Gran Turismo parents guide

Gran Turismo Parent Guide

It's ironic that an otherwise decent racing movie should struggle so badly with its pacing.

Overall B-

Theaters: An avid gamer gets a chance to take his racing game skills to the world of competitive race car driving.

Release date August 11, 2023

Violence B
Sexual Content A-
Profanity D
Substance Use B-

Why is Gran Turismo rated PG-13? The MPAA rated Gran Turismo PG-13 for intense action and some strong language.

Run Time: 135 minutes

Parent Movie Review

All Jann (Archie Madekwe) wants to do is race cars, but the closest he can get to the track is on his PlayStation. He’s sunk hundreds of hours into racing sim Gran Turismo, ranking among the best in the continent – not that this impresses his father, Steve (Djimon Honsou), a former professional footballer who wishes Jann would follow in his footsteps. But Jann might just have a chance to make his dreams come true.

A marketing executive at Nissan, Danny (Orlando Bloom), has come up with a new promotional idea: A sim racing competition, with the winners going to sports racing camp. The prize? An opportunity to race with Nissan’s professional team – provided they can keep up.

Jann aces the competition, but now the real challenge begins. The gamers are being trained by Jack Salter (David Harbour), a former driver who is determined to prove that professional racing is more complicated than video games. Jann will have to work harder than he’s ever worked if he wants to stay in the race.

When I say a movie is a “mixed bag”, that’s usually a polite way of saying that the movie sucks, but you can tell that someone tried to make it suck less. This production is a more literal mixed bag, in that there is a real lack of consistency in quality throughout the film. The good news is that the racing parts are pretty good, which matters because they’re the biggest scenes. The bad news is that almost any time we aren’t either on the track or in some kind of training montage (of which there are at least three), the movie drags like someone strapped a boat anchor to it and put sugar in the gas tank. If you whacked a solid half-hour out of this bloated flick, you’d have a much more exciting and consistent experience.

It doesn’t help that a good chunk of that downtime feels like a long series of advertisements – which is the point of the film. Gran Tursimo (the games, to be clear) are exclusive to the PlayStation. Sony owns the PlayStation, and Sony released the movie. All one big happy corporate family, shamelessly exaggerating an underdog feel-good story that makes their brand look good. That’s not illegal or anything, but it’s pretty shameless. And shameless advertising makes for bad entertainment.

Parents might take more issue with the three f-bombs in a PG-13 movie, tastefully paired with a couple dozen other profanities. While the rest of the show isn’t particularly saucy, there is a good deal of cussing for a family film, and the long (and intermittently dull) runtime makes this a poor choice for young children. Older audiences who either don’t notice or don’t care about sloppy pacing will likely have a fun time with this underdog racing flick. At least, I’m assuming that’s why some of the audience I saw this with started clapping when the credits rolled. Or it might just be that they were relieved it was over.

Directed by Neill Blomkamp. Starring Darren Barnet, David Harbour, Orlando Bloom. Running time: 135 minutes. Theatrical release August 11, 2023. Updated

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Gran Turismo
Rating & Content Info

Why is Gran Turismo rated PG-13? Gran Turismo is rated PG-13 by the MPAA for intense action and some strong language.

Violence: People are injured in car wrecks, and a person is killed off-screen.
Sexual Content: There is a brief sexual reference.
Profanity: There are three sexual expletives, 25 scatological curses, and occasional use of mild profanities and terms of deity.
Alcohol / Drug Use: Adult characters are occasionally seen drinking socially or with meals.

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Gran Turismo Parents' Guide

Why does Steve find it so hard to support Jann’s aspirations? How does his perspective change as Jann tries to make it work?

Professional racing is an extremely dangerous sport for both drivers and spectators. What are some of the most significant disasters in racing? How did they change the way the sport is both performed and viewed? Do you think the risk is justifiable?

Home Video

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Other cinematic depictions of high-octane insanity include Ford v Ferrari, Speed Racer, Talladega Nights: The Ballad of Ricky Bobby, Need for Speed, Days of Thunder, Herbie Fully Loaded, Mad Max: Fury Road, and Baby Driver. Younger audiences might prefer something on the milder end of the spectrum, like Carsor Turbo.