Grand Theft Auto review by Tom Blain

Bear in mind video game heads, before Grand Theft Auto the popular video game, there was Grand Theft Auto the movie. Also keep in mind that the two are not even remotely connected. The video game involves a thug committing real crimes, where as the Roger Corman movie involves two love birds who take off in daddys car to get hitched. Which one would you rather see? If you answered the video game, then you are in my boat.

Grand Theft Auto begins with screams from a mansion. Not because someone is being robbed, but because rich girl Paula Powers (Nancy Morgan) tells her parents she is marrying boyfriend Sam Freeman (Ron Howard) in Las Vegas. Not only do her parents disapprove of the Vegas wedding but they disapprove of the very average very middle class Freeman. Paula was already promised to Collins Hedgeworth (Paul Linke) but she wants nothing to do with the wealthy nutjob.

So the two lovebirds run away; or drive away rather in her dads Rolls Royce. Collins (who is probably funniest part of the whole movie) falls off his rocker when he hears the girl who has been promised to him has been kidnapped. The parents call up a local radio station and place a reward (which ends up being $50,000 in total) for their daughters return. Soon, everyone and their mother is looking to run the brown Rolls Royce off the road.

One by one, a car full of fools tries to apprehend the two lovers. And one by one they all fall into some non-lethal fireball of automotive explosion. The Rolls Royce goes by highway, then by short roads and even off-road and everytime remains untouched. The movie ends in a (big surprise) demolition derby. And thats pretty much it. The movie is one brainless car crash after another. There are a few goofy characters that make the movie somewhat entertaining. 60s DJ, The Real Don Steele plays Curly Q. Brown, also a DJ in this movie who is more like a Fox News reporter than a DJ, but at least he has character. The Collins character is the only one who got any laughs out of me, but I wouldnt consider him brilliant.

So whats the catch? Well back in 1977 Ron Howard offered to direct a movie for Roger Corman free of charge. This movie was, as you might expect, Grand Theft Auto; a movie that Ron and his father Rance co-wrote. Doing the movie for free would give Howard practice at directing a movie and would give Corman a free director. Howard received a typical Corman independently low budget and viola: You get Grand Theft Auto. Unfortunately Grand Theft Auto is a one trick pony whose trick is car accidents. It runs dry in all other areas and cant be excused just be cause its billed as Oscar Winner Ron Howards first full length direction.




2 out of 10 Jackasses
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