Directed by Walt Dohrn and Tim Heitz, Trolls Band Together is the third installment in the Trolls franchise. In this edition, Poppy (Anna Kendrick) discovers that Branch (Justin Timberlake) was once part of the boy band ‘BroZone’ with his brothers Floyd (Troye Sivan), John Dory (Eric André), Spruce (Daveed Diggs), and Clay (Kid Cudi). When Floyd is kidnapped, Branch and Poppy embark on an adventure with a slew of surprises along the way.

Universal Pictures really brought out the heavyweights for this one. Aside from the heavily publicized reunion of pop favorites *NSYNC, the film features the voices of Amy Schumer, Kenan Thompson, Camila Cabello, RuPaul, Ron Funches, Jungkook, Anderson .Paak, GloZell Green, Soojin, Dillon Francis, and more. That’s a boat load of star power for an animated film so we’ll see if it pays off this opening weekend.

While the gang was together as BroZone, the brothers seemed pretty happy. It wasn’t until their hard work and fun was upended by John Dory’s obsession with hitting “The Family Harmony”, which was something that had never been done. This was the catalyst for the breakup. So as an adult, Branch had put the boy band days behind him and had no interest in getting the gang back together again. It’s only after he finds out about Floyd’s kidnapping and a few nudges from Poppy that Branch decides to take on the task.

There are a lot of songs that get covered in this film and there should be enough to please everybody. One of my favorites was hearing Christopher Cross’s “Sailing”, which I’m sure will be Shazam’d enough for Gen Z to be familiar with after this weekend.

The humor is where it tends to veer. What’s meant for children isn’t too bad, but it felt like the film went out of its way to humor adults. The best example of this was when I heard, “I didn’t expect for both of us to be tied up on our honeymoon” after two characters were tied up as part of a trap. That type of innuendo wasn’t needed and didn’t go over well during the screening where critics were “encouraged” to bring their families.

Trolls Band Together gets a 7.5 out of 10. The songs are great, emphasizing the importance of family is cool, but the humor was hit or miss. The content that was meant for adults really stood out, and I felt it completely unnecessary. Aside from that, it’s an enjoyable film.

-Jon Jones

Photos: Courtesy of Universal Pictures

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