Directors: Walt Dohrn & David P. Smith
Starring: Anna Kendrick, Justin Timberlake, James Corden, Ozzy Osbourne, Rachel Bloom & Sam Rockwell
The Trolls are once again coming out from under their bridge in a spectacular cascade of cuteness, glitter and music. After making their peace with the once Troll-hungry Bergens in 2016’s film, Poppy (Kendrick), Branch (Timberlake), Biggie (Corden) and the gang are about to have another bad hair day.
Discovering they are one of six distinctive Troll tribes scattered over six unique lands, each devoted to six different kinds of music (Funk, Country, Techno, Classical, Pop and Rock), rock-Queen Barb (Bloom) and her father, King Thrash (Osbourne), want to rock & roll all night and party every day. Hunting the five remaining strings of the various musical genres, Barb cranks it up to 11 as she stops at nothing to play the ultimate power chord on her magical guitar to destroy all other types of music until rock reigns down on everyone. I suppose you could call it an arockalypse…
Take a deep breath and check out the quite remarkable cast list: From the land of Funk are Mary J. Blige, George Clinton and Anderson .Paak. Representing Country is Kelly Clarkson as Delta Dawn, with Sam Rockwell as Hickory and Flula Borg as Dickory. JBalvin brings Reggaeton, while Ester Dean adds to the Pop tribe. Anthony Ramos brings the beat in Techno and Jamie Dornan covers smooth jazz. World-renowned conductor and violinist Gustavo Dudamel appears as Trollzart and Charlyne Yi as Pennywhistle from the land of Classical. Finally, Kenan Thompson raps as a hip-hop new-born Troll, Tiny Diamond.
Impressive, right? It certainly is, but it also brings confusion.
Colours, characters and choruses collide in a cauldron of chaos as the story flits from one song to another with each a little more annoying than the next. Kendrick and Timberlake give it their all and Rachel Bloom has a blast as she belts out bangers such as “Rock You Like a Hurricane” and “Barracuda”, but the remaining cast have little to sing about. At slightly less than 90 minutes, there isn’t enough time to accommodate everyone and characters disappear as quickly as they arrive with no chance of development.
The first film took a much more simplistic approach and successfully managed to get its lesson across in a much subtler way. I’m fully aware that a Trolls film and the word, ‘subtle’, is an oxymoron, but the difference between the two films is vast.
Again, there’s an important message throughout about acceptance and tolerance which is showcased in a rousingly impressive, albeit predictable, finale and there’s no doubt the younger viewers will be mesmerised by the hypnotic images and pounding beats. However, bigger isn’t always better and in this instance, less would’ve been more.
Although fun in places, Trolls World Tour is unnecessarily overwhelming and doesn’t hit the high notes achieved by its predecessor.
Trolls World Tour is available to rent for £15.99 from most digital retailers.