Sunday, 23 October 2016

Movie Review - Trolls


   I wasn't too familiar with the Trolls toy line.  I think there was a macho warrior cartoon version but I'm not certain about the cutesy (?), brushable hair dolls.  So this would be a fresh update on the toys with a new mythology.  And it works!

  The Trolls are a happy-go-lucky group of loving creatures who are being hunted for food by the larger Bergens.  When several of their friends were taken away for the Bergen King, Princess Poppy and the grim Branch must rescue them.

  Yes, there's an extra scene mid-credits.

   The Troll world is bright, colorful and cheery, at least at the beginning when they were in free lands.  The setting gets a bit more bleak in the Bergen world.  More of the imaginatively fuzzy, friendly / dangerous wilds would be great to see in an eventual sequel as the modern Bergen town is too dead and inanimate. 

  The Trolls maintain their iconic cute / ugly expression look but also received new abilities.  The weirdest would be where they shoot glitter from and the best would be the prehensile and camouflage properties of their hair.  The Bergens are depicted as grotesque with slight frightening features added in.  Character-wise, the lead Trolls are clear cut from the start.  Anna Kendrick has a strong, positive presence while Justine Timberlake surprisingly takes a different direction with his personality.  The evolution is works, if unconventional for Timberlake at first.  The main Bergens are even easier to identify.  The conniving chef is masterfully played by Christine Baranski.  The lovelorn maid is brought to bittersweet life by Zooey Deschanel.  Christopher Mintz-Plasse portrays the Bergen prince / king as a reluctant kid, quite different from his usual roles.  A slight weakness would be the Zen character Creek as his position as a love interest isn't solidified properly early on.  The side characters, done by various celebrity voices, provide extra laughs but don't pull too much attention from the main heroes.

  Described as a musical comedy, the movie is filled with song numbers.  A majority of these are classics from the 80's.  Children would not recognize these tunes except through second hand sources but older folks certainly would find them familiar, proof that the film aims to at least get adults entertained when their sons and daughters drag them to see the flick.  Do rollerskate parks even operate nowadays?

   But seeing as Trolls is a nostalgic property, having nostalgic touches and tunes mixed in with the explosion of colors and comedy really works.  Trolls is a hair-raising extravaganza that fit for all ages and good to the last bite.

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