Gran Torino

Rated 3.0

It’s nice to see, after his ponderous Changeling, that director Clint Eastwood still has a sense of humor. It’s less nice to see how much the humor depends on starring in his own movie as a gun-toting racist coot. Gran Torino offers redemption, of course, but that seems like pushing its luck. In his reportedly final film performance, Eastwood plays a widower and Korean War vet who reluctantly befriends and protects the Hmong kid (Bee Vang) who reluctantly tried to steal his car for a gang initiation. Rookie screenwriter Nick Schenk’s script doesn’t exactly discourage the film’s uneven performances—and never mind that Archie Bunker had this routine down when Gran Torinos still were fresh on Ford’s assembly line. To be the perfectly career-summarizing Clint Eastwood movie, Gran Torino needn’t be perfect—just likeably rough.