he still pulls off the fact that you think he could punch your lights out even at 78 years old.
From the trailers for this, I thought it was going to be very much a Dirty Harry type film, but that's not really where it goes at all. It's a film about racial intolerance that's actually fairly complex and personal. There's some social criticism for sure, but I think it's as much about the pain of loss and regret for past violence. It's hard to label really, as it's equal parts drama, comedy and action.
I'm going to break out an old cliche' here that I save for the best films... you'll laugh, you'll cry, you'll get angry and you'll stand up and cheer at the end.
Don't take the kids, it's rated R for a reason by the way. There is some violence and a lot of foul language. Just a tip.
This movie is just flat out great storytelling mixed with great acting.