The student news site of Benilde-St. Margaret's School in St. Louis Park, MN

Knight Errant

The student news site of Benilde-St. Margaret's School in St. Louis Park, MN

Knight Errant

The student news site of Benilde-St. Margaret's School in St. Louis Park, MN

Knight Errant

Gran Turismo zooms past expectations

Fair Use: Sony Pictures
Gran Turismo exceeded expectations and is a fun-filled movie worth a watch.

Gran Turismo is a movie that captures the true story of Jann Mardenborough (Archie Madekwe) as he worked his way from playing racing video games to becoming a championship GT3 and endurance racer. This enticing story is an inspiration to many younger kids who race online from their homes and who one day dream to be championship drivers. Seeing this in depth story was vastly more exciting for me since I was following along with the events of Mardenborough back in 2015, when he was making history.

Gran Turismo is a racing simulator game, which the movie is based off of, exclusive to Playstation, and it’s scary realistic. You can modify anything you need to. The car and all of the tracks in the game are spot on. This has been one of my favorite games ever since I got a racing simulator rig to go along with my PlayStation. In the game, it’s quite motivating to see Mardenborough’s name in the game and the achievements that he’s earned.

The film starts by introducing Mardenborough as just a regular kid whose favorite activity was to use his racing simulator. Comparatively, his parents thought it was a complete waste of his time and urged him to get on with real life. He noticed an event in the game that was an opportunity to go to a racing academy and learn how to actually race, but he had to compete with the best players in the world. He went to his local gaming cafe and won the race without much trouble. The academy was coached by Jack Salter (David Harbour), who was extremely tough on the drivers because he was skeptical of the thought that they were all discovered through a video game.

Mardenborough made his way through the racing academy, learning the true mental and physical strength needed to become a championship race car driver. He beat the rest of his competition at the academy and went on to win his first race with Nissan. The first couple of races didn’t go so well for him since the scene was so different from what he was used to, but he eventually got his feel at the Red Bull ring in Austria. He had to place in the top 3 in order to have a valid FIA license, which allows you to compete in races, and he did just that with the help of his motivating coach, Jack Salter. Marenborough went on to represent Nissan and was also given the opportunity to race in the 24 hours of Le Mans, the largest endurance race in the world.

The movie does a great job telling the story of how he came from video game racing at home to driving an actual GT3 and LMP2 car. The producers do a great job of connecting Mardenborough’s experience to that of younger simulation racing drivers, with goals of becoming real racers one day. His parents always used to think he was just wasting his life away by spending all of his time on the PlayStation, but they were very clearly proven wrong. Many kids encounter this today.

One thing that is portrayed unrealistically in the movie is the fact that it wasn’t the first year of the Gran Turismo racing academy; it had actually been going on for a few years. The winners of previous years weren’t as successful as Mardenborough, nor did they have as much of an inspiring story, so the producers decided to cut that out, presumably to make the movie more touching, and it did just that.

A reason I really liked this movie was because of how shockingly realistic it was. I was so shocked at how they made all the racing look real, but then I took a deeper look into the behind the scenes. It turns out director Neill Blomkamp was not messing around and had the movie be all real with no major CGI being used. They were filming at real race tracks, in real GT3 and LMP cars, and even at full racing speed. The actors in the movie had to be taught how to drive these cars since they were driving like they were racing. With the movie being all real, it takes the thrill of the story to another level, seeing how fast and complex racing is.

I would give this movie 4 out of 5 stars since it is touching and inspiring, especially for kids with big dreams. The only downside of the movie that I noticed was that it wasn’t 100% accurate, but that’s to be expected. It also seemed a bit rushed, hopping from the academy into an actual race with only 20 minutes into the film, but it makes up for it since the end is so inspiring. After watching this movie, I immediately dug up my racing wheel and jumped into Gran Turismo 7.

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