Jann Mardenborough (Archie Madekwe) has always loved race cars. From the moment his father took him to see them as a little boy, he was hooked. During his childhood he spent hours in his room playing Gran Turismo instead of playing sports like his younger brother Coby (Daniel Puig), much to his father’s disappointment. A college drop-out, Jann is now working part-time in retail and continuing to hone his skills on the track through game simulations, still dreaming of one day driving a real race car.
Meanwhile, in Tokyo, Motorsport marketing executive Danny Moore (Orland Bloom) has come up with a new concept in consumer marketing. He’s proposing to hold a global championship to find the best sim racers and then train them on the track, with the ultimate prize being signing with Nissan.
Jann’s consistent high scores earn him a place in the world challenge and, despite his father’s objections and disapproval, Jann goes on to win first place along with the chance to be one of 10 gamers who are trained at an elite racing school set up for the very purpose of turning video game players into racing legends. Their reluctant coach Jack Salter (David Harbour), a former race car driver himself, is there to prove to them all that what they are attempting cannot be done.
After months of training, Jann is the one chosen to move on to represent the sim racers on the real tracks. He must race with elite drivers, none of whom want him there, against impossible opposition and overwhelming odds to prove not only that he has what it takes to be on the track but that he has what it takes to win. On his last attempt, Jann qualifies to continue, achieves the impossible and signs a deal with Nissan. Jann endures both triumph and tragedy and, in the process of following his dream, changes the trajectory of motorsports forever.
Elitism; attempting to achieve the impossible against all odds; believing in something when no one else does; the power of marketing
Gran Turismo has some violence. For example:
- A car spins out and Jann crashes into tyres.
- A car is wrecked as it crashes after losing control on a gravel shoulder.
- Two cars crash during a race, one breaks apart dramatically, a tyre hitting and cracking Jann’s windscreen.
- Jann’s race car is involved in a freak accident that kills a spectator.
- Jann relives his traumatic crash during another race by experiencing repeated flashbacks.
- Jack grabs a character roughly after an unkind comment is said about Jann.
- A race car crashes, flips and bursts into flames. The driver crawls from the wreckage, partially on fire.
There are no sexual references in Gran Turismo.
Alcohol, drugs and other substances
Gran Turismo has some substance use. For example:
- Jann, his brother and some friends all drink beer under a bridge. Jann’s friends are clearly drunk. They pass beers between moving vehicles and are pulled over by the police. Jann speeds off and outruns the officers, while his brother and friend drunkenly cheer him on.
- Characters often drink beer at functions, on planes and in bars or restaurants.
- Jann and a friend debate trying sake.
- Champagne is often offered but Jann and his team defer, saying that Champagne is for the podium.
- Champagne is sprayed all over drivers at the end of a big race. Danny and Jack drink champagne from glasses and Jann drinks straight from a bottle.
Nudity and sexual activity
Gran Turismo has some nudity and sexual activity. For example:
- Jann and a female character kiss passionately on a dance floor and later kiss again after he places in a race.
- A friend of Jann’s thrusts and gyrates his pelvis while doing some quick erotic dance moves.
Gran Turismo has some product placement. For example:
- Gran Turismo (the game) and Nissan are frequently featured and promoted throughout the movie.
- There is usage of or signage for products and companies including Sony, Red Bull, Rolex, Bell Helmets, Michelin, CAPA, Tag Heuer, Porsche, Audi, Ferrari, Aston Martin, Lamborghini, PlayStation and Puma.
- Instagram is mentioned.
- Kenny G and Enya soundtracks are repeatedly heard and promoted.
Gran Turismo has some coarse language and name-calling.
Ideas to discuss with your children
Gran Turismo is a fast-paced drama based on the true story of racing legend Jann Mardenborough. The movie is brilliantly cast and the story will have you cheering for the underdogs and holding your breath during the crucial deciding moments. Due to the language, this is not a movie for younger children; it’s best suited to teen and older audiences and will be appeal to a wide variety of racing fans.
These are the main messages from Gran Turismo:
- Believe in yourself and in the power of your dreams.
- Follow your dreams to the ends of the Earth, even if all the odds are stacked against you and no one else thinks you can do it.
- Values in Gran Turismo that you could reinforce with your children include determination, courage, strength, persistence and faith.
Gran Turismo could also give you the chance to talk with your children about real-life issues like these:
- Not recognising potential even when it’s right in front of you.
- Wanting people to be something they’re not.
- Allowing challenges or tragedy to derail you from what you set out to achieve.
- Having a sense of entitlement because of wealth, lineage or prestige and forgetting the incredible power that comes from working hard to get where you want to be.