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Troll (Review)

After a tunneling excavation goes awry, paleontologist Nora Tidemann is called in by Norway's defense force to unravel the mystery of a giant monster that is on a rampage towards Oslo.

In a renaissance age of monster films, we are seeing more projects ranging from big to small trying to leave a mark on the genre. Now, we are beginning to see foreign productions coming out with their own monster movies. That is where Norwegian film director Roar Uthaug reintroduces Scandinavian mythology to the modern world with his monster film TROLL.

The story is written by combining the mythologies and stories of trolls and weaves them into the monster's characteristics. The usual characteristics in a troll are they smell the blood of Christians and devouring them, the sensitivity of bells ringing, and weakness to UV light and sunlight. There are even moments in the film that are very telling that the director took some notes from other films such as GODZILLA (1998), Godzilla (2014), Jurassic Park, and King Kong to give the monstrous troll personality and back story such as being the "last" of his kind, mankind's mistreatment to nature causing the monster's awakening, and the sense of the monster being misunderstood.

The pacing of the movie is done pretty good as I didn't feel as though the story dragged. To be honest, this is the best balanced monster film since Kong: Skull Island. It showed enough of the human story that didn't feel it overstayed the character's welcome, showed just enough monster action to keep my attention, and it knows that the title monster is the sole focus of the movie (I'm looking at you Godzilla (2014) ).

Speaking of the human story, the movie follows the story of paleontologist Nora Tidemann who was summoned by Norway's defense force and tasked on how to explain the phenomenon and how to defeat the troll. She really did not want to admit to the Prime Minister and the Norwegian military that the monster they're dealing with is a mountain troll, but after being presented evidence and footage as well as having to reach out to her estranged father, Tobias Tidemann, she had no other choice to admit the creature they are dealing with is a mountain troll from the folklore. The adventure Nora has with her father in studying the monster can be compared to Godzilla (2014) where Ford Brody and Joe Brody investigate the quarantine zone together and both movies have a similar last sentimental moment together. How TROLL does it is a little better because Nora and Tobias spent some time reconnecting and reconciling together whereas Ford's and Joe's time together was not enough for them to reconcile.

The story even brings back the dueling of opinions dynamic that harkens back to Gojira. You have the main protagonists that thinks the monster should be studied and you have the military that has already seen the destruction the monster has caused and should be killed before it reached a populated area. Both sides understand this monster is the only one of its kind, but both sides have their reasons on why the creature should be kept alive or killed.

The military are basically the run-of-the-mill military that you see in all monster movies, but what I like is how the soldiers have different opinions on how certain operations should be approached. While you have one guy that is demanding to use an experimental weapon, there are others that are totally against using them due to potential catastrophic results and would rather prefer an alternative. In most movies, it is either "We need to let these monsters fight each other so balance can be restored," "We need this experimental weapon because it is the last resort we have in defeating this monster," or "Let's build a giant robot." The military approaches this by utilizing the stories of trolls in their disposal even if using bells or UV light did sound like a ridiculous idea. The military aren't being dumb nor trying to resort to more destructive weapons. The only one that was resorting to the experimental weapon was (who I think, anyways) is Norway's secretary of defense, who comes off like a bumbling idiot.

In fact, ever since we are first introduced to the Prime Minister and her defense team along with a couple of geologists, everyone in the meeting room were playing up as if these footprints that were discovered were a series of sink holes and joking that it could be caused by global warming. I get the idea that the scene is supposed to show these researchers brainstorming a more realistic explanation since saying it was caused by a monster is not an idea they were looking for. However, that scene and some others make these characters come off rather idiotic just so Nora could jump in and say something like, "Are you guys idiots? You do see these are footprints, right? Am I the only one that is sane enough to see them?" So I feel in the matter of how the movie presented the characters with skepticism rather poorly and could have been handled better.

Final Thoughts:

TROLL is a well paced monster movie that perfectly balances story and monster action. The director takes liberties in taking the time to combine folklore and modern monster movies that blends very well together. There are moments that could have been done better, but it does not hinder the viewing experience. If you have Netflix, the time, and the popcorn, this is the perfect movie to send off 2022.

Did you see TROLL? If so, did you enjoy the movie? What did you like or didn't like about the movie? Leave a comment in the comments section of your thoughts on TROLL. Make sure to follow me on Facebook, Twitter, Minds, MeWe, Gab, and TRUTH Social to stay up to date for more news, reviews, and discussions.

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