In Troll, a demolition crew is working in the Dovre Mountains in Norway, to clear a path for a proposed high-speed rail track, when they are attacked by an unidentified assailant. The attack is caught on camera, but the footage shows very little, and the only evidence left behind is a collection of gigantic footprints.
Once the Norwegian government become aware of the situation, they recruit Nora Tidemann to help with their investigation. Tidemann is a professor or palaeontology and the government believe she will be useful in deducing who or what attacked the demolition crew.
Before long, Tidemann and her team (a soldier, a government aid, and her estranged father), discover that a giant stone troll is responsible for the attack. The troll was woken up during the demolition work, and now that he is up and about, he poses a significant threat to national security.
With the country, and potentially the world at risk from his rampage, the government sets its sights on killing the monster. Meanwhile, Tidemann is keen to learn all she can about the creature, to understand what it wants and how it has remained hidden for all these years.
Directed by Roar Uthaug, Troll stars Ine Marie Wilmann, Kim Falck, Mads Pettersen, and Gard B. Eidsvold. The film is a big budget Norwegian monster movie, in a similar vein to Godzilla or King Kong.
Troll is big, bold, loud, and occasionally quite humorous. It plays very much like a ‘90s disaster picture, and is filled with scenes of destruction, a few explosions, and a ruddy big CGI creature.
In terms of originality, Troll doesn’t have a great deal of it, and what it offers up has been seen and done before. Yet, despite relying on well-worn storytelling techniques and clichés, for the most part Troll is tremendous fun, and if monster movies/disaster films are your thing, then you will certainly want to check it out.
Filmmaker Roar Uthaug is no stranger to action-adventure pictures, having previously directed 2018’s Tomb Raider reboot, as well as the 2015 disaster movie, The Wave, so its fair to say he is a safe pair of hands on this movie. He knows how to balance the scope and scale of a film like this one, when to deliver on the action, when to concentrate on the mythology and darker sequences, and when to lean into the lighter more comical moments.
His ability to keep all of his plates spinning ensures Troll lands on the right side of entertainment. This is a fantasy blockbuster, and nothing more, but it is a perfectly handled one, which arrives fully formed – especially when it comes to the visual effects and scenes of spectacle.
Too many movies these days showcase ropey CGI or subpar effects, yet this isn’t the case with Troll. From a visual standpoint, the creature looks pretty impressive, it fits in nicely against the beautiful Norwegian backdrop, and all the various scenes of explosions and destruction look top notch.
My only real complaint here is that this film could do with a bit more of this stuff. If I have one main criticism of Troll, it is that I would have liked to have seen a bit more spectacle, possibly even a couple more action scenes which go a little deeper.
One of the film’s most notable sequences is an attack on a theme park, and in keeping with what I’ve said above, it looks good and there are no issues from me on that front, but the scene feels a little short. I would have liked a touch more destruction or possibly a few deaths, to allow for greater expansion on the harm caused by the troll.
The big finale could have gone a little grander too. It is fine, but I would have liked more.
I don’t know if it is for budgetary reasons, or there simply wasn’t any more action written into the script, but the film could have gone bigger. Cut back on a couple of the conversational scenes, throw in some additional chaos, and this film would hit harder.
But I’m not going dwell on this too much, as Troll works for me, and I enjoy what is on offer. It really isn’t original stuff, but it works nonetheless, with a good cast, great direction, and a sense of familiarity which hits the spot for this ol’ monster movie fan.
Should you wish to check out Troll for yourself, the movie is new to Netflix from today. The picture is pure popcorn fodder, but well-made popcorn fodder.