“Monster Trucks” stars Lucas Till, Jane Levy, Amy Ryan, Rob Lowe, Danny Glover, Barry Pepper, and Holt McCallany. Released on January 13, 2017, the film is about a high school senior who befriends a subterranean creature with a taste for speed.
The film is directed by Chris Wedge, who is known for directing Ice Age, Robots, and Epic. You guys probably haven’t heard about this one, so I’m going to give it to you briefly. This is the latest feature from Paramount’s new film division, Paramount Animation, who also gave us The Spongebob Movie: Sponge Out of Water back in 2015. It was originally set for a 2015 release, but after several date changes, it finally settled for a January 2017 release, which is considered by many moviegoers to be “the month of critically panned movies”. OK, I came up with that name. After directing a couple of animated films for Blue Sky Studios, it’s nice for me to see Chris Wedge take on a live-action project for the first time, let alone a live-action/CGI film. The premise does have some silly qualities that may lure in some families, but do those qualities work well to help the film race its way to victory? Well, yes and no.
From the looks of this film, I can probably tell that it’s going to be nonsensical and kid-friendly, especially from the trailers, and after finally getting a chance to see the final cut, I was right. However, I did walk out of this film with a nice smile on my face. In the midst of vampires, werewolves, terrorists bombing the Boston Marathon, and the fools who dream, it’s nice to see another family film that knows how to make me smile. If you’re looking for a film that has strong characters and a powerful story, this one is definitely not for you. The story can be a nice treat for the little ones, but for the adults, it can come off as cheesy and predictable. It’s something that you would expect it to be from the trailers, and that’s OK. The film knows that it has a silly premise and it just rolled with it. If the film can have some fun with it, why can’t I, right? The performances from the cast range from OK to mediocre. There were times where the acting can get a little rough around the edges or a bit too corny, but it wasn’t enough to bring the film down that much. The visuals in the film, mostly on the creatures, were pretty decent. They’re not as fantastic as the other films with amazing visuals, but they’re definitely not as horrible as the effects in a television film from SyFy. If you guys are wondering what I thought of Creech, the creature who befriends Lucas Till’s character, I would say that it’s adorable. It may not be as memorable as the other friendly film creatures, but I think some of the little kids will like him as much as I did.
Overall, “Monster Trucks” hits a few bumps on the road in terms of story and memorable characters, but it has enough gas in its tank to offer some harmless fun for the whole family. Like I said before, it’s not for everybody who likes strong storytelling. It’s for those who want a break from reality. Sure, there are other family films out there that are probably better than this, but if you want a silly live-action cartoon that you can just watch for fun, then here you go.