Thursday, 17 November 2016

Film Review No. 16 Trolls (U)

Strong Points:
Good voice acting
Nice reference to the toys
Good art style and graphics
Music's used to great effect
Will make you happy
Self-aware of its childish nature

Weak Points:
Some parts are... questionable
So fast, you may lose parts
Some of the sweetness verges on sickening
Will make you happy
Some characters aren't developed
Cringey in parts
Opposite character traits are smoothed out randomly throughout the film to make the story easier

In-depth Review:
The Sound of Silence is featured in this film in a surprising and great singing feature. Silence, however, definitely doesn't define this movie. It's mad, it's colourful and it's... not half bad.

I mean, you'll definitely be overwhelmed by the sheer sweetness of Trolls, might even feel a bit sick from a couple of the cringey jokes, but I'll bet you'll leave the room smiling as well. The film knows what it needs to do and does it well, managing to please the entire family which is nice. It was also able to make a coherent story based on toys of yesteryear and even make a clever reference to the old toys. Not too shabby.

The art style is bright, colourful and has a pleasing weight and texture to them (like something Nintendo would make) and the entire world has some great originality to it, including the monsters which are a confusing paradox - a spider with lots of eyes is meant to be scary, so why is it in bright colours, which has connotations of cuteness? I bet you didn't expect such questions when you watched Trolls now, did you?

Plenty of celebrity talent lending their voices to this film. Timberlake, Kendrick and Brand are the standout favourites although the likes of James Corden (he's in everything nowadays) and Gwen Stefani are also present. They present their lines with well-timed wit and the singing is great all round. One odd thing though is that I could imagine Brand and Corden more than their characters due to the recognisability of their voices which I guess is a pitfall when you bring in celebrities instead of a voice actor. Still, the best voice was definitely the little wormy thing that James Corden's character carried. I mean, it had one line, and didn't do a lot otherwise but wow was it adorable - like a visual representation of diabetes (better than it sounds).

While most of the songs are licensed covers they're still really good (The Sound of Silence and True Colours are particular favourites), helping to propel the story along, add humour and tell its message. Talking about story, it's... all right. I mean, it's both original and not, humorous and cringey and both makes sense and is nonsensical. It's quite difficult to make character traits such as 'always happy' and 'never happy' last for a film so both the Trolls and the Bergens start to move to the middle of the scale when it comes to happiness, which is a shame but I guess an eventuality.

I laughed out loud at this film, I've got admit. I also hid behind my hands at some points, so the humour is definitely variable. For example, you have the hi-fiving shenanigans with a cloud (high point) and a silver troll who farts glitter and is always nude (low point). Also, the Trolls are definitely the best part of the film so as the focus became more to do with the Bergens, the humour took a... different turn. The thing that makes the Trolls funny though is the almost self-aware nature of themselves and their extreme happiness.

Another thing that helps though is the characters which range from the two main characters (who are basically polar opposites) to the side characters which inhabit that weird area of not really being needed and not having a film without them. Take Biggie and his little pet again. They don't really do anything in the film but still have some of the best humour. Slightly more important characters include Russel Brand's character of born again Troll is also great as is the King of either realm, both of which tell their respective children they won't achieve their dreams (funnier than it sounds).

Onto the bit parents will use to decide whether to see this or bring out the old Disney films again. Will they enjoy it? I think so yes, as, while it may not be as clever as Disney or Pixar, as long as you enjoy bright colours, quick jokes and singing it's good fun - it even has some jokes the older generation will get more than the younger generation. I certainly enjoyed it more than I thought I would and children will be entertained by it all as well. A win-win, really.

Conclusion: overall, I was pleasantly surprised by the film (especially after the awful first trailer) and was smiling for at least an hour afterwards - something which is probably needed in this particular year.

Rating: 73%

Thanks for reading, Satamer.

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