Archie Madekwe stars as Jann Mardenborough in “Gran Turismo” (Photo Credit: Sony).


(‘Gran Turismo: Based On A True Story’ trailer courtesy of Sony Pictures Releasing)

ABC has a game show, hosted by Kelly Ripa, called “Generation Gap” that highlights the difference between the elders and the youngsters.

Fathers often have a “realistic” vision of what their sons should do with their lives, like get a good job or even pursue an actual sport.

But arguably no father of the previous generation ever saw a career for their children playing video games.

But “Gran Turismo” showcases why one’s dreams should appear far-fetched to others in an extremely inspiring movie about blocking out the naysayers and reaching for the stars.

In “Gran Turismo,” named after the popular video game, Jann Mardenborough (Archie Madekwe) represents the stereotypical teenager from any generation.

His father (Djimon Hounsou), in a sense, vicariously lives his failed dreams through his sons, which includes Jann’s younger brother.

Jann’s father has created a good life for himself.

But he has that what-if syndrome.

The old man once starred on the soccer field.

But fate has him relegated to hard manual labor instead of immortalizations in the sports annals of history.

And like any father who regrets the major mistakes of his life, he does not want the same for Jann.

Instead of playing video games all day, he would much rather that Jann spends some time with him and his little brother kicking the soccer ball around.

After all, Jann might have an actual future in the game.

However, Jann has no interest in pursuing a career in professional soccer.

He has a job at a department store that he gets ridicule from his brother for.

But he takes that money and invests it into his obsession with the Gran Turismo video game, which is unlike any other video game before it.

Gran Turismo is more like a race car simulator that actually allows users to feel as if they are driving a real race car, using actual steering wheels and giving gamers that ability to customize their virtual cars, switching specific car parts in and out to create the perfect car for the individual racer.

The video game also allows gamers to race on virtual racetracks that are a replica of the most famous car racing tracks in the world.

That reality allows gamers to practice how they would handle certain tracks and practice on certain approaches that they probably would not consider during an actual physical car race.

On the other end of the spectrum in “Gran Turismo,” Danny Moore (Orlando Bloom) has already experienced the uncertainty of young adulthood and has climbed the corporate heights at Nissan.

However, Danny’s research shows that people do not value automobiles in the same way that they did in previous generations.

The new generation does not dream of taking their car on the open road to the see the countryside.

However, one group or demographic is obsessed with cars like previous generations.

That demo is the gamer demographic.

Therefore, Danny believes if they can use the popularity of certain video games to promote Nissan automobiles, he thinks the company can tap into a market that many carmakers ignore.

And Danny has the most outrageous plan to achieve his goal.

Danny believes that he can turn Gran Turismo gamers into actual racecar drivers.

Thankfully for him, Nissan agrees.

As a result, Nissan creates the GT Academy where Nissan will train the best Gran Turismo players in the world.

And the champion of the GT Academy will actually become a real professional racecar driver.

All his life, Jann has wanted to become a racecar driver, not a soccer player like his father or brother.

Unfortunately, kicking a soccer ball around is very affordable.

On the other hand, becoming a racecar driver requires an exorbitant amount of money, something that the Mardenboroughs do not have an abundance of.

But with the GT Academy, maybe Jann has a way of seeing his dreams come true via his obsession with gaming, although his father still does not understand the PlayStation hoopla.

Gran Turismo, the video game, is a race simulator.

“Gran Turismo,” the movie, is like a race simulator too because moviegoers will move with every move of Jann’s racecar.

In “Gran Turismo,” many moviegoers will relate to Jann and his realness.

Jann is determined to find success in life on his own terms.

He is confident that he does not want to follow in his father’s footsteps.

But he is not totally confident in himself, yet.

He is uncomfortable in the limelight.

He is not vocally arrogant like the stereotypical American, Matty Davis (Darren Barnet).

He is not crude and cutthroat like his coach, Jack Salter (David Harbour).

But he does know the video game.

And he believes that gives him an edge against racecar drivers that have no experience with the video game.

Additionally, Jann has something that no other racecar driver has.

Jann has the smooth and mellow sounds of jazz legend, Kenny G.

When things get tumultuous, Jann can turn to ole Kenny.

Even when his colleagues laugh at him, Kenny G gives him the bravery to not care.

In the NBA, basketball legend Kevin Durant once gave a tearful acceptance speech when he won the league’s Most Valuable Player (MVP) trophy.

Because of all the sacrifices that his mother Wanda Durant made for him growing up, Durant labeled her the real MVP.

Well, Kenny G is the real MVP of “Gran Turismo.”

Jazz and NASCAR do not stereotypically coincide.

But maybe if there is a sequel, Kenny G could score the movie.

“Gran Turismo” hits theaters on Aug.  25.







Todd A. Smith
Follow Todd
Latest posts by Todd A. Smith (see all)