Gran Turismo Movie Reviews: Critics Share Strong First Reactions

By Savannah Sanders Posted:
Gran Turismo Movie

The first reviews for Sony Pictures' Gran Turismo are in but should audiences race to theaters this August for this gaming film?

Based on the true story of Jann Mardenborough, the teenage Gran Turismo player who turned professional driver, the Gran Turismo movie is unique in that's both a biographical tale and a video game adaptation. 

Directed by Neill Blomkamp, the upcoming film stars a winning cast of David Harbour, Orlando Bloom, Djimon Hounsou, and Archie Madekwek as the young Jann Mardenborough.

What Are Critics' Reviews for Gran Turismo?

Gran Turismo
Sony

Critics shared their first reviews of Gran Turismo online, many of which are overwhelmingly positive.

In fact, several hailed the film as one of the industry's best video game-inspired films to date. 

Perri Nemiroff from Collider called Gran Turismo "a solid adaptation" and praised the film's balance of "game visuals" and "intimate camera work:"

"'Gran Turismo' is a solid adaptation! Really dug how they incorporated certain game visuals into the movie — and Neill Blomkamp’s style for the film in general for that matter. Lots of very effective handheld and more intimate camera work with real texture that makes it all feel visceral, and really brings you close to the characters and the action.

ComicBook.com's Brandon Davis also praised the film's "creative nods for gamers," while also noting that its true story "races laps around most video game" title films:

"The shocking true story told here races laps around most video game titles as films. Found myself hooked, especially in the second half. Slick racing with creative nods for gamers. Great work from David Harbour & Archie Madekwe. Good movie!"

Coy Jandreau went even further with his praise, calling Gran Turismo "one of, if not the, greatest video game movie ever:"

"'Gran Turismo' manages to combine the unbridled passion of the best sports films, the fun details & references of Video Game movies, and the aspirational drive & belief within great biopics Then mixes them into one of, if not the, greatest video game movie ever"

In a follow-up tweet, Jandreau highlighted the cast's performance, including Orlando Bloom who he claimed is "at an ELEVEN throughout:"

"David Harbour is the best uncle we ALL need to prove right, that we never had My favorite Neill Blomkamp since 'District 9' Orlando Bloom is at an ELEVEN throughout Djimon Hounsou ALWAYS brings the emotion & gravitas and grounds so much here"

Geeks of Color's Robert Butler III also had nothing but praise for Gran Turismo; but in regard to the cast, remarked, "David Harbour steals the show:"

"Add 'GranTurismo' to the list of incredible video game adaptations this year. A turbo-boosted sports epic that knows precisely when to accelerate & slow down its pace. Star Archie Madekwe channels the nimbly courageous gamer inside all of us. David Harbour steals the show"

Two important demographics for this film are, of course, the racing and video gaming communities.

Motor Trend's BeckfordDesigns ticked both of those boxes and appreciated how the "racing action was filmed" but was also "curious to see" the response from the game's base:

"Just finished watching the 'Gran Turismo' Movie. I can't give a full review but I can say the racing action was filmed in a cool, unique way. The story gave off 'Karate Kid' vibes at certain points. Curious to see the 'Gran Turismo' community's reaction to this film."

However, Hip Hop Wired's gaming writer, Beanz, is confident that "gamers will relate to it a lot:"

"So I saw 'Gran Turismo' Movie and I loved it. I think gamers will relate to it a lot because of its story. Hell even people passionate about doing something only to have their parents doubt them will relate to this film."

Will Gran Turismo Pick Up Speed?

With so many heavy-hitting films dominating the box office buzz, Gran Turismo has been somewhat overlooked so far. 

However, if these positive reactions gain traction online, that's likely to change. 

With the exception of this year's The Super Mario Bros. Movie, video game films rarely succeed at the box office or with audiences. 

That fact that Gran Turismo has managed to do so while also telling a real-life story isn't just impressive but means the film is likely to appeal to multiple audiences. 

With weeks to go until Gran Turismo's theatrical debut, it will be interesting to see if anticipation for the film continues to pick up speed. 

Gran Turismo arrives in theaters on Friday, August 11. 

- About The Author: Savannah Sanders
Savannah Sanders joined The Direct as a writer in 2020. In addition to writing for The Direct's Star Wars, Marvel, and DC teams, Savannah specializes in the relationship between Disney's blockbuster franchises and the Disney Parks.