Film Review – Monster Trucks (2016)

A Boxing Day film’s entry requirements must have a formula of a mainstream facet, action packed essentials and light-hearted sentimentality. One of 2016’s Boxing Day’s releases definitely meets up to that formula, entitled ‘Monster Trucks.’ It’s shot around a $125 million budget, has an ‘E.T’ sort of premise and is perfect for children under ten years, but only passable for the adults. Let’s just say, ‘Moana’ would satisfy all people, regardless of age, whereas ‘Monster Trucks’ practically fails at differentiating for all ages, only focusing its target audience at young children. Be that as it may, who will children need to be accompanied by? Hence, let it be stipulated that parents must treat their little ones and as long as the child enjoys it and walks out with a smile on their face, that alone may be a sign of good will towards all men or in this case children. It is the festive season after all and taking children to see ‘Monster Trucks’ would be a lovely gift subsequent to the day before.

Looking for any way to get away from the life and town he was born into, Tripp (Lucas Till), a high school senior, builds a Monster Truck from bits and pieces of scrapped cars. After an accident at a nearby oil-drilling site displaces a strange and subterranean creature with a taste and a talent for speed, Tripp may have just found the key to getting out of town and a most unlikely friend. Yes! You’ve guessed it. It’s E.T meets Herbie. That combination is interesting but unoriginal. Nonetheless, when the Government conspirators get involved and our protagonist follows through many adventures to protect his creature aka ‘Creech,’ a lot of action, adventure and excitement arise for children to take pleasure in.

Creech’ has an expensive drinking problem as he lives of drinking oil to make him physically powerful. He’s cute which is always a necessity in these sorts of films and you can’t help but love him and want to see him return to his natural habitat. Our protagonist Tripp (Lucas Hill) is our Elliot character that will help ‘Creech’ in any way, shape or form, even if it means lying to Government officials who are on his tail, or more rather tentacles, as well as his step dad/cop. There are twists and turns, as the audience may not know who to trust, but overall if the viewer goes along with the ride, literally, they will be impressed with the truck’s talents or more rather the creature that hides in the engine to control it.

Ice Age’ director Chris Wedge directs his actors in good form. He has employed past A list actors, in supporting roles such as Rob Lowe as the corrupt conniver and Danny Glover in the amiable old mentor/father figure to Tripp. The fact that Lowe and Glover do their best in supporting roles, it connotes that there are slots to be filled in Hollywood’s new and young generation. Lucas Till is now proving himself as a worthy attribute to Hollywood’s young and fresh talent as he has found himself a noticeable leading role, worthier than his supporting role as ‘X-Men’s Havoc/Alex Summers. On the other hand Tripp’s love interest, Meredith (Jane Levy) truly proves to be up and coming, having a great 2016 with ‘Don’t Breathe,’ the sleeper hit horror film of the year and now playing an extreme contrast of character in a child friendly film, she is definitely a talent worth watching out for.

Overall, our main character is the loveable ‘Creech.’ He may be CGI, but so are Gollum and Caesar. Think of him as a loveable but bigger E.T or Gizmo. If you take your little one to see it, they’ll look at this as perfect nostalgia, but for the adults, be prepared to not be blown away, but to think ‘at least my kid loved it and that’s what counts.’

[rating=3] | Aly Lalji

Family, Adventure | USA, 2016 | PG | 26th December 2016 (UK) | Paramount Pictures | Dir.Chris Wedge | Jane Levy, Lucas Till, Rob Lowe,Amy Ryan, Danny Glover, Barry Pepper