Sometimes I don’t get the flack that some films get, though when it comes down to the financial side of things I can kind of understand. When a movie is greenlit and is given a big budget and then fails to recoup that investment it is definitely a financial failure. However it often mystifies me when I think that a film is good or great and it misfires. Monster Trucks is one of those films.
The plot of the film is arguably a little silly and is full of things that make the logic centre of my brain groan a little, but considering that this is a Nickelodeon film it’s the kiddies that are the target audience of this film.
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.
Thematically the film has some not-too-subtle themes about wildlife conservation and corporate greed. Some meat for the adults in the audience though the film is not preachy in the least. The big bad in Monster Trucks is the oil company who disregard the suggestions of their employed experts and dig through an underground layer of water to get at the oil below. This drilling is what causes the accidental release of a trio of the subterranean creatures, two of which the company captures with the third escaping to meet the hero of the picture.
Of course the oil company, who are the big employers in town, wants to keep the discovery hush hush, hunt down the missing creature, and destroy the habitat so that they can keep their drilling operation going.
The performance of Lucas Till, who plays Tripp in the film, felt a little bit wooden throughout the film. Actually for the most part many of the actors in the movie felt like they were phoning in their performance. The standout in the film for me was Jane Levy who played Meredith, the schoolmate and would-be love interest of clueless Tripp.
Visually the film was flawless. Considering the melding of visual effects with the “monsters” and the rest of the environment was definitely a technical feat, it was very well done.
The movie also touched all of the standard “feel good” buttons of a family friendly film. The movie wasn’t anything to phone home about but it was definitely a fun ride, so to speak.
Monster Trucks is now available on Digital HD and will be released on Blu-Ray and DVD on Tuesday, April 11th.