Trolls Band Together : Movie Review

Posted by Eddie Pasa on November 16, 2023 in / No Comments

 

Rated PG by the MPA for some mild rude and suggestive humor. Running time: 92 minutes. Released by DreamWorks Animation and Universal Pictures.

DC Movie Critics, DC Movie Reviews, DC Film Critics, Eddie Pasa, Movie Critics, Film Critics, Movie Review, Film Review, Trolls, Trolls Band Together, DreamWorks Animation, Universal PicturesHere we go with another Trolls movie. Which means another moral to whip at us, another opportunity to mash pop standards together and repackage them for modern ears, another soundtrack to sell. But what’s great about Trolls Band Together is that even the movie itself seems to know the franchise is wearing out its welcome; even star Justin Timberlake sounds like he doesn’t want to be there. Of course, that may just be his character, but there’s a dourer tone he takes in this outing; maybe it’s because we’re foraying into a world he left behind – that of the late-‘90s boy bands.

Elizabeth Tippet’s script runs a wide gamut of family drama and harks back to the first Trolls film’s crux of using the Trolls in nefarious ways. In the first, they were food for their mortal enemies, the digestion of which would give them a spark of happiness; here, their talent is drained from them like Count Rugen’s machine sucked life away from Westley in The Princess Bride. The Trolls-as-drugs metaphor is back, made even more dire by the suffering endured by the victim, who’s not just getting eaten; his very life is being taken little by little, and his suffering might cause concern in some younger viewers.

DC Movie Critics, DC Movie Reviews, DC Film Critics, Eddie Pasa, Movie Critics, Film Critics, Movie Review, Film Review, Trolls, Trolls Band Together, DreamWorks Animation, Universal PicturesIt’s revealed that Branch was in a boy band with his four brothers called BroZone, since scattered to the wind because of big brother John Dory’s (Eric André) control issues. Starting with Branch, John Dory (always referred to as such) has to recruit the remaining three brothers to save Floyd (Troye Sivan) from Velvet (Amy Schumer) and Veneer (Andrew Rannells), who currently have him in an inescapable diamond bottle and inhale his life essence to fuel their shoddy vocals. As films like these go, not only are the brothers on a rescue mission, but they’re also rescuing their relationships, a problem almost equal to the job they must do; to break the bottle, BroZone has to achieve the Perfect Family Harmony. Their last attempt at this drove them apart, so they’ve really! gotta! get it! together! to save Floyd from wasting away.

With all the usual faff and sparkle, we learn about the value of family and having each other’s backs as John Dory and Floyd – along with Poppy (Anna Kendrick) and Tiny Diamond (Kenan Thompson) – travel the world in search of the rest of BroZone. There are other surprises in the family issues department (not just with BroZone and the singing twins), and we’re given more cuteness to help the medicine go down. Say what you will about the Trolls movies, but when it comes to having a good heart, they’ve got it down to a science; there’s a lot of earnest goodwill fostered with these characters, with the little moments between them forming the glue that holds this movie together.

DC Movie Critics, DC Movie Reviews, DC Film Critics, Eddie Pasa, Movie Critics, Film Critics, Movie Review, Film Review, Trolls, Trolls Band Together, DreamWorks Animation, Universal PicturesThere’s no escape from the magnificent spirit that emanates from the colorful animation and the overly-Autotuned pop songs blaring from the theater speakers. However, while the music may have changed, the dance steps have not. Like the two films before it, Trolls Band Together follows the usual “two people at odds on a quest” formula – some folks are grudgingly put together, they make some headway in both their adventure and interpersonally, something bad happens to separate them, followed by the ending which sees everyone working in harmony to get the right thing done. “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it” is the phrase that pays when it comes to this franchise, and Trolls Band Together does little to break new ground.

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Eddie Pasa

Eddie is a member of the Washington DC Area Film Critics Association (WAFCA) and the Online Film Critics Society (OFCS). Since starting in 2010 at The Rogers Revue, Eddie has written for Reel Film News (now defunct), co-founded DC Filmdom, and writes occasionally for Gunaxin. When not reviewing movies, he's spending time with his wife and children, repeat-viewing favorites on 4k or Blu-Ray, working for rebranding agency Mekanic, or playing acoustic shows and DJing across the DC/MD/VA area. Special thanks go to Jenn Carlson, Moira and Ari Pasa, Viki Nova at City Dock Digital in Annapolis, Mike Parsons, Philip Van Der Vossen, and Dean Rogers.

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