There have been a number of video games that made for fantastic cinematic adaptations, but everything about the first trailer for Sony’s upcoming Gran Turismo film from director Neill Blomkamp makes the movie seem like a showcase of reasons why racing sims don’t need to be turned into movies.
Caught somewhere between being a video game adaptation and a coming-of-age narrative, Gran Turismo tells the true story of how teenage Gran Turismo player Jann Mardenborough (Archie Madekwe) actually became a professional race car driver after winning a series of driving game competitions. The trailer introduces Jann pre-fame while he’s still living at home with his father Steve (Djimon Hounsou) and his mother Lesley (Geri Halliwell) and spending more time than his parents would like gaming with his friends.
Though Jann can feel how he might be able to parlay his virtual driving into the real thing, his working-class folks insist that he’s got his head in the clouds. But when Jann decides to enter the GT Academy competition, it isn’t long before motorsport exec Danny Moore (Orlando Bloom) takes note of the boy’s talent and links him up with trainer Jack Salter (David Harbour).
While the trailer definitely sells Gran Turismo’s ability to showcase actual cars racing in a way that’s cool, it also highlights what feels like a very thin plot consisting of people dunking on a kid for being into racing games before he proves his haters wrong by joining the big leagues. Gran Turismo may be based on a true story, but when the movie hits theaters on August 11th, it’s almost certainly going to stand out as an example of one of those Video Game Movies™ people rag on for not feeling like something anyone asked for.