Monster Trucks (film)

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Monster Trucks
Monster Trucks poster.jpg
Theatrical release poster by Steven Chorney
Directed by Chris Wedge
Produced by
Screenplay by Derek Connolly
Story by
Starring
Music by Dave Sardy
Cinematography Don Burgess
Edited by Conrad Buff IV
Production
companies
Distributed by Paramount Pictures
Release date
  • December 21, 2016 (2016-12-21) (France)
  • January 13, 2017 (2017-01-13) (United States)
Running time
105 minutes[2]
Country United States
Language English
Budget $125 million[3]
Box office $64.5 million[4]

Monster Trucks is a 2016 American action-comedy film produced by Paramount Animation, Nickelodeon Movies and Disruption Entertainment for Paramount Pictures. It was directed by Chris Wedge and written by Jonathan Aibel, Glenn Berger, Derek Connolly and Matthew Robinson.[5] The film stars Lucas Till, Jane Levy, Amy Ryan, Rob Lowe, Danny Glover, Barry Pepper and Holt McCallany, and follows a high schooler who finds an escaped monster living in his truck.

Principal photography of the film began on April 4, 2014, in Kamloops, British Columbia, Canada. It was released by Paramount Pictures in France on December 21, 2016 and in the United States on January 13, 2017, and received mixed reviews from critics. Monster Trucks grossed $64 million worldwide against its $125 million budget, leading Forbes and The Los Angeles Times to label it as a box office bomb.[6][7][8]

Plot[edit]

At the start of the film, Terravex Oil is in the midst of a fracking operation near a lake in North Dakota, overseen by CEO Reece Tenneson (Rob Lowe) and geologist Jim Dowd (Thomas Lennon). The operation releases three subterranean creatures and destroys the drilling rig. Two are captured by Terravex, but one of them escapes the site. Meanwhile, high school senior Tripp Coley (Lucas Till) is looking for something to do to escape the life of his family; his parents are divorced, his mother Cindy (Amy Ryan) is in a relationship with Rick (Barry Pepper) the town's sheriff, who fails to take him seriously, and has taken up a part-time job at a local junkyard, where he builds a pickup truck in hopes of being able to leave his town. One night, Tripp encounters the escaped creature in the junkyard and captures it, but the creature escapes before he can seek authorities.

The next day Tripp, along with classmate Meredith (Jane Levy), finds that the creature has a diet of oil and it takes shelter within the hood of his truck. He quickly befriends him, names him Creech, and promises to help him get home. Tripp modifies the truck to give Creech more control over the truck as a makeshift engine, and Meredith becomes quite impressed and surprised at Creech's speed and talent. Meanwhile, Tenneson is still concerned about the incident at the drilling rig that exposed Creech, since similar experiments have revealed the two beasts. He decides to protect the company's image by drilling poison into a hole leading to the underwater tunnels, and by sending hired mercenary Burke (Holt McCallany) to kill their captured creatures, to the objection of Jim, as he finds the monsters have significant intelligence and emotions. Tripp and Meredith go see Tripp's dad Wade (Frank Whaley), who works at Terravex, to seek help.

However, when Tripp goes to check on Wade, he realizes that he sold him out to Burke, and Tripp and Meredith escape in the truck with Creech, but not before destroying Wade's trailer. Tripp, Meredith, and Creech are chased by Burke and his team and Rick (who was sent by Cindy to the trailer park to pick up Tripp). Tripp, Meredith, and Creech manage to escaped by jumping over a train, and camp at a hunting cabin owned by Meredith's father near the lake, while Rick chastises Burke for attempting to follow them himself.

When Creech gets the sense that something bad will happen to the other creatures, who are actually his parents, he heads to the Terravex headquarters where the other creatures are being held captive. Tripp and Meredith follow Creech using Meredith's cellphone, as Trip left his phone in the truck. When they arrive, they find Creech's parents, but are attacked by Terravex workers. Creech arrives and is captured. Tripp and Meredith are taken to Tenneson, and he tells them to forget about Creech and his parents and has Burke escort them out.

Sympathetic to the creatures' plight, Jim decides to help Tripp and Meredith rescue the creatures. With the help of Tripp's junkyard boss, Mr. Weathers (Danny Glover), they acquire two more trucks, one being a repossession from a rich teen who had failed to make payments, and another being the birthday present of his friend Sam Geldon (Tucker Albrizzi), whose father owns a local car dealership. They modify the trucks for Creech's parents to control similar to Creech in Tripp's truck. Jim helps the group by stealing the Terravex truck on which the monsters are loaded. At the dealership, the creatures take control of the modified trucks and the group make their escape up the mountain leading to the tunnels.

Terravex gives chase up the mountain and the group escape by using the trucks to jump over the edge of the mountain. On the way, Rick, having realized that the creatures exist, helps Tripp and the group escape from Burke. After realized that the poison has been inserted, Tripp gets into a head-on battle with Burke, who attempts to push him into the drilling hole, and Tripp overturns Burke's truck, destroying the poison machine, but not without falling into the hole. Creech saves him from drowning before he and his parents depart back home and Terravex is exposed by the group for the experimentation that was harming the creature's habitat. Tenneson is arrested, Tripp and Rick develop on good terms and together build a new engine for the truck, and Tripp and Meredith begin a relationship, thus leaving the town.

