Ewan Gleadow

Movie Review: Trolls World Tour

Decrease Font Size Increase Font Size Text Size Print This Page

Copyright: Universal Pictures

With the cinemas remaining boarded up like a shoddy reimagining of 28 Days Later crossed with a drab ending of The Twilight Zone, I find myself with nothing to do. The barrel of relevant film is running rather thin, I was stretching it with the review of Scoob, but now I find myself digging even deeper than before. Trolls World Tour is not a film made with me in mind. I am very far from the target audience of jumped up, snot-nosed kids who have the attention span of a very hyperactive rodent, needing a cut or pop song blasted into their retinas and ear canal every thirty seconds. But those that are the target audience of this film are exactly that, so it should have been no surprise that Trolls World Tour is very much a film that would not appeal to me.  

Possessing no knowledge of anything that happened within the first entry of the Trolls series, I can only apologise. Not brushing up on the lore of a series before diving into the latest release is more or less sacrilege, but I think you can forgive me considering this is a film about various musical genres of music personified as little troll creatures voiced by surprisingly talented and famous people. I say “and”, because the two don’t go hand in hand. For example, we have the talented Sam Rockwell and the famous Justin Timberlake within the confines of this animated hell. A film that looks to preserve and celebrate 25 long years of Dreamworks animation, if the title cards are anything to go off of. 

No scene in the film feels like genuine story progression. We don’t ever go anywhere with the flat writing or direction, rather, we’re given history lessons on lore that seems to be made up as we go. The rock trolls are looking to steal the six strings of music to dominate the lands and become the prominent genre. Seemingly stuck in the 80s, where the mainstream media thought the music of Marilyn Manson was going to destroy and ruin lives, Trolls World Tour paints some laughable caricatures of not just rock music, but every genre it can get its hands on.  

What puzzles me most about the film is the cast on display. Anna Kendrick, Sam Rockwell and a handful of singers and songwriters that I have been told, in good faith, are actually quite good. James Corden lingers around the edges of the film too, and I truly believe that, one day, he will kill me. He seems to crop up in more films than any man of his calibre should go. Possessing the same acting talents as some damp wood or a bale of hay, he mutters his way through yet another musical assortment. As if Cats wasn’t bad enough. 

Look, it was either this or Radioactive, and frankly, I don’t think I have the strength necessary to go into that Rosamund Pike led nightmare just yet. Trolls World Tour features Sam Rockwell yodelling, a reference to Gangnam Style, an original soundtrack produced by Justin Timberlake and an Ozzy Osbourne cameo. It should not work on any level, and, to be honest, it doesn’t. There are some slight moments of puzzling variety throughout, but this is a slapped-up knock-off that tries to emulate the feel-good tones of Disney classics and Illumination garbage. It never gets the balance between them right, and instead you’re left with a 90-minute advertisement for the latest pop songs glued to a few dead jokes.