Gran Turismo: Smart Canister (review)

Gran Turismo: Smart Canister (review)

The adaptation of one of the flagship PlayStation franchises by the director of District 9 does not exceed its status as a promotional item.

If you recognize an author by his effects, then don’t worry, Gran Turismo is indeed a film by Neill Blomkamp: the proof with this sequence where three French soldiers, in fatigues and armed to the teeth, come out of a helicopter in slow motion to bring the tricolor flag to the start of the 24-hour race at Le Mans. Is it so unfair to say that filming fatigues in slow-mo is the main salient feature of the style of the South African filmmaker? Rest assured, this is not the only cinema issue of Gran Turismoa production made to promote one of the flagship video games of the PlayStation catalog and which intends to stage a “true story”, that of Jann, a young Welshman expert in Gran Turismo (a hyper realistic car racing simulation) who will become a real racing car driver by integrating a program created by Nissan to advertise their cars. Gran Turismo is therefore a matter of promotion at all levels. As in a kind of business seminar where you learn to take advantage of your mistakes to be more productive, the only failures suffered by Jann in the film will in fact be successes allowing him in the end to triumph over the pro pilots. and rich (this statement is a bit hypocritical: the pro-hero enjoys traveling by private jet and making his car roar on the concrete of Dubai, while impressing his girlfriend with a surprise trip to Tokyo).

Blomkamp, ​​a director who became in great demand following the box office of District 9and which was damaged in Hollywood (cf. the failures of its projects Halo And Alien 5) has also become productive: the physicality of the film -crumpled metal sheets for real, vertiginous drone movements- evokes that of the splendid Ambulance by Michael Bay, but where Bay made it a necessary cinematic device (playing the real against the fake), Blomkamp makes it mere amusement – ​​a publicity copy, perhaps. In this year 2023 when the greatest planetary successes are basically only vast advertising companies at their peak (Barbie, Mario), Gran Turismo does not clash, basically, absolutely not.

By Neil Blomkamp. With David Harbour, Orlando Bloom, Darren Barnet… Duration: 2h14. Released August 9, 2023

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