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Blu-ray Review: Monster Trucks

April 11, 2017

By John Corrado

★★½ (out of 4)

After a sleazy small town oil drilling operation accidentally shakes a trio of ancient sea creatures back to the surface from an ecosystem deep underground, the unscrupulous boss (Rob Lowe) convinces his geologist (Thomas Lennon) to keep the discovery hidden.  But one of the tentacled beings ends up finding his way to town, and hides out in the mechanic’s shop where teenager Tripp (Lucas Till) spends his time tinkering around with the engines.

When Tripp discovers that the oil-guzzling creature, who he affectionately dubs Creech, makes a mean engine for his scrapped together old pickup truck, Tripp and his biology tutor Meredith (Jane Levy) go to great lengths to protect Creech from the authorities, who want to hide any trace of the creature’s existence so as not to threaten their drilling.

Directed by Chris Wedges, making his live action debut after doing the animated films Ice Age, Robots and Epic for Blue Sky Studios, Monster Trucks has a premise that sounds ludicrous on paper, and has been relentlessly mocked in some circles because of it.  But the film is actually thoroughly decent for what it is, and is better than expected considering its status as a notorious box office flop that had been sitting on the studio shelf for a couple of years and kept having its release date pushed back, before finally being unceremoniously dumped into theatres this past January.

For a completely unpretentious, turn your brain off for two hours type of film, Monster Trucks delivers on the sheer absurdity of its premise to deliver something that is actually surprisingly enjoyable.  It’s by no means groundbreaking, but Lucas Till and Jane Levy make for likeable leads, Creech is cute enough to be appealing, and the film has a good heart about it that feels refreshingly pure.  The child in me was able to just power down and have some fun with the film.

The Blu-ray also includes several deleted scenes, the featurettes Who’s Driving the Monster Trucks?, The Monster in the Truck and Creating the Monster Truck which show how they mixed digital and practical effects in the film, as well as a collection of short Production Diaries and a gag reel.

Monster Truck is a Paramount Home Media Distribution release.  It’s 104 minutes and rated PG.

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