Monster Trucks

Movies, Family and kids
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Monster Trucks

This kid-friendly action flick has monsters and souped-up trucks—just not a whole lot of sense.

"It could’ve been worse" may not sound like gushing praise. But when a film expands on a concept dreamed up by a production executive and his four-year-old son (really), expectations naturally plummet through the floor. Still, while Monster Trucks may be bizarre, haphazard and deeply silly, hey, it’s a movie about monsters that live in trucks. It was never going to be Citizen Kane.

The creature in question—a big friendly mass of tentacles—is spewed out of an underground lake by aggressive oil drilling (topical!), only to be found by motorhead teenager Tripp (Lucas Till). So far, so E.T.—only the wrinkly brown one was never employed as a replacement truck engine so Elliott could race the rich kids at school. And it only gets weirder from there.

In the plus column, the pace is speedy and the cast is solid: Thomas Lennon, Barry Pepper and Danny Glover all do solid enough work that you almost forget how slappable Till is, while Rob Lowe channels his nasty side as an oily energy exec. In the minus column is, well, just about everything else: the lame jokes, the cruddy special effects and the constant lunges for your heartstrings. The film shows every sign of having been extensively reworked in the editing room; several characters disappear for long stretches only to pop up again for the finale, while the climactic chase seems to be over before it began. Still, if you like trucks and/or monsters and have 102 minutes with absolutely nothing better to do, give it a spin.

By: Tom Huddleston

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Release details

Rated: PG
Release date: Friday January 13 2017
Duration: 104 mins

Cast and crew

Director: Chris Wedge
Screenwriter: Derek Connolly
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