Dave White
Trollhunter Review

Dave's Rating:

3.0

Extra-large monsters, extra-medium fun.

Otto Jespersen, Hans Morten Hansen, Tomas Alf Larsen, Glenn Erland Trosterud, Johanna Morch

The Basics: Huge furry trolls--actual trolls, not the Internet kind--are terrorizing Norway. And this necessitates a Blair Witch-style hunt for the creatures, right down to shots of people aiming flashlights into blackened nighttime forests, unsure of their next step or what's waiting for them behind that next tree. Fortunately, this doesn't take up too much of the movie's time; they know you came to see giant monsters and giant monsters are what you get.

What's The Deal: Contemporary, cheapo, special effects-filled creature features are often a mixed bag of pleasure and pain. You get to geek out at accomplishments achieved on a small budget, you get to gripe about the stylistically derivative presentation, you can whine about how reading Norwegian subtitles takes you out of the urgency of the situation, you can enjoy how cool-looking the ogres are even though all they do is a lot of roaring and not much stomping of stuff, you can be angered by (or just accept) its lack of real scares. And I felt all those conflicts at once but still came away from it more pro-troll than anti, if only because you could feel the movie trying its best to be awesome even when it failed.

My Own Personal Philosophy Of Giant Monsters: I lean toward the position, after a lifetime of consuming as much giant monster-themed product as possible, that for a movie to have giant monsters populating it is usually a better situation for that movie to be in than if that movie were to have no giant monsters at all. (exception: the crappy '90s, American, Matthew Broderick Godzilla and The Nutcracker in 3D) Even movies that have nothing to do with giant monsters could stand to benefit (see: 27 Dresses, which featured only human monsters that deserved to be eaten by actual giant monsters). So when a movie goes out of its way to present me with the gift of a three-headed troll (or a three-headed fire-breathing dragon like, say, King Ghidorah) it's already 50% accomplished at the task of pleasing me. If you believe as I do, you'll mostly enjoy yourself at this one.

Stupid Humans: The best of them is an actor named Otto Jespersen. He plays the stoic troll hunter, a man as intimidating as the mythical creatures themselves. In the inevitable American remake they'll miscast him with some action star. But I see this guy more as a Ron Swanson type and so I'll just say right now that when it comes to pass that the role should rightly fall into the capable hands of Parks and Recreation's Nick Offerman.

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