Clint Eastwood is Grumpy Old Man in Gran Torino
by Kevin Powers
May 2, 2008
As I suspected back in March, the cloaked news of Clint Eastwood's new movie, Gran Torino, is not the next installment in the Dirty Harry franchise. While the car harkens back to the time of Harry Callahan, it is in fact the prized possession of Eastwood's aged character - in the film. The December movie revolves around a kid who tries to steal it as part of a gang initiation. Apparently, despite what you might think, this isn't another Million Dollar Baby-type film, in which Eastwood begrudgingly imparts his elderly wisdom on someone wayward and younger; it's, seemingly a comedy of sorts -- "a witty, coming-of-age, buddy comedy." Yeh, are you going, "huh" too?
If the age gap wasn't enough space in which to generate all manner of bonding experiences and sentimental comedic moments, the would-be-theif, Tao, and much of the rest of the cast (as brought to us by Moviehole) are Asian. I suppose that broadens the gap and increases the ways in which Walt and Tao will become buddies.
I'm very curious to see how this will all pan out. Million Dollar Baby was great in the way that Eastwood played a somber mentor, and there were some great laughs as the two tried to relate to one another. But I'm finding it hard to believe that this is to be comedy at heart. The "official" description doesn't lend much light to Moviehole's take on it:
"Walt Kowalski is a widower, a grumpy, tough-minded, borderline-hateful, unhappy man who can't get along with either his kids or his neighbors, a Korean War veteran whose prize possession is a 1972 Gran Torino he keeps in cherry condition. Drawn against his will into the lives of the Hmong family that lives next door to him, Walt grows increasingly fond of Tas and his sister Sue, and takes steps to protect them from the gangs that foul his neighborhood with their strutting presence…"
There article includes particular casting announcements, and some of the info borders on spoilers. You've been warned! You can read on if you want, but I think we've learned enough to be rather disappointed with Gran Torino so far. So does the comedy angle jive with you? Is this an expected next move for Eastwood?