Let Sleeping Giants Lie in TROLL
Directed by Roar Uthaug and co-written by Uthaug and Espen Aukan, fantasy-action Troll is a suspenseful cautionary tale of what happens when a formidable mythological creature is woken after a thousand years of slumber.
As a young girl, Nora Tidemann learns of Trolls mythology and the origin of the local mountains of Dovre from her father Tobias. Indeed, Nora envisions trolls' faces turned to stone in a nearby rock formation.
Many years later, a drilling operation tunneling through the mountains causes an eruption, resulting in the death of several miners and local protestors. The Norwegian government recruits a diverse array of scientists to determine the cause, including Nora (Ine Marie Wilmann), who is now a paleontologist. While it is initially believed that the eruption was caused by the workers hitting a methane gas pocket, Nora and the prime minister's advisor, Andreas Isaksan (Kim Falck), have a different theory. Viewing video footage from the accident scene as well as large impressions that appear to be footprints lead the pair to believe there’s an alternate cause – a Troll.
After the home of an elderly couple is torn apart near Lesja, Nora and Andreas are dispatched to investigate further along with Norwegian military soldier, Captain Kris Holm (Mads Sjøgård Pettersen). Nora seeks help from someone with more knowledge on the legendary creature – her father Tobias (Gard B. Eidsvold), who has been discredited and outcast due to his insistence in the existence of Trolls.
While investigating a topographical feature, the group accidentally awakened a slumbering Troll, which had camouflaged itself on the mountainside. They escape but not before capturing video evidence of the creature’s existence.
From there, Troll focuses on the group’s race to solve the mystery of why the Troll is headed directly to the city of Oslo, with the military hot in pursuit. Why is the Troll leaving what is perceived safety for an urban area? The answer is quite intriguing.
On the surface, Troll is a fun mythological monster action film. However, there’s not much depth to the film beyond that. The relationship between Nora and Tobias is underdeveloped, as are the characters in general. The frenetic pace coupled with poorly written dialogue and plot holes and continuity issues detract from the overall story.
I’m a huge fan of suspenseful Nordic films, especially those based in mythology and in such scenic settings such as the Dovre Mountains. However, Troll is nowhere near the caliber of other Nordic creature features, including André Øvredal’s Trollhunter (2010), writer/director Jalmari Helander’s Rare Exports (2010), and director Mikkel Brænne Sandemose’s Ragnarok (2013).
Troll is decent enough to watch on Netflix for those with a subscription and are in the mood for something mildly-entertaining.