Monster Trucks was like E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial if E.T. really sucked.
To be fair, if I were ten years old, this film might have been more entertaining. There were many moments in the film that felt like throwbacks to my youth, seeing those old ’80s movies with a monster/alien/animal meeting a kid and getting help to go home.
Honestly, Monster Trucks has beat for beat story points to E.T. Cute alien. Oil=Reese’s Pieces. Trying to get home. Evil oil company=government agents. Bicycles=mo9nster trucks.
See. There are a ton of similarities.
Tripp (Lucas Till) is a young boy who is trying to build his own truck out of parts from the junkyard where he works. Trying to avoid a troublesome home life, Tripp meets a monster that had been released from a subterranean environment by an oil company drilling for a huge oil pocket. Bonding, Tripp and Creech (named by Tripp) found out that Creech could be used as his truck’s motor. Unfortunately, a group of cruel mercenaries, led by the one-note villain Burke (Holt McCallany), was hired by oil executive Reece Tenneson (Rob Lowe) to recapture the creature. You see, he did not want to let anyone know that there was a new species of creature living in the water pocket above the oil he wanted to drill because that would stop them from drilling. And Tenneson was ready to do whatever he had to to get it done.
The story has so many dumb things happen. The amount of property damage caused by some of the chase scenes were so unrealistic that it took me out of the story. Tripp just crashed through other cars without even one concern over it.
There were no other interesting characters. Honestly, Creech was almost more interesting than any of the human characters. The relationship between Tripp and Creech was fairly cute, so much so that it almost makes you forget that Tripp was at first tried to crush it to death with a car compacter and that he was then taking advantage of Creech to be his truck’s engine.
The CGI of the creature was decent. Some of the stunts with the truck did not look great. Some of the “live-action” stunts looked ridiculous. There were so many things that were stupid and I sat in the theater and thought to myself, “Why are they doing this or that?” The action sets are poorly thought out and put together.
Again, the action set pieces look great if you are ten years old.
The dialogue is ridiculous. The characters are wooden and dull. The action is boring. Jane Levy, who played Meredith, was a really cute girl who I did like. She had a sweetness about her that was appealing. She should have better material than this junk (she was in Don’t Breathe, which is considerably better material).
Monster Trucks was not as offensive as I thought it was going to be. It is, by no means, good, but I did not come out of it angry about seeing it. I can see many ten-year old kids really liking this, and then, when they are older, realizing that they really didn’t know what they were watching.