Trolls: Film Review
Cast: Anna Kendrick, Justin Timberlake, Zooey Deschanel, James Corden, Russell Brand, Christine Baranski
Director: Mike Mitchell
Finally, a film that will make you re-consider your opinion of Trolls.
Rather than the pain in the ass online lurkers, these Trolls are the Dreamworks film version of the Thomas Dam toys and quite frankly, this is going to be one of the summer family films.
The preternatural preppy Kendrick is Princess Poppy, the upbeat pink haired Troll whose life is all perpetual happiness. 20 years ago, she and her fellow Troll-kind escaped the clutches of the monsters of the Bergen town for good.
Believing the only way to happiness is to consume a Troll, the villagers of Bergen are furious but one day, their chef (Christine Baranski) stumbles across the Trolls' hideaway and snatches a couple of them. Setting out on a rescue mission due to their "No troll left behind" ethos, Poppy and pals - along with the grey stained and anti-Trolls happiness Branch (Timberlake) - try to save the day...
Make no mistake, the brightly coloured, utterly fluffy and energetic blast that is Trolls is a family film that will delight the youngsters and will keep the parents amused enough to paper over the fact there are shallow characters on screen and scant little story.
The film keeps on the right side of darkness (BFG style snatching, eating Trolls for happiness - it's all got a Grimm fairy tale element bubbling under) but even the three-year-old I was with was entranced from the get-go declaring that the Scary Lady (Baranski's marauding chef) was the best part of the film.
Mixing up CGI and some stop motion, Dreamworks' visual inventiveness for this one, keeps on the right side of upbeat as it trots out one retro tune after another. It's a visual candy coloured assault on the senses and while initially there may be elements of you sympathising with Doomsday Prepper Branch, the fun and frivolous nature of it all ultimately wears you down and wins you over.
While there's no real sense of an original film being rolled out here, and elements of The Odd Couple, Cinderella and Grimm Fairy Tales are all dusted into one overtly saccharine flick, the young kids will enjoy it and its message of happiness coming from within rather than being consumed.
Sometimes, subtlety is over-rated and Trolls is distinct proof of that - it's here for nothing other than a good time and running through its 90 minutes with exuberant energy and at a fair pace, it achieves that with ease.