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Trolls World Tour (U)

Cast: James Corden, Ozzy Osbourne, Justin Timberlake, Sam Rockwell, Anna Kendrick, Ron Funches, Kelly Clarkson, Rachel Bloom
Genre: Comedy
Author(s): Glenn Berger, Jonathan Aibel, Wallace Wolodarsky, David P Smith, Elizabeth Tippet, Maya Forbes
Director: Walt Dohrn
Release Date: 06/04/2020
Running Time: 91mins
Country: US
Year: 2020

Queen Poppy and her survivalist beau Branch are shocked when Queen Barb and her father King Thrash, leaders of the hard rock trolls, declare war on all other forms of music. Consequently, Poppy, Branch and co embark on a time-sensitive mission to unite King Quincy and Queen Essence from the funk trolls, Delta Dawn from the country music trolls, Trollzart from the classical music trolls, Chaz from the smooth jazz trolls and King Trollex from the techno trolls.


LondonNet Film Review
Trolls World Tour(U)

There’s a line in one of the verses of Can’t Stop The Feeling, the infectious Justin Timberlake dancefloor anthem from the first Trolls film, which perfectly summed up my giddy response to the colour-saturated assault on the senses of the 2016 film: “I can’t take my eyes up off it, movin’ so phenomenally”. Regrettably the sunshine in my pocket and the good soul in my feet are not as pronounced in Walt Dohrn and David P Smith’s disappointing sequel, one of the first major studio films to debut on demand in response to the Covid-19 pandemic…

Made to the same recipe as the original, Trolls World Tour promotes a timely message of unity in the face of adversity – “You can’t harmonise alone” – to a rumbustious soundtrack of energetic cover versions and new sings co-written by Timberlake. Nothing comes close to the irresistible catchiness of Can’t Stop The Feeling but a climactic full cast rendition Just Sing is suitably rousing. The inevitable declaration of gooey love between best friends is strung out for almost the full 91 minutes and Rachel Bloom’s chief villain, modelled on a hell raiser from Mad Max: Fury Road, fails to turn up the volume on her underlying feelings of loneliness and alienation.

Queen Poppy (voiced by Anna Kendrick) and survivalist best friend Branch (Timberlake) greet another sun-kissed morning with a musical mash-up of Trolls Just Wanna Have Fun, Good Times by Chic and Groove Is In The Heart. Their glitter-covered reverie is shattered by a message from Queen Barb (Bloom), who intends to forcibly unite trollkind under the banner of hard rock. Her diabolical plan is to steal the coloured musical strings from leaders of the other troll factions (classical, country, funk, pop, techno), attach them to her electric guitar and play “the ultimate power chord” in front of her father King Thrash (Ozzy Osbourne) in their lava-spewing home of Volcano Rock City. Branch prepares for war but Poppy is naively convinced she can avert disaster with a group hug.

“They sing different, they dance different. Some of them can’t even begin to grasp the concept of Hammer Time!” warns her father King Peppy (Dohrn). Consequently, Poppy and Branch embark on a time-sensitive mission to win the support of King Quincy (George Clinton) and Queen Essence (Mary J Blige) from the funk clan, Delta Dawn (Kelly Clarkson) from the country clan, Trollzart (Gustavo Dudamel) from the classical clan and King Trollex (Anthony Ramos) from the techno clan.

Trolls World Tour strikes a pleasing note of community and collaboration when so many of us are feeling isolated and disconnected from the people we love. A script credited to five writers is scattershot and episodic, ricocheting breathlessly between the different troll tribes without giving any of the miniature protagonists sufficient screen time to rival Poppy and Branch for our affections. Kendrick and Timberlake reprise their roles with warmth and they sound sweet together on the mournful ballad Perfect For Me, which marks a welcome change of pace from the bombastic basslines and boogie.

– Sam Cannon


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