Trolls World Tour sees all our favourite trolls return in an adventure to save not only their kingdom but all of Trollkind from rock music, wait what?
Starring Anna Kendrick, Justin Timberlake and the whole gang from the original Trolls film this sequel sees the world of Trolls explode with new types of trolls and music.
New trolls in town
Young Queen Poppy (Kendrick) learns from her father that there are other trolls out there in the world and that they are in danger from a force known as Rock music. Leading this Rock invasion is Barb (Rachel Bloom) who wants to unite the world under one banner, rock. She needs the strings that each kingdom holds to create the ultimate weapon to bring the world under her control. The strings are held by the Country trolls, the Techno trolls, the Funk trolls, the Pop trolls, Classical trolls. Barb and her trolls already have their own so she goes on a world tour to invade every other troll nation.
After finding out about all this Poppy decides she needs to meet Barb and become friends so that they can be besties. Branch (Timberlake) joins her as her protector on this journey. He also hopes to confess his unrequited love to her which is quite the story trope but that is the least of this films many, many problems.
Something you can dance to
There are good elements within Trolls World Tour and they come in the form of the design. This world is beautiful and the designs of the characters and the various troll kingdoms Poppy and Branch visit are for the most part charming and visually interesting. My personal favourite was the Funk Kingdom of trolls. Their shining world was filled with easily the best music and it felt like it was vibrating, there was constant movement within its walls and it impressed me.
The characters of Trolls World Tour were fairly one-note but there were some standouts. Rachel Bloom as Barb was fun but I could be biased because Rachel Bloom always brings a fun sense of anarchy to her roles. Unfortunately, we don’t see enough of Barb to fully enjoy her presence. The film doesn’t give the audience a reason why Barb wants to unite the world under Rock. She just does and it’s infuriating.
As well as Barb there was a weird character named Chaz the smooth jazz troll who is played by Jamie Dornan and he is hysterical when he’s onscreen. He’s only on screen for maybe 4 minutes but those 4 minutes are funnier than every other minute of this 91 minute film.
Second verse worse than the first
Trolls World Tour is without a doubt the most infuriating film I’ve seen maybe in a year. Definitely of 2020. So here is where my frustration began.
Rock wishes to dominate all the other music genres and everyone has to listen to it. This is the basic premise except there is one major flaw. Rock as a genre would not want that. Rock is about rebellion about fighting against conformity and yet in this world, Rock wants to be the ruler of all. If someone sits down, watches this film and thinks they will immediately come across these issues.
There is a version of this film that is far more refined where Pop is the villain and it’s way more believable because for several decades Pop did dominate the airwaves crushing all other genres in its wake. Now the film does try to touch on this and the film makes some solid points about how Pop ruins other genres as it dilutes their identities to make everything sound generic and non-controversial. This point is lost in the cotton candy and glitter and the film is lesser for it.
There is also the internal logic of the world. The world is broken up into six kingdoms: Rock, Pop, Country, Classical, Techno, and Funk and there are sub-genres that show up, Smooth Jazz, K-Pop and of course Yodeling. But what makes no sense is that the Rock Barb represents is Hard Rock which is definitely not the hardest or harshest version. Where’s Heavy Metal? What happened to Hair Rock? Is there Glam Rock? Punk, Soft Rock, Christian, where are they? There is a whole storyline where there could have been some sort of infighting within the Rock Kingdom to vie for power. As you can see I’m coming up with better ideas than the film postulates.
Then comes the music. There are two original songs and they are okay but ultimately forgettable. The main reason is that the film is drowning in remixed versions of classic hits. The amount of money that had to be shelled out I imagine was staggering.
Trolls World Tour, ask for your money back
Trolls World Tour is not a good film. Even the elements that are somewhat decent aren’t explored enough. This could have easily been a television series that could have explored the world and characters far better but instead, we get this pretty mess. Trolls World Tour is the epitome of style over substance.
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