February 24, 2024

Not since The Wizard overestimated a complete era for Tremendous Mario Bros. 3 has a movie about video video games felt as bare a advertising ploy as Gran Turismo. Primarily based on an unbelievable true story, the film follows Jann Mardenborough (Archie Madekwe), a 20-something Gran Turismo fanatic who wins a Nissan-sponsored contest to race professionally. Much more unbelievable (and that is technically a spoiler, however hell, it is also actual life), he manages to carry his personal within the racing world. The unique story was already a dream advertising win for Nissan and Sony, however now the 2 corporations can milk it as soon as once more to bolster the mythology of Gran Turismo. Do not name it a sport – it is a driving simulator.

Cynicism apart, the Gran Turismo movie, directed by Neill Blomkamp (District 9, Chappie), efficiently hits each mile marker you’d anticipate. Mardenborough would not have a lot help from his dad and mom early on, however he finally proves them incorrect. There’s an entitled rival racer from the Cobra Kai college of villainy who you may’t assist however hate. And the film sports activities genuinely thrilling race sequences, because of Blomkamp’s ingenious digital camera work and use of visible results. Gran Turismo even manages to get some genuinely shifting performances from David Harbour and Djimon Hounsou. It is the very definition of a crowd pleaser.

However the movie additionally always reminds you that it is meant to promote you Sony merchandise in an alien actuality the place Apple would not exist. No joke: One character is inexplicably hooked up to his Walkman cassette participant, and he solely strikes on when he is gifted a contemporary Walkman digital music participant in an overwrought emotional second. (Exterior of Hideo Kojima’s Twitter feed, I’ve by no means seen a standard human use a kind of issues.) (Ed notice: It’s debatable whether or not or not the man who created Dying Stranding is a “regular human”.)

Had Sony simply relaxed a bit, the movie would have appeared much less like a determined advertising ploy. However because it stands, I could not assist however cringe each time we encountered one other second of company promotional synergy. Even earlier than we’re launched to Mardenborough, the film begins with a brief promo reel hyping up Gran Turismo creator Kazunori Yamauchi, who spent 5 years growing the primary sport within the collection. It is the kind of over-produced clip you’d anticipate throughout one in every of Sony’s PlayStation Showcase occasions or the Sport Awards – not a theatrically launched movie.

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