Review: Monster Trucks

Monster Trucks
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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