Monster Trucks

"Very Good"

Monster Trucks Review


Word has it that a 4-year-old came up with the idea for this unapologetically silly action movie. And it's a proper guilty pleasure. From the director of Ice Age, it never takes itself seriously, so disarms even the grouchiest members of the audience with its energetic mayhem and characters. It's very childish, and sometimes rather too cute, but it's also a lot of fun.

In rural North Dakota, an oil drilling company has unearthed something from deep underground. And it's teenage loner Tripp (Lucas Till) who discovers a huge octopus-type creature that turns out to be friendly, intelligent and rather adorable. It immediately takes refuge in the empty engine cavity of the truck Tripp is building, and it provides more power than Tripp imagined. All of which drags Tripp's popular-girl lab partner Meredith (Jane Levy) into the adventure as the oil company boss (Rob Lowe) sends his henchman (Holt McCallany) to find and dispose of the creature before the environmental officials can shut him down. But his chief scientist Bill (Thomas Lennon) is having doubts about killing the two endearing monsters they've already captured.

Yes, it sounds like a premise a 4-year-old might come up with, mixed with an ecological message for our times and some surprisingly impressive digital effects. The script breezes through all of this, as the cast and crew blithely charge forward through a series of laughably entertaining action set-pieces. It's never terribly thrilling, but the scenes are so good-natured that they keep us smiling. Till and Levy are charming heroes, and their strong chemistry is thankfully allowed to simmer in the background. Pepper is initially the film's antagonist as Tripp's harsh sheriff stepdad, but he hands over these reins to an enjoyably evil Lowe. And Lennon provides some nice moments of comic relief as the sensitive scientist won over by these blobby beasts.

Director Chris Wedge keeps the pace fast, flinging the characters into peril at every turn. The movie's tone is so safe that we're never really worried for them, but the continual chase sequences are wildly amusing as they include quite a lot of gravity defying driving and wanton destruction. Yes, this is a film of simple pleasures. And this includes Tripp's tentacled pal, whom he names Creatch. Even though he's covered in slime and has a mouthful of razor-like teeth, he's ridiculously cuddly, the kind of animal most young children (and a few adults) would love to find curled up in the family car.

Watch the trailer for Monster Trucks:



Monster Trucks

Facts and Figures

Genre: Action/Adventure

Run time: 104 mins

In Theaters: Friday 13th January 2017

Budget: $125M

Distributed by: Paramount Pictures

Production compaines: Paramount Pictures, Disruption Entertainment, Paramount Animation

Reviews

Contactmusic.com: 3.5 / 5

Cast & Crew

Director:

Producer: Mary Parent, Denis L. Stewart

Starring: as Meredith, as Tripp, as Dr. Bill Dowd, as Bill Dowd

Also starring:

Contactmusic


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