If you fondly remember eighties sci-fi adventures like Short Circuit, Splash, Gremlins and Explorers, and yearn for those silly Disney movies of the seventies like The Cat From Outer Space and Candleshoe, you’ll smile at this equally daft 21st century family movie that is much more fun than you’d expect from the title.
While all his high school peers drive around in flashy new trucks, Tripp (Till, playing 18 but looking 30) lives on the poor side of town with his mom and is trying to rebuild a battered pick up truck from bits and pieces of scrapped cars. His luck changes, however, when a local drilling company (led by mean baddie businessman Rob Lowe) buries deep enough into the ground that they hit the habitat of a new giant squid-like species, and one of the escaping creatures takes up residence under the hood of Tripp’s truck. Even better, the endearing critter drinks oil and can power the truck like an engine, which comes in handy when the bad guys come looking for him.
Younger kids may find the creature a bit scary until they get a full look at how cute he is (sort of a squishier, grey CGI version of How To Train Your Dragon’s Toothless) and adults may grumble at some of the looser plot threads (Tripp’s relationship with estranged dad Frank Whaley isn’t properly explored) but in the end this is a well-paced, likeably dopey adventure that should amuse the whole family for a little while at least.
Is Monster Trucks suitable for kids? Here are our parents’ notes...
As mentioned in the review, children under the age of 8 may be scared of the creature in the early scenes until they see him properly.
When the creatures first explode out of the drilling hole, it may startle younger viewers.
Very young children may also be scared during the scene at the junkyard when Tripp first sees the creature and runs away from it.
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