Cast[edit]

Production[edit]

On July 31, 2013, Paramount Animation announced that they were developing a new live-action/animated franchise, with an entry film titled Monster Trucks, and Jonathan Aibel and Glenn Berger set to write film's script.[5] Chris Wedge was set to direct the film, which was produced by Mary Parent, with an initial release date set for May 29, 2015.[5][17] Production took place in Vancouver Film Studios in Vancouver.[18] On February 19, 2014, Jane Levy and Lucas Till joined the cast of the film.[9][19] On March 24, Amy Ryan was cast in a role,[10] and later that week, Holt McCallany joined the cast as a villain.[14] On April 1, Frank Whaley and Danny Glover joined the cast of the film.[12] Later that month, Thomas Lennon joined as well,[15] and on April 14, Barry Pepper joined the cast.[13] On April 24, Tucker Albrizzi, who starred in Big Time Rush, joined the cast,[16] with Rob Lowe added five days later.[11][20]

In December 2013, it was announced that the film's production would begin in early April 2014 in Vancouver,[21] with filming wrapping up in mid-July, and the studio Vancouver Film Studios was booked for the production.[18] Principal photography began on April 4, 2014, in Kamloops, British Columbia.[22] Filming was spotted on May 13, 2014 in downtown Chilliwack, Canada.[23][24]

Release[edit]

The release date was shifted several times. It was initially set for May 29, 2015, but on January 26, 2015, the film was pushed back to December 25, 2015, a date first assigned for Mission: Impossible – Rogue Nation.[25] On May 5, 2015, the film was pushed back again, to March 18, 2016.[26] On November 10, 2015, the film's release date was pushed back again, to January 13, 2017.[27]

On September 21, 2016, The Hollywood Reporter stated Paramount would take a $115 million writedown on the film due to its expected poor performance at the box office.[28]

Home media[edit]

Monster Trucks was released on Digital HD on March 28, 2017[29] and on Blu-ray and DVD on April 11, 2017.[30]

Reception[edit]

Box office[edit]

Monster Trucks grossed $33.4 million in the United States and Canada and $31.1 million in other territories, for a worldwide total of $64.5 million.[4]

In North America, Monster Trucks was released alongside the openings of The Bye Bye Man and Sleepless, as well as the wide releases of Silence, Patriots Day and Live by Night, and was expected to gross $8–10 million from 3,119 theaters in its opening weekend.[31] It ended up making $11 million ($14.2 million over the four-day MLK weekend), finishing 7th at the box office.[32]

Due to its $125 million budget, as well as additional amounts spent on promotion, the film was labeled a box office bomb.[33][34][35]

Critical response[edit]

On review aggregator website Rotten Tomatoes the film has an approval rating of 32% based on 81 reviews and an average rating of 4.5/10. The site's critical consensus reads, "Despite flashes of inspiration, the singularly high-concept Monster Trucks shows that it takes more than monsters and trucks to create a compelling feature film."[36] On Metacritic, the film has a score of 41 out of 100 based on 23 critics, indicating "mixed or average reviews".[37] Audiences polled by CinemaScore gave the film an average grade of "A" on an A+ to F scale.[38]

References[edit]

