Gran Torino

Rated 2.0

Clint Eastwood directs this sloppy movie and casts himself as a grousing, racist ass searching for some kind of redemption. It feels like a rush job, and it probably was. Eastwood plays Walt, a Korean War vet and retired factory worker disgruntled about the growing Asian population in his beloved Detroit. Walt just lost his wife and can’t stand his two sons and their families. He casually uses slurs like “gook” and “zipperhead”—often straight into the faces of his Asian neighbors. When Thao (Bee Vang), the teenaged boy from next door, tries to steal his prized ’72 Gran Torino as part of a gang initiation, it causes the racist part of Walt’s personality—which comprises about 97 percent—to boil over. What really drags the film down is a supporting cast of non-actors who, not surprisingly, can’t act. Eastwood actually overacts as Walt, taking things a little too far with the growls and scowls. The movie wants you to laugh, but there’s little to laugh about. It also has one of the dumber endings of any 2008 film.