“Gran Turismo” is a well-told but predictable underdog story that coasts to the finish line.

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General Information

Director(s) Neill Blomkamp
Screenplay By Jason Hall and Zach Baylin
Based On “Gran Turismo” video game
Date Released (In Theaters ) August 11, 2023
Genre(s) Action


Film Length 2 Hours, 14 Minutes
Content Rating Rated PG-13
Noted Characters and Cast
Jann Mardenborough Archie Madekwe
Jack Salter David Harbour
Danny Moore Orlando Bloom
Nicholas Capa Josha Stradowski
Steve Mardenborough Djimon Hounsou

What Is “Gran Turismo” Rated And Why?

“Gran Turismo” is rated PG-13 for intense car racing scenes and profanity. 

Film Summary

This content contains pertinent spoilers. Also, images and text in this post may contain affiliate links. If a purchase is made from those sites, we may earn money or products from the company.

“Gran Turismo” follows underdog Jann Mardenborough (Archie Madekwe), a talented young gamer who dreams of racing cars. But Jann doesn’t have money or any experience racing cars, so he spends his days playing and excelling at Gran Turismo. When Nissan marketing executive Danny Moore (Orlando Bloom) comes up with a plan to train some of the best Gran Turismo players to race cars, Jann sees a once-in-a-lifetime chance to prove himself.

But Jann is met with doubt from everyone; even his own father (Djimon Hounsou) warns him not to drive and to forget his childish dreams. Despite no one believing in him, Jann trains and fights to become an excellent driver and earns the respect of his grouchy but lovable coach, Jack Salter (David Harbour). Along the way, Jann makes more enemies through the famed and rich driver Nicholas Capa (Josha Stradowski), who starts a campaign claiming that inexperienced drivers are a danger out on the track. Jann must prove to others and himself that, despite his far-fetched origin story, he deserves to race.

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Archie Madekwe as Jann in “Gran Turismo (directed by Neill Blomkamp, 2023)

“Gran Turismo” is a well-told story that wisely keeps Jann’s unfailing spirit at the center of the action. Inventive sci-fi director Neill Blomkamp keeps the racing action grounded in reality and lets the sound design and power of the cars provide their own thrills. Still, viewers will feel like they can predict every beat that happens. Audiences who want something fresh should not turn to “Gran Turismo,” but if you want an old-fashioned underdog sports story, “Gran Turismo” is the movie for you.

Other Noteworthy Information

  1. Based on the true story of the real Jann Mardenborough competing in racing cars. Mardenborough’s crash at the Nürburgring Nordschleife is a true story.
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Orlando Bloom as Danny Moore, the creator of the “Gran Turismo” challenge.

Character Descriptions

Please Note: This character guide is not an exhaustive list of every cast member, and character descriptions may contain what can be considered spoilers.

Jann Mardenborough

Jann is a dreamer with the determination to take his gaming skills and apply them to racing in real life. He’s discouraged by his father and meets doubters at every turn, but he works hard to prove everyone wrong.

Jack Salter

A veteran driver and coach, Jack Salter has seen it all and has no patience for those who scoff at his advice or don’t take racing seriously. Jack may be a tough coach, but he believes in Jann more than anyone else.

Danny Moore

Danny is a Nissan marketing executive who’s credited with creating the GT competition and giving Jann the opportunity to race. He stands by Jann’s side and serves as a representative for different parties in the gaming and racing worlds.

  • The actor is also known for their role in “Lord of the Rings,” their role in “Pirates of the Caribbean,” and their role in “Carnival Row.”

Nicholas Capa

A young hotshot driver with plenty of money but none of the gratitude. He sneers at Jann for being part of the race and refuses to take advice from others.

  • The actor is also known for their role in “The Wheel of Time.”

Steve Mardenborough

As Jann’s father, Steve tries to look out for Jann’s best interests but does so by trying to force Jann into the life he thinks is best. Steve believes his son’s racing ambitions are impractical and dangerous.

  • The actor is also known for their role in “Blood Diamond,” their role in “Shazam!,” and their role in “The King’s Man.”


Our Rating: Mixed (Divisive) 

Who Is This For?

Fans of the videogame Gran Turismo, fans of racing movies, or true underdog stories should give “Gran Turismo” a chance.


Relationship Between Jann and His Coach Jack

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Archie Madekwe and David Harbour have a touching chemistry as Archie and Coach Jack Salter in “Gran Turismo” (directed by Neill Blomkamp, 2023)

The bright-eyed optimist meeting the seasoned cynic is a common story, but it’s common because it works so well. David Harbour makes his transition from non-believer to Jann’s biggest supporter feel earned. The two work well as a substitute father-and-son duo that supports and trusts each other when no one else does. “Gran Turismo” could have used more scenes of these two together (like Jack meeting Jann’s father), because their relationship becomes the heart of the movie.

On The Fence

A Predictable Underdog Story

“Gran Turismo” doesn’t offer any surprises, and due to the story structure and trailer for the movie, the first hour’s emotional highs and lows are all underwhelming because the audience can see them coming. There’s comfort in the underdog story’s common tropes, and your heart may still swell with pride for Jann’s journey, but it’s difficult to be invested in the stakes when you know how this story will end.

Underdeveloped Love Interest and Villain 

Jann’s relationship with his father and his coach provide real pathos to “Gran Turismo,” but the movie also tries to fit in a romance and an antagonist with disappointing resolutions. The romance, in particular, is underdeveloped since we only get two scenes of Jann and Audrey together. I’m not sure what it’s meant to add to the story. Nicholas Capa as Jann’s rival is also underwhelming since the two only share one substantial scene with no closure for Capa and Jann’s rivalry.


If you like this movie, we recommend:

  1. Fast X
  2. Bumblebee
  3. Chang Can Dunk

Check out our movies page for our latest movie reviews and recommendations.


Answers to some questions you may have regarding this movie:

The Reason The Movie Is Named “Gran Turismo”

The movie is named after the famous video game and the true story of Jann Mardenborough winning a Gran Turismo tournament to compete as a race car driver.

Does “Gran Turismo” Setup A Sequel or Prequel?

Gran Turismo does not set up a sequel or prequel, but one can easily see how Jann’s journey can be turned into a second movie. 

Does “Gran Turismo” Have A Mid-Credit or End Credit Scene?

No, the last scene provides facts about the real Jann Mardenborough (who was a stunt driver for the movie too).

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Gran Turismo (2023) – Movie Review and Summary
Audiences who want something fresh should not turn to "Gran Turismo," but if you want an old-fashioned underdog sports story, "Gran Turismo" is the movie for you. 
Relationship Between Jann and His Coach Jack
A Predictable Underdog Story
Underdeveloped Love Interest and Villain 

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