PEOPLE: Directed by and starring Clint Eastwood.
UNCOMFORTABLE PLOT SUMMARY (inspired by this): [highlight for spoilers]→ Racist becomes Jesus.
QUIRKS: Angry old racist man. Racism. Hmong immigrants. Inner-city gangs. Spirituality. Redemption.
GOOD STUFF: Clint Eastwood was excellent in this. A 78-year-old “action hero”? Yes, it can be done.
BAD STUFF: A drama about overcoming gang violence. Those types of movies always strike me as cliche messages of hope and inspiration. But hey, I’m a cynic.
And of course, the whole Jesus thing was a bit thick for anti-spiritual types like myself… They didn’t need to bash us over the head with it when [highlight for spoilers]→ Clint Eastwood died in the same position as Jesus. WE GET IT.
I can’t believe people complained about the acting from the Hmong actors. I thought the kid did a good job playing a clueless socially awkward Asian kid. People said his performance was painful — he was playing a character who was painful to watch in real life! So it’s supposed to be painful! DERP.
CONCLUSION: Not my type of movie, but undeniably great nonetheless. I actually don’t like or watch films starring Clint Eastwood, and am pretty let down by films directed by Clint Eastwood–could *barely* stand The Unforgiven, and think it’s awful compared to what most people think of it. But in this case, I have to acquiesce that this is a great film.
The native public rating for this movie is: IMDB: 8.4/10 (#93 of all time–and coincidentally exactly what I rated it), Netflix: 4.2/5 stars (Netflix‘s predicted rating for us was 3.9/5 stars–it’s like they know my anti-Clint Eastwood bias).
RECOMMENDATION: See it! Even if it’s not your type of movie!
SIMILAR MOVIES: Several people have pointed out some similarities between this and The Karate Kid. I see their point. I didn’t think this myself, but I see their point.
Also: Gran Torino 2!!
Walt Kowalski: [to Father Janovich] The thing that haunts a guy is the stuff he wasn’t ordered to do.
Walt Kowalski: Ever notice how you come across somebody once in a while you shouldn’t have fucked with? That’s me.
Walt Kowalski: Yeah? I blow a hole in your face and then I go in the house… and I sleep like a baby. You can count on that. We used to stack fucks like you five feet high in Korea… use ya for sandbags.
Leonard The Committed: The ultimate “get off my lawn” guy! Lets look 40-50 years into the future. Emo kids will have grown up and retired. Like all good Americans they will have heart disease and will be taking a blood thinner due to it. When someone steps on THEIR lawn, it’s going to get ugly when they cut themselves to mask the pain.
Stacy: First time I saw this was with a roomful of people [the ski trip Carolyn went on, with Angel, Greg etc], and we got so into laughing/WTF-ing at all his racist comments that the end really blindsided us all. Now when Louise and I watch it, it’s an actual tear-jerker.
Greg Z: @Stacy: I was THERE, yo! Perfect description of the viewing experience. It was a great movie!
TwoBeans said it was a really great film.
Debbie M gave it 5/5 stars.
Mood: starting the riot
Music: Atari Teenage Riot – No Success