There are always genres of films that feel like once you’ve seen one thing in the genre, you’ve sort of seen them all. That is usually the case with video game movies because games aren’t always adaptable into a feature film, or if they are, they’re missing something from the core heart of the game itself. There are some adaptations that have mixed reactions like both versions of Tomb Raider (2001, 2018), Uncharted (2022), and Doom (2005), but then there are adaptations like The Last of Us (2023) and Neill Blomkamp’s Gran Turismo which take a game with no real in-game story and turn it into the behind-the-scenes passion and driving force of the game. And, for Turismo, helping to bring an honestly wild true story to the forefront in one of the most effective and enjoyable game adaptation films to date.
Before I deep dive into the home release of Gran Turismo, I want to discuss something. If you didn’t catch this when it was playing theatres, you will be absolutely astonished at how crisp and clean and rich this looks at home. We were given the Blu-ray, and the rich colors and atmosphere that the world creates don’t get lost in shifting from the big screen to the small screen. However, if you saw this in a Dolby theater, the sound absolutely blew you away, and the home viewing experience can be vastly different. I do not own any form of a sound system, so I cannot fully chime in and give a thorough, in-depth analysis of the sound, but the 5.1 DTS HD sound captures the heart of the movie and brings to life this inspiring true story. However, if you have a 4K set up and an audio set up, the 4K does come with Dolby Atmos and I can only imagine how incredible that theatre level experience will translate to at home with truly Earth-shattering sounds.
The film focuses on Danny Moore (Orlando Bloom) who wants to get his employer, Nissan, back into the racing game and make them a formidable opponent to the top racers yet again. He decides to pitch to his bosses to train the top Gran Turismo (the game) players in the world to learn how to become professional racers and bring Nissan back to the forefront. However, he clearly cannot do this alone, so he recruits a reluctant Jack Salter (David Harbour) to train these gamers to become the best of the best. And this is where Jann Mardenborough (Archie Madekwe) comes into play. He is obsessed with Gran Turismo, and against his families wishes, when he gets the opportunity of the lifetime, he refuses to pass it up and will do whatever it takes to not only prove his doubtful family wrong, but to also make Danny look like a genius in that he turned a gamer into a world class racer.
While Gran Turismo may be one of the most shocking releases of the year with it being a feel-good movie based on a video game with more heart and soul in it that anyone could’ve anticipated, the movie also speeds its way into one’s home collection nicely. The movie truly is a surprise, as previously mentioned. There are so many video game adaptations that feel hollow and miss the mark, but Blomkamp creates a world for audiences to fall in love with and with characters the audience can get behind and cheer for. There truly is something for everyone in the world of Gran Turismo and it brings it all together for a perfect family movie night.
When looking at the packaging and options, there is something important to note. The Blu-ray slipcover lists “Blu-ray exclusives” for the special features; however, when looking at the press release, the features listed as exclusive are on the 4K, the Blu-ray, and the digital versions. The two features listed under “also included” are solely on the DVD release. So, if you’re a features nut and want the most, you need to get the 4K, the Blu-ray, or the digital copy through any online supplier.
Speaking of features though, there are six of them in total, and three of them are rather engaging and bring more meat to the already hearty movie. The features that let the audience get more bang for their buck are “The Engine: Driving the Visuals,” “The Pit Crew: The Action and Stunts,” and “The Plan: The True Story of Jann Mardenborough.” These three features pack in a lot of behind-the-scenes creations, the story of the real life subject in depth, and truly give, to audiences who are interested, a further look into the creation of one of this year’s most surprising hits.
Gran Turismo Special Features:
4K UHD, Blu-ray, and digital:
- Deleted & Extended Scenes
- The Engine: Driving the visuals
- The Pit Crew: The Action and Stunts
- The Garage: The Amazing Automobiles
DVD and all other format features:
- The Plan: The true story of Jann Mardenborough
- The Wheels: The Fast Acting Cast
Available on VOD and digital September 26th, 2023.
Available on 4K, Blu-ray and DVD November 7th, 2023.
For more information, head to the official Sony Pictures Gran Turismo webpage.
Final Score: 3.5 out of 5.
This piece was written during the SAG-AFTRA strike. Without the labor of the actors currently on strike, the movie being covered here wouldn’t exist.