Stream or skip? +2023

troll (now on Netflix) asks the burning question: What if Godzilla, but Norway? This film directed by Roar Uthaug (2018 Grave robbers reboot) finds its origins in local folklore, which says that giants of earth and stone live in the mountains. These trolls are vulnerable to sunlight and can smell the blood of Christians, giving them a nationalistic fervor that makes them angry and violent, so they’re all converting to paganism and maybe they’re gone! But that doesn’t happen at all in this film; If only it showed that much creativity.


The essentials: THE TROLLSPIKES, ROMSDALEN. These are mountains. Young Nora Tidemann (Ameli Olving Saelevik) and her pops Tobias (Gard B. Eidsvold) sit on one of them, gazing at a gorgeously beautiful rugged mountain range. Tobias says if you believe really, really hard, that’s when fairy tales come true – namely, fairy tales about giant trolls stomping around out here. Twenty years pass and Nora (Ine Marie Wilmann) is now a paleontologist digging dinosaur bones out of the mud, and she has become estranged from her raging mad father. Elsewhere, The Ugly Progress of Industry blasts a tunnel into a mountain for a new railroad, and something awakens and rumbles from the darkest depths like an unholy metaphor for man-made climate change. Does anyone happen to know an expert on ancient folklore and Who knows of things long buried in the ground that the government might turn to for advice?

Right. So Nora flew by helicopter to one of those top-secret, high-tech, underground bunker headquarters to meet with the troubled prime minister, a stone general, a slimy politician, and some other clichés. They deluge photos of what appear to be massive footprints and civilian videos of an oddly human, blurry shape smashing things, prompting the slimy politician to make a derogatory reference to King Kong. This looks like a job for a couple of arcane-savvy crazies and a few unlikely allies to form a ragtag group of rescuers who think outside the box because otherwise the heads of state would just nuk the thing!

And so, Nora takes the opportunity to estrange herself from her father, who’s now a crazy old coot in a cabin, obsessed with trolls. They are joined by military captain Kris (Mads Sjogard Pettersen) and an adviser to the prime minister, Andreas (Kim Falck), and they zoom in on the scenes of mass destruction only to come within a hair’s breadth of being trampled underfoot by the giant troll. which has stone skin and tree roots for a beard and may or may not be anatomically correct, I just couldn’t bear to look so closely. Tanks and machine guns don’t bother the thing, so more, shall we say, holistic approach may be required. But can they think of one before the troll reduces Oslo to rubble? SHARE NOTHING!

Which movies will it remind you of?: troll is Andre Ovredals troll hunter crossed with one of the newer Monsterverses godzilla Movies and the idiotic aesthetics of a Roland Emmerich disaster movie, e.g. independence Day or his worst year 1998 godzilla movie of all time.

Notable performance: Wilmann works with a pre-made figure made of perforated cardboard and exudes some endearing Kate Hudson-caught-in-a-lousy-script vibes here.

Memorable dialogue: Prepare for ready-made cornball lines like this one from the Prime Minister’s national address: “You might have thought those were special effects. But this is no fairy tale. That is real.”

gender and skin: none.

Our opinion: Slightly different environment, same old spectacle. Except this time it’s a tad sillier than usual, since the beast is a BFG made of rocks and dirt that the giants would surely find from The Green Knight very sexy. Uthaug and co-writer Espen Aukan employ clichés like a jackpot slot machine: monster stomps on the peaceful home of unsuspecting elderly hayseeds, crazy old coot ain’t so crazy after all, monster knocks helicopter out of the air, timely use of a computer-hacker character , estranged sentimental father-daughter shlop, limp citizens staring at an incredible sight, government authorities sitting at a long table arguing, etc. Every single scene in troll is ripped off from other films, and very few of those other films are good.

Let’s be clear: nobody takes any of this seriously. Praise Uthaug for maintaining an easy tone without bivouacing at Campville, an effort that should not go unnoticed. There’s one particularly amusing scene where a blood-covered soldier prays to his Christian god, sealing his fate at the hands of the troll, and I couldn’t help but wonder what would have happened if the guy had been a Muslim or a Buddhist . It is a mystery that a creature often described in film as a “force of nature” should carry such deadly prejudice – an idea that might have given troll a touch of originality but unfortunately remains unexplored. And so it chugs along uninspired, full of cheesy one-liners, tons of references to classic sci-fi movies, ho-hum CG effects, and nothing better than a few usable action sequences. This troll is a lame. Godzilla would whip his ass.

Our appeal: SKIP IT. As a fan of the genre, I can say with confidence if you’ve seen a disaster movie starring giant monsters, you haven’t seen them all. but troll most of the time you feel like you’ve seen them all.

John Serba is a freelance writer and film critic based in Grand Rapids, Michigan. Read more about his work below

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