  1. ^ http://www.monstertrucksmovie.com/images/billing.png
  2. ^ "Monster Trucks [2D] (PG)". British Board of Film Classification. September 14, 2016. Retrieved September 14, 2016. 
  3. ^ David Lieberman (September 21, 2016). "‘Monster Trucks’ Drove Viacom's $115M Charge Even Before Its Release". Deadline.com. Retrieved September 22, 2016. 
  4. ^ a b "Monster Trucks (2017)". Box Office Mojo. Retrieved March 10, 2017. 
  5. ^ a b c Finke, Nikki (31 July 2013). "Paramount Animation Plans 'Monster Trucks' Live Action-Toon Franchise: In Final Talks With Blue Sky's Chris Wedge To Direct". deadline.com. Retrieved 24 February 2014. 
  6. ^ http://www.latimes.com/business/hollywood/la-fi-ct-paramount-monster-trucks-20170111-story.html
  7. ^ http://www.forbes.com/forbes/welcome/?toURL=http://www.forbes.com/sites/scottmendelson/2017/01/16/box-office-ben-affleck-martin-scorsese-and-monster-trucks-flop-over-mlk-weekend/&refURL=https://www.google.com/&referrer=https://www.google.com/
  8. ^ http://variety.com/2017/film/news/hidden-figures-patriots-day-box-office-live-by-night-monster-trucks-1201959151/
  9. ^ a b c "Paramount Wants Lucas Till & Jane Levy in 'Monster Trucks' Toy Movie". firstshowing.net. February 19, 2014. Retrieved April 29, 2014. 
  10. ^ a b "Amy Ryan Gears Up For 'Monster Trucks'; Blake Jenner Creeps Into 'Crawlspace;' Pablo Larrain Helms 'Scarface'". www.deadline.com. May 20, 2014. Retrieved March 24, 2014. 
  11. ^ a b "Rob Lowe driving Monster Trucks". moviehole.net. April 29, 2014. Retrieved April 29, 2014. 
  12. ^ a b c "Frank Whaley, Danny Glover Joining Lucas Till in 'Monster Trucks' (Exclusive)". www.hollywoodreporter.com. 2014-05-20. Retrieved 2014-05-20. 
  13. ^ a b "Paramount's 'Monster Trucks' Adds Barry Pepper". deadline.com. April 15, 2014. Retrieved April 15, 2014. 
  14. ^ a b "Holt McCallany Revs Up Villainous Role In Paramount's 'Monster Trucks'". www.deadline.com. May 20, 2015. Retrieved March 26, 2014. 
  15. ^ a b "Thomas Lennon Straps In For Paramount's 'Monster Trucks'". deadline.com. April 10, 2014. Retrieved April 29, 2014. 
  16. ^ a b "Chrissie Fit Cast In 'Pitch Perfect 2′; Shohreh Aghdashloo To Narrate 'Alam High School'; Tucker Albrizzi Joins 'Monster Trucks'". deadline.com. April 24, 2014. Retrieved April 29, 2014. 
  17. ^ "Paramount Animation Looking to Tackle Monster Trucks". comingsoon.net. 1 August 2013. Retrieved 24 February 2014. 
  18. ^ a b "Big-budget 'Monster Trucks' to roll into Vancouver in April". globalnews.ca. 29 December 2013. Retrieved 24 February 2014. 
  19. ^ "Lucas Till - Lucas Till and Jane Levy to star in Monster Trucks". contactmusic. April 29, 2014. Retrieved February 19, 2014. 
  20. ^ "Rob Lowe Joins 'Monster Trucks'". April 29, 2014. Retrieved April 29, 2014. 
  21. ^ "Updated production office info for Chris Wedge's MONSTER TRUCKS filming in Vancouver to begin early April". twitter.com. Retrieved 24 February 2014. 
  22. ^ "START: Big-Budget Live-Action Movie MONSTER TRUCKS Begins Filming". yvrshoots. Retrieved 2014-05-21. 
  23. ^ Hellinger, Mike (12 May 2014). "Chilliwack buzzing with film shoot downtown this week". starfm.com. Retrieved 21 May 2014. 
  24. ^ J. Henderson, Paul (15 May 2014). "Downtown Chilliwack turns into Monster Trucks movie set". chilliwacktimes.com. Retrieved 20 May 2014. 
  25. ^ Pamela McClintock. "Paramount Shifts 'Mission: Impossible 5' Release Date to Summer 2015". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved 26 January 2015. 
  26. ^ Dave McNary. "Monster Trucks Release Date Pushed Back to 2016". Variety. Retrieved 2015-05-06. 
  27. ^ McNary, Dave (November 10, 2015). "Paramount Sets ‘SpongeBob 3’ for 2019, Delays ‘Monster Trucks’ to 2017". variety.com. Retrieved November 11, 2015. 
  28. ^ McClintock, Pamela; Masters, Kim (21 September 2016). "'Monster Trucks' Leads Viacom to Take $115M Write-Down". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved 28 October 2016. 
  29. ^ "Monster Trucks (2016)". DVDs Release Date. Retrieved 19 March 2017. 
  30. ^ Hunt, Bill. "Planet Earth II 4K official, plus Monster Trucks, Saturday Night Fever update & Star Wars: Ralph McQuarrie book deal". The Digital Bits. Retrieved 19 March 2017. 
  31. ^ "Mark Wahlberg's 'Patriots Day' and 'La La Land' to battle 'Hidden Figures' for box office win". Los Angeles Times. 
  32. ^ "‘Hidden Figures’ Stays Smart, But Why Are So Many Movies Bombing Over MLK Weekend?". Deadline.com. 
  33. ^ http://www.latimes.com/business/hollywood/la-fi-ct-paramount-monster-trucks-20170111-story.html
  34. ^ http://www.forbes.com/forbes/welcome/?toURL=http://www.forbes.com/sites/scottmendelson/2017/01/16/box-office-ben-affleck-martin-scorsese-and-monster-trucks-flop-over-mlk-weekend/&refURL=https://www.google.com/&referrer=https://www.google.com/
  35. ^ http://variety.com/2017/film/news/hidden-figures-patriots-day-box-office-live-by-night-monster-trucks-1201959151/
  36. ^ "Monster Trucks (2017)". Rotten Tomatoes. Retrieved January 24, 2017. 
  37. ^ "Monster Trucks reviews". Metacritic. Retrieved January 18, 2017. 
  38. ^ "CinemaScore". cinemascore. com. 

External links[edit]