(de) wrote: Review In A Nutshell:Ron Howard is a director that I have barely scratched the surface of; having seen only three of his films, and was viewed at a time where films were barely a priority of mine. Those films were "How the Grinch Stole Chirstmas", "The DaVinci Code", and "Angels and Demons". Those certainly are his most well-known works, but they aren't the ones that convinced the world that he is one of Hollywood's top directors. I didn't know what to expect out of Grand Theft Auto, as my lack of experience of the director may lead me to disliking the film and the fact that this is his first film, it may come off as predictably amateurish and lacking that distinctive quality that would stand him out as a filmmaker. Fortunately the film holds up quite well, and shows that Ron Howard's destiny in life is to be more than just an actor, he is a quality filmmaker.Grand Theft Auto contains a simple plot, detailing the story of a young boy and girl driving towards Las Vegas to elope while being chased by particular individuals due to the reward that comes with their capture. The film wastes no time in pushing its plot forward, as within the first couple of minutes, the complication sinks in. From then on, the film delivers an adrenaline pumping and exhilarating ride, filled with stunts and characters that constantly maintain the audience's attention. During the film's first 30-40 minutes, I was with it. I was determined to see these two kids at the very end, hoping they would succeed in their plan and that they could outrun these obstacles. But when it hits around the middle of its second act, I started to grow tired of its intensity, as I was searching for something more from its story and characters. Thankfully, just before the film's climax, comes a break that elevates the drama between the relationship of the two protagonists, showing me that they are complex characters and not just hollow individuals, in service to the film's plot. Then the film's climax arrives, and it doesn't reach the excitement that the film was able to deliver during the early stages of the film, but it was handled well enough to be satisfactory.At first, beyond its surface, the film has very little to offer. But once the film piles its story up, one can start to see Howard's intentions of depicting society as heartless opportunists, allowing themselves to only be involved in situations if one can gain a some sort of benefit from it; and what is more obvious than using a large sum of money as a motive. The worst one of course, is the fame hungry radio host, who intends to follow them through their entire journey. He shows no sympathy for the couple as it doesn't help him get more followers; he simply wants the action to keep on going. Is this Howard's way of reflecting the superficiality of society, showing the desperation and lengths that one would go through in order to keep with the gossip of people that a person doesn't even personally know? I doubt this was Ron and Rance Howard's intentions when writing the film, but nevertheless it is there.I never thought this film was going to impress me, as I assume that because this would be Ron Howard's first film; it would lack the polish that big budget Hollywood action films are able to deliver. Grand Theft Auto is actually a stunner in regards to its action sequences, delivering at least more than 3 or 4 major set pieces that had me going "Whoa, did that just happen?". This proves that Howard is a gifted director, who is able to understand what the audience wants and ensuring that his film is able to deliver above their expectations. True, this film is a stepping stone for the director as he still needs to prove to the studio that he is a profitable and valuable asset, and if one thinks this film doesn't deliver that, then you must be nuts.The acting in this film is certainly its weak point. I was able to forgive the film for most of its moments, as I never expected anything astounding from a film like this, but there were a couple of moments, particularly the scene between the two protagonist during the third act, as Nancy Morgan's performance was just rotten. She tries so hard to be emotionally vulnerable and strong at the same time but instead it simply came out as an awkward campy performance that could easily make one cringe. Luckily, Ron Howard was able to elevate the scene between the two and overall made the moment impacting. It is clear that the supporting players in this film are having so much fun playing their roles, and I think that was one of the reasons why I was in such a gleeful mood during the entire film.Grand Theft Auto is certainly not a cinematic classic, but it is a significant film for the now well-established director. It gives us a glimpse of his roots and a taste of what would emerge from him in the future.