Trolls Band Together

  • 28 Oct - 03 Nov, 2023
  • Mag The Weekly
  • Reviews

You're familiar with the vibe: an excitable pre-teen with an endless craft budget. Think of "Strictly Come Dancing" thrown into a blender, sprinkled with extra glitter, and filtered through a kaleidoscope. It's vibrant, it's lively, and it won't quit until it's won you over. There's no use resisting the Trolls, even if their adventures aren't particularly coherent or groundbreaking by any conventional standards.

"Trolls Band Together" kicks off by revealing Branch (played by Justin Timberlake), a 'Pop Troll,' was once the youngest member of a boy band called BroZone, along with his four older brothers. They were the "Michael" of the group, but the quintet split up acrimoniously, never achieving their goal of "perfect family harmony," a mystical level of performance capable of shattering diamonds. Fast forward a few years, and perfectionist older brother John Dory (portrayed by Eric André) crashes a high-society wedding to rescue Branch and their imprisoned brother Floyd (played by Troye Sivan), held in a diamond prison. Can you guess where this is headed?

That's just the tip of the storyline iceberg because, after three films, this franchise has gathered an all-star cast of supporting characters to squeeze in between the non-stop pop medleys and glitter explosions. Do we really need all of them, along with four new brothers and two new villains (the brother-and-sister pop act Velvet and Veneer, played by Amy Schumer and Andrew Rannells, strikingly designed as beanpoles resembling the result of Betty Boop and a balloon animal having a baby)? Not particularly, but minimalism isn't this world's strong suit.

The movie is perfectly adequate and generally lightweight, offering some enjoyable gags in its brisk script. However, beyond the beautifully detailed animation and a genuine spirit of experimentation in the design, it all feels somewhat predictable and safe. This is a film that wants to reference Justin Timberlake's boy band history without giving the other NSync members starring roles. It aims to remix Lizzo's 'Good As Hell,' altering the last word to 'Hello' and fusing it with Lionel Richie. If you're going to be eccentric, commit to your eccentricity and avoid transitioning into easy-listening classics. If you're going to engage with the trolls, embrace the psychedelic madness found in the film's finest moments instead.

It may be somewhat irritating and one-dimensional, and its ceaseless cheerfulness can grow on you. Nonetheless, beneath the layers of felt and pop mash-ups, you'll discover some outstanding voice performances.