‘Trolls Band Together’ a passable, if overly speedy kids’ animated time killer; ‘Bottoms’, a dismal stab at social satire

Hair band: Trolls unite in the kids’ film ‘Trolls Bands together’.

TROLLS BAND TOGETHER **1/2 (92minutes) G
There’s plenty music and movement and a handful of laughs in Trolls Band Together, the third installment of the Trolls animated franchise, a super-cute series that will not stop.

It’s a passable, middling candy-coloured time killer, though it moves so fast it doesn’t allow much time to get involved with the characters or engage with the story. It’s like an iridescent blur set to pop songs.

The bickering band of big-haired trolls have decided to retire, but then need to quickly reconvene in order to rescue a brother who has been kidnapped by their envious big-eyed rivals.

Colourfully animated with a sprinkling of jokes making fun of the music industry, Trolls Band Together is a pleasant enough time killer, though it snaps by at such a blistering pace that restless kids (and their adult guardians) might not find it sufficiently engaging to stay in their seats.

The film is so fast and cluttered with characters, songs and movement it doesn’t develop a strong sense of style or even give the musical numbers much chance to breathe. For example, there’s a lovely rendition of Dolly Parton’s 9 to 5 before it is rudely cut off.

It’s also sometimes tough to follow the double-speed dialogue delivery, with some of the jokes about boy bands and the music biz flying by without landing, the punchlines buried.

Without getting political, it’s got to be said that all the Pride colours featured heavily early in the film are a bit stomach churning and is the latest in the long line of all the virtue signalling kids’ films we’ve been assailed with this year.

Is it really no longer possible to watch a movie for children without having to put up with filmmakers pushing a political agenda? The practice has proved to be pretty off-putting and hopefully this year marks the end of the odious practice.

Bad acting in ‘Bottoms’.

BOTTOMS * (92 minutes) MA
Here’s a real corker, a largely unfunny attempt at satire that is so poorly directed you could be forgiven for thinking it was Australian.

A prime example of failed satire, the premise involves two American high school girls who set up a Fight Club-like self defense club in the hopes of attract two particular high school girls they are keen as beans to get it on with.

Dreadfully directed by Emma Seligman, who co-wrote with lead actor Rachel Sennott, what could have been a raunchy 1980s-style adult comedy flails at every turn, with sodden performances and gags that are as funny as a toothache.

A confused, contradictory mess springing forth from a very sketchy sex-comedy concept, the film features streams of swearing and tougfh talk, but no real follow through on its “feminista” messaging.

As with all failed satires, the characters are fatally self-conscious that they are in a satire. This is the Cardinal Sin of Satire. As soon as a character figuratively winks at the audience, the enterprise collapses – and the film is full of such winking.

Particularly disappointed is how, given its premise, the film isn’t even the least bit sexy. Teenage lesbians wanting to get it on with other teenage lesbians. How could that miss?

Should you happen across any signage for Bottoms and somehow feel the urge to get a ticket, do yourself a big favour and speed off in the opposite direction.

Awful. Absolutely awful.