I'd heard they were making a new Karate Kid movie. It's true; I just saw it. Only this time they've switched the roles around where it's an old white guy teaching an Asian kid by means of menial housework including the washing of a car.
Ok. So Gran Torino is not Karate Kid V. But it might as well be.
Even though Clint Eastwood is like 104 he still kicks ass. And the coolest thing about this movie is all the racial epithets.
Clint Eastwood is a widower living in a bad neighborhood and he is pretty much your typical grumpy old man neighbor. Like if Walter Matthau had shot 13 gooks in Korea and returned to make a hash out of his own family (no -- he doesnt kill them, he's just emotionally distant). And also if Matthau could have feasibly been in The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly.
The neighbors turn out to be involved in some gang shit and Eastwood finds himself embroiled in their garbage.
Because gangs don't take well to being humiliated, they retaliate and it's bad and Eastwood has to finish things. Because that is what he does.
It gets a little Messianic at the end but, hey, when God fails to give us role models we have to invent them in ourselves and in our movies.
This movie seemed to be tailor-made for the actor/director. It is basically a modern day Western and echoes an earlier Eastwood movie, High Plains Drifter, when he says: "The thing that haunts a man most is the thing he is not ordered to do."
I think I got a little bored in the middle just waiting for things to happen. But it left me feeling that, in the end, something did happen.