Tuesday, January 24, 2017
Monster Trucks Reviewed
Monster Trucks combines two obvious things boys love... Monsters and Trucks. I’m surprised no one did something like this earlier. Especially when you think back to the 90’s and how TV shows and toys combined almost anything to sell to kids…I’m looking at you Street Sharks.
Very quick synopsis, boy hates world, boy meets monster, evil oil company wants to cover up and kill monster, monster hides in truck, boy discovers monster can magically act like an engine and fun ensues.
Monster Trucks stars Lucas Till (X-Men: First Class) as Tripp. Just your average run of the mill “teenager” still in high school who works an ungodly amount of hours at a junk yard, owned by Danny Glover (Predator 2). It is made very obvious from early on that the only things Tripp cares about is his engineless truck and his boss... until his fateful encounter with the tentacled monster (it's just like anime!! -PN). Just like any story where boy meets some kind of creature, be it How To Train Your Dragon or E.T., this one shows the rocky start. The initial introduction to baby Cthulhu was fun and it made me flash back to E.T. when Elliot walked back towards the house with the pizza and stopped to investigate the shed by throwing his baseball inside, only to have it rolled right back out to him. Monster Trucks director Chris Wedge (Ice Age) has successfully instilled that fun fear we all experienced in our youth, just not as well as Spielberg, Dante or Hooper did. Wedge does succeed in trying to call back to an era when it was OK for the opening moments of a movie promising monsters, no matter how benign, to be a little menacing and scary.
Once the big reveal happens, Tripp and the monster are on a fast track to friendship that literally blossoms overnight. Tripp names his new BFF Creech. They soon find themselves on the run from the hired henchmen of a shady oil company... the very same company who unearthed the lovable tentacle monster. The leader of the henchmen is played by Holt McCallany (Alien 3) who, despite being a trained professional, decides against looking closer to areas that he hears a noise coming from or glancing under a car. Thankfully, he sucks at his job, because his inability to capture a creature literally feet away from him several times throughout the film leads to a bunch of car chases, explosions and monster trucks defying gravity.
The rest of the film is fleshed out by Jane Levy (Don’t Breathe), Rob Lowe (Parks and Recreation) and Thomas Lennon (Dark Knight Rises). This movie is defiantly intended for families and children, so it is what it is. The cast really did a good job with the material and you could tell they had fun doing it. If you have kids, this should be on their radar. This is family fun with tentacle monsters! Never thought I would say something like that.