What Would Eastwood Do?

I have mixed feelings about Gran Torino. On one hand, it’s an engaging, slow-burning, anti-revenge drama, and something of an apology for a career built in no small part of selling retributive satisfaction. On the other hand, it’s somewhat obvious, and, like Will Smith’s similarly confounding Seven Pounds, creepily messianic (it doesn’t help that I saw the movies just a few hours apart). Either way, like Kyle Smith, I get the sense that the tough-guy act Eastwood puts on in interviews with magazines like Esquire is a bit of a put-on, or, at the very least, a symptom of a not entirely coherent worldview.