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Actually, there doesn’t seem to be much that needs explaining beyond the title. It’s quite literally a monster in a very large pick-up truck. The trailer gives most of the plot away, but to sum up, a teenager named Trip (Lucas Till), disillusioned with small town life, builds himself a monster truck from spare parts from scrapped vehicles, thinking the Monster Truck entertainment industry is a way out. Meanwhile, a local oil-drilling site has an accident and releases a subterranean creature that feeds on petroleum products and loves to move very, very fast once it’s above ground. It takes up residence inside the chassis of Trip’s new truck, concealing itself almost entirely, becoming the engine and undercarriage. Trip and the beast make for fast friends and it’s off to the races as the boy learns about life and love while naturally, scientists and government types move in to snatch up the monster.
Claiming to be a family-friendly film that not only will be exciting but touch your heart, it’s a kind of modern live-action version of How To Train Your Dragon that certainly looks to tick off all the right boxes and admittedly has some real appeal. Boasting a cast of well-known names of young and old, including Jane Levy, Amy Ryan, Rob Lowe, Danny Glover, Barry Pepper, there is some potential for some good fun on the tropes of the ‘alien found by a young person who is hiding it from adults‘ themed-movies that E.T. The Extra-Terrestrial kicked off.
Directed by Oscar-winner Chris Wedge, who brought us the first Ice Age and Robots, this state-of-the-art live-action and CGI film has a strong Disney feel to it, (it’s a Paramount Animation and Nickelodeon Movies release), which might be the right touch as the teenager horror-gore genre is already overstuffed. The monster itself is very reminiscent of Paramount’s Toothless from the aforementioned How To Train Your Dragon, just with tentacles instead of feet and certainly will earn some love from fans. And since the clip reveals there’s more than one, you can bet this is a franchise in the making. We’ll find out soon enough.
Monster Trucks opens January, 2017