This is one of Mr. Eastwood’s best and again he has proven himself as not only a fine Director but Actor too. In his character of Walt Kowalski you can see glimpse’s of other characters he has played through the years in Westerns and particularly his Dirty Harry series. You could almost see this as Dirty Harry in retirement. He plays the Grumpy old pissed off man so well.
From Walt’s perspective we really can see how the world around him has changed and not for the better. This only adds to his despise of things and people in his life . But the lack of respect and loss of Tradition in his own family he soon finds in that of strangers who were alien to him. He too is also able to share his wisdom and what it is to be a man with his young neighbor Thao who at first thought he had to steal Walt’s Gran torino to be a man in front of his Cousin’s gang. Walt does his best to protect Thao and steer him away from ever falling into that kind of life.
In the end we were all expecting a big shoot out, even Father Janovich says “Jesus Christ” as Walt leaves the Church, expecting him to go down in a blaze of gunfire. But what Walt learns from his actions is that going around shooting or beating the crap out of people isn’t a long term solution and would likely bring more problems upon him and his neighbors.I can’t help but draw parallels between this film of Clints and John Waynes last movie “The Shootist”. Both Characters are dying and both are trying to protect a younger man from having to take another’s life. Their final solutions to their situations are quite different though.
How this Movie didn’t get an Oscar Nomination is beyond me, but then again with the Oscars I can’t say I’m surprised. Clint Eastwood has said that this movie is his last acting Role. He said this before too with Million Dollar Baby so I truly hope it isn’t because he is such a fine actor and still an Action star. As a Director his next movie is “The Human Factor” a biopic about Nelson Mandela.
Favorite Quote: “Ever notice how you come across somebody once in a while you shouldn’t have fucked with? That’s me.” – Walt Kowalski