Observation for me can be a discipline to concentrate on the world around me and write from that.

Observation is useful in writing, though.

I may relate my observations to my writing foundations and build a story out of it, that’s part me, part other.

At the extreme is complete detachment on behalf of the writer and it is interesting where this may lead. Does one see it from someone else’s perspective completely?

Observing someone or something else or observing some other “world” invariably requires research to understand that someone or something other.


Monster Trucks

Monster Trucks treads a familiar route. The oil company should reveal when digging in environmentally risky places, but it has been skirting the authorities. The company doesn’t tell the authorities about monsters, as implausible as it sounds to have monsters in the way. Again, it’s about the bad company that doesn’t care about the environment. It’s at least framed as the bad company and framed as the poor monsters in the environment getting undeserved treatment. But the target audience probably wouldn’t care.

There are too many awesome trucks and neat things going on to divert their attention away from the environmental message. Teenager Tripp (Lucas Till) happens to stumble on a monster—which is rather cute, a cross between a dolphin and a squid with Free Willy’s set of teeth. The monster soups up a four wheel drive truck that Tripp drives. The truck somehow moves faster with a monster underneath that ingests oil. The truck now has a real daredevil streak. But Tripp can’t escape his humdrum life in the country and get on the road with it. He is protecting the monster from the company men. If the company can hide their tracks then the authorities won’t get wind of the monsters they are hiding. They are bad, bad boys.

So the story has a moral slant with Tripp the good guy with a good girl by him and some assorted companions along the way, aiming to save the monsters from the greedy. The story is quite engaging more or less. I didn’t have an aversion to the action scenes with four wheel drive trucks which will keep the kids engaged more than the adults. The kids who like this sort of film, may play with bulldozers or four wheel drive trucks, the toys they play with in the lounge room and sandpit. These action set pieces will give them extra incentive in playing imaginatively, if that’s the right word. Perhaps with more energy. As a family, they might have seen truck racing events and so watching this movie is a natural step.

The good guys and good girl are likeable in a family film I didn’t have an aversion to, but which isn’t all on the mark either. It is one and a half hours of pleasantries, action, and an okay story, one which will make you like monsters.

Monster Trucks, Director: Chris Wedge, Genre: Family, Year: 2016, Rating: 6/10