Feb 6, 2011

The Troll Hunter

After peeping the promotional footage on Twitchfilm, I was immediately taken aback by the digital lawlessness that The Troll Hunter so proudly flaunts. The empty canals of the Norwegian film industry are quickly being populated with directors wielding vigor but at a steep price, complete eradication of national culture, save for brief context of storytelling. With Dead Snow, Cold Prey, Hora, and now The Troll Hunter, the complete emergence of Hollywood blockbuster ideals within Norway is imminent and what, with most of Scandinavia pardoning these excuses to turn a profit, it won't be long before traditional artistry and aesthetic in Europe are replaced with car chases scenes involving a colossal troll. But I don't dare impute the fact that The Troll Hunter is a massive slice of entertainment. Like the best action films of North America, The Troll Hunter only aims to please and does so scrupulously. The Scandinavian mythology of trolls as both beast and spirits of nature follow suit with the musings of "the troll hunter", Hans, and many of the weaknesses as detailed by ancient tomes appears to be verified. In a nutshell, that is the basis of The Troll Hunter, a feeble shell of Nordic beliefs stuffed with American trash. The director even has the gall to namedrop the fat slob Michael Moore as a positive influence on their short-lived career as documentarians.

The plot is quite simple and leaves much more space for the sequential mythological adventure to take place instead of bogging the film down with trivial ideas of cinema such as "plot progression" and "character depth." Thomas leads a small film crew to document the mysterious poaching of bears and winds up tailing a shady fellow named Hans who vanishes all hours of the night only to return in a fashion undeniably introspective. Not a huge surprise that the veterinarian has such a "thing" for the heavyweight of The Troll Hunter. Soon spotting Hans leaving at the dead of night, they follow his vehicle past a government zone warning of blast testing. They soon hear cracking trees, ravenous and guttural growls and witness Hans sprinting from the tree-line screaming "Troll!" Soon after conspiracies and cover-ups from the government are revealed with religious zest an appetizer to the meal Hans cautiously cooks. Christian blood is a scent trolls can determine to be a source of food. This regard is the only instance except for sunlight that the fables ring credibility. The Troll Hunter evolved into the very same popcorn spectacle that I anticipated from the impression the trailer left. This film is hardly extraordinary but a damn fine way to kill a couple of hours safe from regret.

I greatly enjoy when feedback towards a film hailing from Europe such as The Troll Hunter is greeted with such a smarmy retort as "Hopefully Hollywood won't ruin it!" Statements like this only make me wish I could backhand such an asinine character who cannot connect the very plain dots linking the globalization of world cinema to the plague-ridden cinema of the West. From the first sighting of a troll to the final sighting, we, the audience, are swept into a vortex of diner breakfast, noisome slime, calcified creatures, and the hairy beasts of Nordic yore. The Troll Hunter even goes as far as to facetiously include a swift nod to a classic parable of trolls, Three Billy Goats Gruff by Asbjørnsen and Moe, who are commonly refered to as untrustworthy of their text by our troll hunter, Hans. The shining force of The Troll Hunter has to be the incredibly endearing character of Hans as he is a figure of hope in an otherwise soulless tableaux of mega-monster films. The inclusion of a Muslim in the final roster of crew is a wasted opportunity of mocking the Muslim community in retaliation to the taint left on European countries. Even understanding the Muslim's fate ringing not a bang but a whimper, this retaliation towards the rape epidemic centering on Norwegian victims, the crimes committed largely by minorities, especially Islamic 'citizens.' Argue against statistics all you'd like but I imagine you would have a great difficult time explaining the sudden inclusion of a token Muslim character, only to be given a handful of lines and disappear into a government vehicle as fast as she appeared on screen.

The Troll Hunter is vastly superior to the atrocious Dead Snow which collected an excellent idea and left it out to spoil. Taking the already soiled product and covering it with decorations did not help Dead Snow's hopeless cause one bit, but for The Troll Hunter, things are extravagantly different. Despite containing absolutely nothing of intellectual value other than a director who read several parables involving trolls, The Troll Hunter is the usual jerk-fest involving cryptozoology and paranoid government figures. Perhaps the same characters you'd encounter if The Mothman Prophecies was filmed from a third-person perspective and not an omniscient figure wielding authoritative control of the camera. Despite suffering the flaws of a director with dreams of big-top Americana, The Troll Hunter is immensely entertaining and is often humorous and thrilling. The film's emotive stance on exploration of mythology switches gears from perky fun to drastic, consequential drama quickly and effectively. By the end of The Troll Hunter, you will either be immensely entertained or disappointed by the fact that you just watched a competent American film in another language.



Alec Pridgen said...

It's good to see a positive review. I was a bit afraid that I would build this movie up, only for it to severely-disappoint me. The worst thing that this one will probably do is whelm me.

Now I just have to wait for Netflix to get it.

jervaise brooke hamster said...

Long live the Americanization and CGI special effects invasion of the European film industry, its about time after having had their film industry governed (and completely ruined) by ludicrous, pretentious, posturing, highbrow, elitist, racist, cinematic snobs for the past 122 years (essentially since 1889 when cinema was invented). By the way, i wonder if the British film industry will ever attempt the same route to success...er...i very much doubt it, and that, Ty E and mAQ is the main reason why the British film industry is the ludicrous, laughable, pathetic joke that it is, and always has been, and always will be. LONG LIVE HOLLYWOODS MAGNIFICENT SPECIAL EFFECTS EXTRAVAGANZAS, DESTROY THE BRITISH FILM INDUSTRY...NOW !!!.

Øivind said...

This review has some good points, and I generally agree with it's conclusion. But the writing style seems very odd to me, it almost feels like reading a computer translation.