The Reel Review
This sequel to Trolls, the rousing, 2016 feel good animated musical starring Anna Kendrick and Justin Timberlake, has Poppy and Branch discovering they are just one of six different tribes of the iconic crazy-haired critters. Scattered throughout six different lands, each tribe is devoted to six different types of music – pop, classical, country, funk, techno and rock. When the leader of the rock music tribe (Rachel Bloom) begins a PG-rated, Game of Thrones-styled quest for troll world domination, Poppy and Branch must unite the other tribes to stop her – a nod to Marvel’s Avengers: Infinity War.
What made the original Trolls so charming was the cheerful energy of its characters, a clever story, fun, toe-tapping tunes, which included the Grammy award-winning, “Can’t Stop The Feeling!” and its endearing message of finding one’s happiness from within. This over-produced sequel, sadly, lacks all of those things.
A couple of songs are cute (particularly the big finale which cleverly incorporates several genres of music), as are a couple of story elements (K-Pop singers as bounty hunters and Rock music zombies). But with the exception of Kelly Clarkson (who gets a song), most of the movie’s supporting cast (Mary J. Blige, Sam Rockwell, Ozzy Osbourne) are shoe-horned into underutilized cameos. It is a flashy film that frenetically flails about to distract from a surprisingly boring, dumbed-down story geared towards very young children, and it just doesn’t work. And ironically, its own message, about celebrating uniqueness, is itself lost in bland monotony. Save your money and re-watch the original Trolls.
• The only Troll not to return from the first film is Creek (Russell Brand), who had been the love interest for Poppy until he betrayed the rest of the tribe in Trolls in an attempt to save his own life.
• Trolls World Tour is Kelly Clarkson’s third animation film after 2017’s The Star and 2019’s Ugly Dolls
• There is a mid-credits scene with Bridget (Zooey Deschanel) and King Gristle (Christopher Mintz-Plasse) who appeared in 2016’s Trolls.
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