Trolls Band Together – movie review

Five Troll brothers were once part of a successful boy band, BroZone, but that came to an inglorious end. Now, all these years later, getting the group together again is the only way out for one of the guys, who has been kidnapped by imposters. That, in short, is the plot to Trolls Band Together; the colourful third film in the franchise, which started with Trolls in 2016 and was followed by Trolls World Tour in 2020.

Trolls Band Together starts with a recap of why the band split. It had everything to do with older brother John Dory’s (the voice of Eric Andre) demanding ways and search for perfection. Each of the bros then went their own way, with the youngest, Branch (Justin Timberlake), left to care for their grandmother. He expected them to all reunite, but that never happened. Now, he is all grown up and living his best life with his dedicated girlfriend, the gregarious over talker Poppy (Anna Kendrick). She has no idea of his past, but that changes when – out of the blue – Branch receives an unexpected visit from John Dory.

In fact, it comes in the middle of the wedding between Poppy’s best friend Bridget (Zooey Deschanel) and King Gristle (Christopher Mintz-Plasse). Dory gives Branch the shocking news that the brother Branch was closest to, Floyd (Troye Sivan), is being held captive and bit-by-bit drained of his musical talents. The nefarious act has been perpetrated by the hottest new duo going around, brother and sister Velvet (Amy Schumer) and Veneer (Andrew Rannells). Think Milli Vanilli. They have trapped Floyd in a blue diamond and drain his musical ability every time they sing. The strength of the diamond cannot be shattered unless all five Trolls are in sync … and that is going to take quite some doing. John Dory, with Branch and Poppy already in tow, moves to collect his other bros, Bruce (Daveed Diggs) and Clay (Kid Cudi), before mounting a rescue mission. Their method of transport is armadillo and they are driven there by the diminutive Tiny Diamond (Kenan Thompson), who does, indeed, sparkle. But, is it a trap?

It also must be noted that, along the way, Poppy learns about a long-suppressed family secret … when Viva (Camila Cabello) steps into her life. Another of note in the cast is Velvet and Veneer’s exploited but smart personal assistant Crimp (Zosia Mamet).

While the outcome of Trolls Band Together is never in doubt, the family-friendly journey is well worth taking. You can see this film in isolation and it stills hangs together. In other words, you needn’t have seen the earlier two. I appreciated the life lessons the movie dished out in an entertaining way, especially the trajectory of several key characters that grow and mature. The movie is full of movement, colour, adventure and spark. There is a real energy about it, which children will relate to. It’s also not without humour. The rainbow pallet is a technicolour dream.

Trolls Band Together thrives on its musical choices and they are nothing short of fabulous. So many hits in the up-tempo pop score. That is a real plus. I couldn’t get enough of it. Based on Good Luck Trolls, created by Thomas Dam, the film is written by Elizabeth Tippet (who also wrote Trolls World Tour). Walt Dohrn (who was responsible for the previous two instalments) co-directs with Tim Heitz.

Trolls Band Together is a good one for the young ones during the school holidays.

Alex First

Other reviews you might enjoy: