Brooding teenage outsider “Trip” (Lucas Till) is looking for a way to escape the drudgery of his life in a small North Dakota oil town. A high school senior who spends more time working at a scrapyard than he does at school, he decides his best way out is to build a monster truck from the metal lying around the junkyard.
Just as he’s struggling to install his engine Trip stumbles across a grotesque, oil-guzzling creature who’s been living in his garage since an accident at a nearby oil field unearthed him and his family. Unsurprisingly, the monster, which looks like a cross between an octopus and a manatee, turns out to be friendly, and soon bonds with Trip. Perhaps more surprisingly – and quite conveniently – “Creech” as Trip decides to call him, can drive trucks. He does this not by sitting in the passenger seat, but by squeezing into the framework and spinning the wheels with his tentacles.
What follows is a race to reunite the monster with its parents and return the family to where they came from before they’re destroyed by the villainous oil company boss (Rob Lowe).
The movie is like a bizarre mishmash of Men in Black, ET and Free Willy, but can’t really live up to the emotional impact of those films, with the plot just a little too convoluted and the animation of the monsters themselves not particularly memorable. That being said, the strange CGI creatures are endearing enough to leave viewers rooting for them by the end of the story.
Alongside the main narrative is the obligatory high school movie romance between Trip and his goody two-shoes study partner, Meredith, who eventually becomes the accomplice in his adventures. However, the relationship between Trip and Creech is the more interesting of the two, although it fails to be as genuinely heartwarming as presumably intended.
Despite all of this, Monster Trucks is entertaining enough, if only because the storyline is so ridiculous, and it provoked plenty of giggles and gasps from the younger members of the audience that the film is aimed at. It’s difficult to be entirely sure how anyone came up with the plot for Monster Trucks, but probably plenty of youngsters will be quite glad that they did.
Monster Trucks is released nationwide on 26th December 2016.
Watch the trailer for Monster Trucks here: