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'Monster Trucks' a kids movie, through and through

Published:Saturday | January 21, 2017 | 12:00 AMDamian Levy
Tripp (Lucas Till) finds the key to leaving town in ‘Monster Trucks’.

The title Monster Trucks doesn't inspire confidence. As I sat in an empty cinema, that inspiration dwindled further. Still, Monster Trucks is one of the only big releases these days not based on something else. So there's that.

It follows the story of Tripp, a small-town boy with big dreams. Those dreams seem within grasp when an oil drilling gone bad unleashes an unknown subterranean species. A species that has the unique ability to make his truck go really fast.

Monster Trucks is every movie where a kid finds a friend in a mythical creature; something seen recently in the remake of Pete's Dragon. Whereas that film was a familiar breath of fresh air, Monster Trucks is more or less unremarkable. As unremarkable as a movie of this kind gets. At the very least, it moves at a brisk enough pace, which is a godsend, considering it's one hour and 45-minute run time.

I did enjoy the latter part of Monster Trucks. That's when it's more action and less character. The main character, Tripp, is at best annoying, and at worst, a bore. So as the movie goes on, and embraces its premise, it becomes exponentially more enjoyable, delivering on its ridiculous title. There's a glee to a movie that doesn't try to be anything more than it is.

Monster Trucks feels like it was tailor-made for boys under 10 everywhere. Boys like monsters. Boys like trucks. At least, that's what the thinking is for a studio executive. With that being said, this definitely feels like a film I would've thoroughly enjoyed at that age. So really, there's two ratings to be given. For a kid, it's definitely a big-screen watch. For the moms and dads paying for the ticket? It's only worth maybe catching on cable. At least, that way, you can feel like a kid again, free of cost.