When is a video game movie not a video game movie? When it’s a true story about a race car gamer who became a real race car driver. “Gran Turismo” stars British actor Archie Madekwe in the unlikely story of Jann Mardenborough, a Playstation racing aficionado who -against all odds- morphs into a successful pro. David Harbour and Orlando Bloom play the Nissan team leaders who mentor and sponsor him. “Gran Turismo” is a garden variety underdog story turbocharged by some electric racing scenes.
A game cast makes the best of an iffy premise in the smutty teen sex comedy, “Bottoms.” Rachel Sennott and Ayo Edebiri play lesbians who start a fight club in their high school as an excuse to hook up with cheerleaders. While some may consider it to be campy fun, “Bottoms” is a hit-and-miss farce that’s never as clever or edgy as it thinks it is.
In the biopic “Golda,” Oscar-winner Helen Mirren plays the late Israeli Prime Minister Golda Meir during the tense days of the 1973 Yom Kippur War. Mirren is solid as always, but there’s something missing here. “Golda” is workmanlike and well produced but is a sluggishly paced drama that isn’t quite able to capture the tension of this grave historical episode.
Liam Neeson continues his late-career string of action movies with “Retribution.” He plays a financier who is blackmailed by an anonymous caller who has placed a pressure bomb under his car seat. Will he figure his way out of this tense situation while also fleeing the suspicious police? “Retribution” is a boilerplate thriller undone by some eye-rollingly preposterous plot elements.