On Tuesday, my dad and I went to a screening of "Gran Torino," the new film from Clint Eastwood. Eastwood plays the main character, a war-hardened, isolated man with an affinity for the titular car, which he helped build during his time at a Ford plant. Here Eastwood plays the anti-hero as hero. His character is so racist, so hateful, his actions and comments come off as altruistic or even funny. Some of the things he said would make my grandma blush but the audience laughs as if he's being clownish.
I thought portions of the film were unbearable: the script was atrocious in parts and the use of non-professional actors didn't help the dialogue. The whole, however, is better than just the sum of its parts. The film looks at the differences in cultures, foreign and domestic, how those cultures comingle and create something new. It was interesting to watch the dynamic of the neighborhood fixture, Eastwood, interact and adapt to the new Hmong residents.
There were parts of the film I didn't like (writing, acting, warmly accepted racism). But like I said, the film is stronger than just those parts alone. The story is interesting, if not redundant, in that Eastwood takes up for his neighbors and they welcome with praise and gifts. It shows the true need for people to be more open minded and that you may not hate someone as much as you think based on what you take from first impressions.
I would say my biggest disappointment in the film comes from the climatic scene. The posing alone was enough to make me laugh outloud. I won't spoil it here, but it reminded a lot of the climatic scene of "The Omega Man."