In Brief: A great movie for bored kids. Bored adults might find the humor in this one worth a view.
As I wrote earlier this week, I haven’t been in a movie theater in weeks. Talk about withdrawals! I’ve done one or more — and mostly more — movies every week for the last 30-years and pretty much did at least a movie a week before starting on my long journey into movie critiquing.
Trolls World Tour was supposed to be a theater release and since none of us can go to theaters these days, the producers decided to give view on demand (VOD) a shot. Kids trapped at home like their adult parents will love the break from all that tedium.
That is assuming things are all that tedious.
And as I write that, I remember that this is a trolls movie and for most adults, having to sit through this with their children is going to be tedium-times-10. Kind of. And I say kind of because there are parts of this film — unlike the first one in 2016 — that are really funny.
Maybe the world “parts” is a bit strong. Let’s say there are a few lines that will have you howling. I know they did me. You probably won’t love the movie but at least those few lines and the positive message make it tolerable.
The film is co-directed by Dave Dorhn who did the first film. It has six writers, three of whom are from the original film and the story was put together by two of the three, Jonathan Aibel and Glenn Berger.
The movie stars the vocal talents of Anna Kendrick and Justin Timberlake who reprise their roles from the first film. They’re joined by Golden Globe winner Rachel Bloom — who gives voice to the movie’s villain — and James Corden, Ron Funches, Kelly Clarkson, Sam Rockwell, George Clinton, Mary J. Blige, Kenan Thompson and others.
The trolls learn that they aren’t alone. There isn’t just one troll tribe as they all thought, there are six. Each holds a sacred string that has something to do with the music they make. For Queen Poppy, her best troll pal, Branch and their friends, that music is pop.
Other troll tribes do funk, country, techno, classical and rock. The rock group is led by Queen Barb who wants to rule the troll world. She’s invading the troll kingdoms and is gathering the strings from them. Barb is going to place them on a guitar and then hit one chord that will destroy the other kinds of music and turn all trolls into rockers.
Queen Poppy can’t stand that thought. After all, trolls are all the same and are all from the same family so Poppy thinks she can reason with Barb. She quickly learns that’s not the case.
The message — of course — is that we’re all the same species wise, but we’re also all different. It is our differences — like the different kinds of music we love — that ought to be celebrated.
What I love about the movie is how the message is delivered. There are — as noted earlier — some very funny lines that accompany a rather predictable plot its over-produced and overly predictable climax.
My first favorite is that pop isn’t really music. I’ve always been a fan of rock and most pop grates on my nerves so that one hit home and cracked me up. I won’t ruin this one but another great line has some rockers talking about tattoos. Glad I didn’t have a swallow of soda in my mouth when that one came up.
It’s the film’s funniest line.
The last of the best lines involves soft jazz music — think Chuck Mangione’s flugelhorn — that has everyone droopy-eyed and sends them to dreamland.
There are bunches more and it is those bunches of lines that make this a fairly entertaining 90-or-so minutes. And as I write that I’m thinking, but Gary, you haven’t seen a fit-to-be-released-in-a-theater movie for over a month, so you’re likely to like ANYTHING.
I make a good point. However, the movie does have its charms and it will charm kids who can’t help but love trolls and parents and grandparents who may not admit to loving them.
Directors: Walt Dohrn, David P. Smith
Stars: Anna Kendrick, Justin Timberlake, Rachel Bloom, James Corden, Ron Funches, Kelly Clarkson, Sam Rockwell, George Clinton, Mary J. Blige, Kenan Thompson, Jamie Dornan, Ozzie Osbourne, Zooey Deschannel, Christopher Mintz-Plasse
This Trolls sequel is as good as the first one was bad. Bunches of great lines about music and plenty of laughs for adults. And, admit it, some of you are actually troll fans. Gives this a 3 1/2 on the Friday Flicks with Gary 0 to 5 scale.
Gary Wolcott has been reviewing movies on radio, television and newspaper since 1990. He believes — and this is an estimate only — that he’s seen something close to 10,000 movies in his lifetime. Gary is a lifelong fan of films and catches a couple of hundred movies a year. He believes movies ought to be seen on the big screen and not on the small screen in your living room or family room. While he loves movies, he also says reviewing film can be a real sacrifice and that he sees many movies so you don’t have to.
He is one of KXL 101.1 FM’s film critics and joined the news staff in 2014. Gary is also the film critic for Tri-Cities, Washington’s Tri-City Herald.