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Review: Monster Trucks

Monster Trucks
01.10.2017
6 10

PLOT: A troubled teen (Lucas Till) befriends a strange subterranean creature that’s been displaced from his home by the unethical drilling of a sinister oil company. Learning his new friend has a taste for oil and a talent for manipulating monster trucks, the two team up in an effort to reunite the creature with his lost family and get him home.

REVIEW: Just as we fanboys (and critics) can get caught-up in excitement whenever an eagerly anticipated tent-pole movie hits theaters, so can we also fall prey to the group-think that predicts certain films will be all-out disasters. Granted, there wasn’t much in the early trailers to suggest MONSTER TRUCKS wouldn’t be an ordeal to sit through, but after reading article after article about how Paramount’s kid-friendly flick was on its way to losing $100 million plus, I assumed the worst.

As a result, I was pleasantly surprised when MONSTER TRUCKS turned out to be a totally painless 100 minute romp, and a perfectly acceptable kids flick. While certainly owing more than a little to the plot of E.T: THE EXTRA TERRESTRIAL (a fatherless teen befriends a strange creature separated from its family), and the Fiat Chrysler product placement for the Ram feels like the only reason the movie was actually made, MONSTER TRUCKS is innocuous, good-hearted and energetic - albeit totally silly.

Lucas Till is laughably miscast as the teen hero. A square-jawed twenty-six year old man, he’s hilariously ill-suited to be playing a picked-on sixteen year old. The same goes for Jane Levy, who, at twenty-seven, plays the nerdy girl trying desperately to get his attention, while somehow the fact that she’s a drop-deal beauty seems to escape our hero’s interest. Stranger still, his best pal is played by the legitimately sixteen-year-old Tucker Albrizzi, making the age different all the more apparent.

Yet, all this isn’t disastrous. If anything, it makes MONSTER TRUCKS even sillier, and better for a laugh, with the too-old hero and the way too-hot geek gal. Probably the most important thing MONSTER TRUCKS has going for it are the monsters themselves, which are likable and cute. Gas-guzzlers displaced by Rob Lowe’s mean oil company CEO, they’re sure to please the kids this has been made for. Make no mistake, MONSTER TRUCKS isn’t TRANSFORMERS - this is for kids only to the extent that even the pyrotechnics have had their sound muted in order not to scare the kiddies. The peril is modest at best, and the action is mostly of the demolition derby type, with Till’s old truck crushing cars and jumping off things. The action climax adds more trucks to the mix, with Leyy and the nice-guy Oil Company scientist played by Thomas Lennon getting their own chance behind the wheel, while Holt McCallany’s henchman baddie gives chase.

MONSTER TRUCKS totally needs to be graded on a curve, as I realized as soon as it started that director Chris Wedge (ICE AGE) was not trying to make a crossover tent-pole action flick here, but rather just Saturday afternoon kiddie fare. As far as that kind of thing goes, MONSTER TRUCKS is a success, albeit one targeted at younger kids rather than adolescents, who might find it a little too tame, While not something our older readers will ever want to go out of their way to see, if you have kids - sure - bring them to see it. They’ll love it and you’ll be fine with it.

Source: JoBlo.com

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3:25PM on 01/10/2017

Wow! This is actually half decent?

I wasn't expecting TUCKER & DALE VS EVIL but this seems like a fun candidate for a B Movie night.
I wasn't expecting TUCKER & DALE VS EVIL but this seems like a fun candidate for a B Movie night.
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2:57PM on 01/10/2017

Even for a kids movie it looks like it should have skipped theaters

This looks like the director blew someone to get it to theaters (where it will make $0) when it really should have gone to be a movie of the month on Disney or Nickelodeon.
This looks like the director blew someone to get it to theaters (where it will make $0) when it really should have gone to be a movie of the month on Disney or Nickelodeon.
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1:23PM on 01/10/2017
When I saw the first preview, I said "6-12 year-old me would love this!" It was obvious who this movie was made for, and the previews made it look like a fun time for that age group, and possibly adults who didn't take life too seriously! It reminds me of the type of random films I grew up with in the 80s that were just stupid fun to watch, and made a lasting impact on me as a child. Making a film like that now is beyond rare, so I am happy to see this come out. Kids need more besides
When I saw the first preview, I said "6-12 year-old me would love this!" It was obvious who this movie was made for, and the previews made it look like a fun time for that age group, and possibly adults who didn't take life too seriously! It reminds me of the type of random films I grew up with in the 80s that were just stupid fun to watch, and made a lasting impact on me as a child. Making a film like that now is beyond rare, so I am happy to see this come out. Kids need more besides mega-franchise flicks!
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