Monster Trucks Review
'How to waste 125 million dollars'
By: Paramount Pictures
Directed by: Chris Wedge
Boy, is this film Boring.
Where as last week i suffered through Underworld: Blood Wars, This week's Monster trucks has came in to make me realize that no matter how hard you try, And how much money you invest, A Boring story is just a boring story..
Underworld was just lazy, and not well made, this... monster.. well, its a different beast.
First lets start off with some history as to how in the world did this even sound like a good idea to anyone with millions of dollars.
(The way these events unfolded are not 100% accurate as I wasn't there but hey lets use some imagination)
Step 1, A father watches his child playing with some toy trucks and thinks.. "hmm kids like trucks.. what if i made a movie about trucks, and than make money off merchandising off said trucks, and they.. could be monsters instead of robots like transformers!" This man, is Adam Goodman
Step 2, So Mr. Goodman goes to the studio where he works, and says, "GUYS I know how to make millions" The studio immediately perks up, "Call a meeting STAT! money to be made boys" a higher paid exec yells. They set up a meeting with some top brass and They talk about the film,
"It'll be like transformers with these.. monster cars driving instead of alien robots"
"Merchandising could be through the roof, Franchise possibilities are basically inevitable"
"We already tapped Chris Wedge to direct, The guy made Ice Age a big time franchise"
Chris wedge sitting at the opposite side of the table, points at himself confused, "What?"
A studio head stands up.
"My god.. Monster Trucks... We'll call it... Monster Trucks.."
They all awe at the amazement, The atmosphere evolves into a weird mixture of heightened false creativity & hopeless desperation for another franchise to make millions.
"kids LOVE monster trucks right??!!?" The exec yells, No one answered as they couldn't tell if that was a rhetorical question.
And that ladies and gentleman is how a Hollywood film is green-lit, Isn't it beautiful?
So after these events the film went through what many know as Development hell, here's a quick bullet list of the events.
- July 31st 2013, Chris Wedge is set to Direct
- February 8th 2014 Lucas Till, Jane Levy are set to lead
- April 1st 2014, Amy Ryan, Danny Glover, Thomas Lennon, Barry Pepper, Frank Whaley. & Rob Lowe fill the cast.
- July 10, 2014, Monster Trucks wraps a three month shoot. (YEAH, this thing was shot 3 years ago!)
- February 26, 2015, Adam Goodman, Gets fired abruptly from Paramount. Monster Trucks now becomes a orphan as nobody in the studio cares for it.
- May 29, 2015, Monster Trucks misses its 1st release date..
- Dec. 25, 2015, Monster Trucks misses its 2nd release date...
- March 18, 2016, Monster Trucks misses its 3rd release date....
- September 21, 2016, Viacom, Parent company of paramount announces"A programming impairment charge of $115 million" that is "related to the expected performance of an unreleased film" That film of course is Monster Trucks, That impairment charge is basically a write-off or loss.
- January 12, 2017, Monster Trucks is finally released.....
So what did we end up with after all that?
Lets start with the positive, the filmmakers are actually competent here. You can tell a good bit of money was sunk into this project. Nothing looks expressively bad, and nobody exclusively sucks. Everyone involved just equally sucks across the bored (They suck bad, just equally). It's like someone force feeding you a story, and they laugh at all the jokes and cry at all the right points and smile at the aww, so cute moments. Meanwhile your sitting there uninterested, not laughing, not crying, and definitely not saying aww. I believe it's because one thing you cant force, no matter how hard you try, is the soul of a film. It feels like everyone involved in this read a "How to" film book and followed all the rules beat by beat.
So, now with the bad....
The most forgettable aspect of the film is absolutely the music. I honestly cant even remember if this thing had a soundtrack..
The direction wasn't terrible just extremely by the books. There isn't a single shot in this film that seemed original or artistic in any sense of the word, actually the shots and visuals border on the extremely boring. The director coming from an animation background (ice age) must have some ounce of creative eye since animation tends to employ great visual shots, but it is lost here, whether he was incapable or lazy will never be known.
The editing of the film was also uninspired, nothing felt choppy but it never felt engrossing.
The acting was flat out terrible.. Lucas Till plays a teenager that looks a little too old, and it seems like he just read the lines as was told. There was not a single ounce of be-livability as the character portrayed was as 2 dimensional as paper Mario (I love paper Mario btw) Jane Levy on the other hand at least tried to show some charisma but an actor can only act as good as the writing allows.. The rest of the cast were meaningless, as they were literally there for the beats of the plot to work.. Which leads me to the biggest villain of this film..
THE SCRIPT IS POO
Wana hear something scary? Derek Connolly. This is the guy responsible for writing the script. (Matthew Robinson, Jonathan Aibel & Glenn Berger are responsible for coming up with story). This script is flat out terrible. It seems like he read how to save the cat and followed every single rule to the tee, which I guess is fine if there's some ounce of creativity.. which last I checked creativity is beholden to rules if anything it reinvents and destroys them. This guy obviously doesn't understand that. Plot holes and just stupid check-mark moments litter this story, run over cars for cool monster truck moment, check, girl is interested in uninterested guy, check, guy notices her right when he needs her most, check. Cute moments with the monsters to build some likeability, check, angry step-father doesn't understand step-son, check, said step-father grows a newfound respect when his help is needed, check, I mean literally every moment in this film feels like a forced written exercise.. The scariest thing is this guy is suppose to write Star Wars Episode IX.. I'm not a big Star Wars fan but I'd be concerned.
So in Ending...
3/10- Bad- Not worth your time
Monster Trucks is a beast of a film in all the most negative ways. This is what happens when a studio exec watches his kid play with a toy car and thinks, how do I turn this into money? (True Story) I'm glad this movie failed because it has no right to succeed, no matter how much money rich, un-creative people throw at it. The film is flat, boring, and written so badly I could've swore it was a writing exercise pulled from Hollywood's dump pile.
Did you see Monster Trucks? What did you think?? Leave comments below!
P.S I know I'm grammatically challenged so any corrections brought up is welcomed Thanks!