Hear that whining screech of broken parts? That’s the sound of another movie about fantasy vehicles failing to gain traction.
Directed by computer-animation veteran Chris Wedge, Monster Trucks tells the story of an unusual friendship between a high school senior Tripp Coley (Lucas Till) and slimy, oil-guzzling monster named Creech. If you’re the type who doesn’t like using their brain whatsoever for 104 minutes at a time, you might find this simple-minded movie amusing.
Monster Trucks opens with an oil company drilling into the earth's crust. But they don't realise that a strange species is about to be unleashed. During the extraction of crude oil, these mysterious monsters are sucked into the pipe, which then breaks, leading to the creatures' escape. One monster, Creech, as he is later named by his human friend, finds his way to a vehicle repair yard, and encounters Tripp the mechanic.
After realising more than just oil leaked out of those broken pipes, the drilling company begins a hunt to find the monster. After realising that Creech isn't going to eat him, Tripp protects his scaly new friend by hiding him in a modified truck. It turns out Tripp has a taste for speed, and soon the pair are on the run from oil tycoons.
The movie is primed to make the most of 3D, with scenes showing the truck going haywire on the road, before driving up onto buildings and leaping over rooftops. But the visuals alone don’t make it worth the extra cost to see it in 3D.
The casting choices are also questionable: Tripp is supposed to be high school senior, but 26-year-old Lucas Till looks at least 10 years older than anyone you can see in high schools. Are we expected to believe that he’s been held back every year ... for an entire decade?
The absurd storyline plays out like it was written by a primary school student – some baddies want to capture a friendly monster, a kind-hearted boy helps the monster hide. It’s a simple hide-and-seek movie with some impressive sequences, but unfortunately it stalls right from the off.