"Old man Dirty Harry" is one describe Clint Eastwood's miserable racist character Walt Kowalski in what the actor and director says will be his last film role. Detroit resident and widower Walt is a veteran of the Korean War who carries the ugly experience with him everywhere he goes. He's most comfortable around his barber who he can relate to in the same rude way that soldiers of his generation expressed the subtext of their situation--with lots of racial insults and four letter words. A family of Hmong rile Walt when they move into the house next door, but gradually soften him up with their respectful traditions and culinary generosity. In the face of intimidation from a group of neighborhood gang-bangers, Walt takes the family's teen-aged son Thao (played by newcomer Bee Vang) under his wing. Less than solid performances from some of its inexperienced actors tug at the overall effect of the movie, but "Gran Torino" is a delicacy for its keen embrace of a dying breed of American male identity that Clint Eastwood perfected around the time of the Korean War.
Rated R. 116 mins. (B) (Three Stars)
TrackBack URL for this entry:
Listed below are links to weblogs that reference Gran Torino: