Monster Trucks review
Don’t you often wonder how certain movies get pitched? For todays movie, I can only imagine it went down something like this,
Executive 1: Have you watched Monster Jam recently?
Executive 2: No. I don’t watch that stuff
Executive 1: My little boy was playing with his Hot Wheels and asked about a movie.
Executive 2: You think kids will go for it?
Executive 3: Have you seen their toy profits? A film would be a cash grab!
Executive 2: We don’t own the rights to either Hot Wheels or Monster Jam
Executive 1: That’s okay, we can just fictionalize it
Executive 2: But we can’t just show monster trucks for an hour and a half
Executive 1: Hmm… what if we incorporated it into a robot story?
Executive 2: You mean like Transformers?
Executive 1: Oh…your right. Too similar. How about an alien?
Executive 2: Like E.T.?
Executive 1: Exactly! Our hero will find him in the truck, and the alien will be able to move the car around like a monster truck.
Executive 2: I like it! It could end with a bunch of monster trucks doing the same thing,
Executive 1: We’ll call it Monster Trucks!
Executive 1 & 2: Greenlit!
In North Dakota (which it’s clearly not with mountains and lakes in the setting), a high school student Trip (played by Lucas Till) works at a junkyard to save up for his dream to simply leave. Meanwhile at a nearby oil drilling site, an underground water system is discovered that also unleashes a monster of some kind. Manager of the oil site, Reece Tenneson (played by Rob Lowe) orders for the creature to be found to prevent the press to find out about the fracking about to be pulled off illegally.
While working to getaway from his mother Cindy (played by Amy Ryan) and her boyfriend sheriff Rick (played by Barry Pepper), Trip discovers the creature that he names Creech. The squid-like monster turns out to be playful, like a kid version of it’s species. Trip also sees that Creech like to hide out in a truck that he’s been working on. He and fellow student Meredith (played by Jane Levy) manage to out run the oil companies security firm when they come looking for the creature. Tripp makes a bunch of adjustments to his truck so that Creech can make high jumps, wall climbing, and pretty much anything to make it a monster truck.
Where do I begin with this one? It’s said that this film had been sitting on the shelves at Paramount Studios and I can see why. Apart from having a creative but standard story, the choices made are strange. Both actors playing our high school leads are clearly in their late twenties, so I don’t know why they simply didn’t change the script to make them college-aged. Even if that was the case, both have little to no personality which makes them boring to watch. The majority of the performances are stale, including an underused Rob Lowe.
You must think that Monster Trucks must be one of the worst movies right? Well…I’ll say that I was disappointed. Not because I had high expectations, but lower ones. Creech does have a lot of personality and even some of the truck stunts are fun to look at. I think that if I was seven, I would have gotten a kick out of it. The problem is that the film is clearly made for kids, and if I had a child that wanted to watch it as a time killer, I wouldn’t object as it doesn’t have any bad morals; just a premise that adults will simply find too juvenile.
I’ll give this two monster trucks out of five. Honestly, the film is meant to be kids entertainment rather then family entertainment. It knows what its for and tries to give it’s audience a fun time. I certainly didn’t, but the kids in my theater seemed to enjoy themselves. I’d say this is something to save for Netflix or ITunes rather then the movies. Let the kids start their engines and the parents can stay in the garage.