Giant monster cinema has left us with several great films over the years, but also works whose existence it would almost be better to forget. And it is that it is a very striking resource from the start, but then you have to know what to do with it so that the proposal is worth it instead of being born already exhausted.
Now it is Netflix that approaches this type of cinema like ‘Trol’, a Norwegian film directed by Roar Uthaug , a name that may sound familiar to you because he was also the person in charge of the estimable version of ‘Tomb Raider’ starring Alicia Vikander . Here he again demonstrates great expertise in action scenes, becoming an impressive movie at times. The bad news is that the script is perhaps too conservative and does not offer much for those who are more familiar with this type of story.
A good show
It is not the first time that Norwegian cinema has approached this type of story, since a few years ago we were able to see the curious ‘Troll Hunter’, a film that has remained practically invisible in our country beyond its time at the Film Festival. Sitges -only released on DVD and not available on any streaming platform-. However, the focus of ‘Troll’ is quite different from that, because here the idea seems to be closer to certain ‘Godzilla’ movies, with the creature waking up from its lethargy to wreak havoc.
This leads the first minutes of the film to focus more on doubts surrounding a mysterious event that no one is capable of explaining. Obviously, we all know that at least one creature is going to have to appear at some point, but ‘Troll’ spends more than half an hour on the pure introduction , judiciously playing on the contrast between science and popular belief to lay the groundwork for the story. the story and situate the main characters.
Here I cannot say that the protagonists of the film are fascinating, but they do have enough credibility not to become little less than a nuisance, something that several adventures in the MonsterVerse do suffer from – well, it would not be a much better movie ‘Godzilla vs. . Kong’ if there was no trace of the humans-. And one of the main resources to achieve this is that at all times there is a layer of lightness, sometimes very evident, that helps the characters to be more than mere pawns in the overdose of destruction that is unleashed.
That is one of the great successes of Espen Aukan ‘s script when looking for a tone that in no case falls into the parodic, but it does give the film a different energy. Unfortunately, that is not supported when it comes to developing the story, where everything feels somewhat conventional and predictable, including the way to resolve everything. It makes sense and there are no missteps along the way but there the interest of ‘Trol’ is reduced.
He lacks daring
One thing that might have worked better would have been to add a little terrifying touch, but ‘Troll’ opts more for action movies, being in those scenes where everything shines the most, from Uthaug’s staging work to the visual display in regarding the creation and movements of the creature. It’s not that the design is particularly new -in its own way it is quite reminiscent of the creatures from ‘Troll Hunter’-, but their appearances are always impressive, and are also cleverly dosed to avoid any possible feeling of repetition.
The pity there is that later the film lacks a certain impetus and desire to explore more what could make it a unique work , especially if we take into account that there are small touches of Nordic folklore that leave you wanting, without forgetting what Everything that is raised around the fact that only a single troll makes an appearance is stimulating.
With everything, I do not want to say that the contrast between the action scenes and the rest is so great that the film is worth it only for that and for these other details that I pointed out in the previous paragraph, but it is that ‘Trol’ could have been a great addition to giant monster cinema instead of staying on a notable low for wanting to tread too safe in certain aspects.
‘Trol’ may not make the most of its possibilities, but it is still a film to be taken into account that, at least, gives us some great scenes with the creature in action, without letting that be its only attraction either.