A disgruntled father, played by Djimon Hounsou-,
"Wait, seriously?! He is like one of, if not the number one leading Black actors of all time right now."
is upset that one of his sons is too focused on a video game. To the son, however, it's more than just a game. To thousands of people worldwide it's the simulation of a lifetime, especially for whose eyes tend to be bigger than their wallets.
This is the story of several underdogs striking uppercuts into the world of racing.
A marketer takes a big risk in pitching an idea to the Nissan company.
Nissan, also known as the company for making the same cars longer than anybody else, is starting to come into some financial straights again. So, what does Nissan do best when backed into a corner? Simple answer, they fight. They race, and they race to dominate, to horde trophies, to display to the world that they are not to be messed with and that the little guy is not to be pushed around.
With an untapped market now targeted, these three underdogs team up together in order to strike gold where gold counts, the podium.
Given the greenlight, Nissan takes the opportunity pitched by Orlando Bloom-
"Wait, hold up. Orlando Bloom?! Yo, this casting is pretty goated. Ummm, apologies. Please forgive me for my lack of professionalism."
Orlando Bloom heads over calls up an old friend who takes no shit from nobody. Who could be on the other side of that phone? Why none other than David Harbour, a man who's big on nostalgia.
"Hold the phone. You mean Hopper? The dude from that Netflix original series, "Stranger Things?" You're serious?! Oh my goodness, why is this film's casting so f*****g good?!"
I have to say that I found this film to have quite a bit of symbolism, especially when it came to the cars. I would re-watch this movie repeatedly just for the cars, themselves. However, the movie seems to go deeper than just the story of a young lad desiring to achieve his dreams.
It does wonders in tackling the theme of elitism: the clash of "have-nots" versus the "have-yachts."
The inequality is expressed in more than just wealth. It recurs in common interactions between Jann and everybody that meets him; from when it starts at home with his brother and father, to his racing coaches, to his pit crew, to the media press, and even more importantly to his track competitors.
In an industry where skill should be the most sought after resource, those lined with deeper pockets tend to find themselves in the limelight a bit more.
One of the best supercars of all time takes center stage in this film, the Nissan GT-R. Godzilla, the beast from the East, comes to lay the smack down on all its competitors regardless of status, heritage, engine layout, base MSRP, etc. etc.
The antagonist of the film drives one of the world's most popular brands, Lamborghini. As if to make the statement of
"When You mess with the bull, You get the horns."
Quite literally our protagonist is bullied on the track, as nobody believes that a simulated racing driver should even be on the course, let alone set foot in any racecar.
How coincidental is it that Nicholaus' last name was Capa? Sure, it's spelled differently, but last I checked a kappa is referred to a Japanese water demon known for drowning people and children, defiling women, and are known to become violent when not respected as gods. Plus, being that they're depicted as green which is the primary color of the sin of greed, the relation is downright uncanny. A greedy rich kid desiring a spot on the podium who bullies other people with his dirty, underhanded, tactics and his excessive wealth, is just too coincidental for me. Especially since David Harbour was Joshua Stradowski's mechanic, but also a pro-racer who retired years ago.
A Japanese water demon with its eyes and heart filled with greed tries to spear the horns of its gilded bull into Japan's most brutal, most savage, fighter that's clawed its way to the top through sheer tenacity, grit, and development. So, the kappa of the story tries to make sure that our protagonists achieve bupkiss since he's not getting his butt kissed.
I have to say that Djimon Hounsou's line at the apex of the story hits unbelievably hard just like Peter Dumbreck's Mercedes did back the 24 hours of Le Mans in 1999. That line almost had me in tears. As I was sitting between both of my parents at the time, I could sense the fear radiating off of them. As a child to two loving, caring, compassionate parents, I understand that their worst fear isn't something that could happen to them, but that it's something that could potentially, fatally, happen to my siblings and I. The emotion, the gravity, the brevity, the sheer impact, was delivered excellently with those few words.
The other point of symbolism for me was the aftermath of the apex. Like in the journey for most hero's redemption comes shortly after the crisis. It's even extended with an olive branch so fruitful enough to still have olives growing on it.
Driven out onto the track by Jack, Jann (played by Archie Madekwe), is talked with about regret. For me, as a guy who likes cars (I mean, I did take a Hot Wheels or two when I saw the movie "Ford v Ferrari"), this was a bit of consoling between two iconic cars, if not two iconic car brands.
When Nissan debuted the R35, Nissan GT-R, Porsche fought them stating that their track times were false. Nissan offered to teach Porsche how to properly drive Godzilla so that Porsche could Godzilla's lap times. I don't know about You, but them's fightin' words.
Yet, on this iconic track, the Nürburgring, where the GT-R was tested to literally bully the Porsche 911 GT3 RS; the Porsche is meant to console the driver GT-R about the crisis that took place. As it was no fault of the driver, nor that of the car's, but just the conditions of the track combined with the weather that day meant any racer could've been caught up in that serious turn of events.
In a sense, it was as if Porchse and Nissan were burying the hatchet with this movie and were moving forward to just provide the world with fast production cars for those that have a craving for wanton speed and power. It was beautiful.
I have to say, that if You want to pick up a really good racing movie that focuses on racing and the cars, and doesn't just become another action flick (*cough* *cough* looking at You Fast and Furious Franchise) then "Gran Turismo" 2023 is the film for You.
It's ability to shift between game graphics and live action were nearly flawless. The transitioning was so well, You might miss it if You blinked. Then again, Your eyes might be so glued to the screen I'd be surprised if You were capable of blinking at all.
Why not catch it on the big screen, and if You do what Hot Wheels did You bring along to the theatres with You?