Director Chris Wedge (Epic) makes the jump from animation to live action with Monster Trucks, a film looking to resurrect the 1980s family creature features for a new generation of movie goers. The story, conceived by former Paramount Pictures president Adam Goodman, with the help of his four year old son, is ludicrous to say the least, but just entertaining enough to hold the attention of younger audiences.
This is Tripp (Lucas Till), a high school kid looking to get out of his small town and find his place in this big world. Tripp works at a junk yard and likes to tinker around with cars, especially working on his custom monster truck. After an accident at a nearby oil-drilling site, a peculiar creatures finds its way into the junk yard and into Tripp’s life. This squid-like creature seems harmless enough and really loves the taste of oil, so Tripp decides to hide him from an oil company hit squad looking to take the creature back to their lab. Seeing as Creech (that’s what we’re calling the thing) likes his truck, Tripp decides to make the truck into a true “Monster” truck fully powered by Creech. With the help of book nerd and love interest Meredith(Jane Levy) and a scientist Dr Bill Dowd (Thomas Lennon), Tripp must help Creech rescue his parents from Reece Tenneson (Rob Lowe) and return them back to their home beneath the ground.
Monster Trucks isn’t a bad film by any stretch, but nor is it a good film. The premise may sound ridiculous, and it is, but the cast is likeable enough and the overall story of humans destroying the planet for oil and profit regardless of what they disturb in the process is a topic that provides a real world learning experience for audiences. The major fault of the film is it lacks the human element of emotional connection and opts for a more action-centric approach. There’s a lot to be desired about Creech and his love for oil and speed, but there was a real “E.T.” opportunity between Tripp and Creech that was overlooked.
Overall, Monster Trucks isn’t going to win any awards, but it might entertain your children and that’s really all that matters with these films.
2 out of 5