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Film: Trolls Band Together
Cast (Voice): Anna Kendrick, Justin Timberlake, Troye Sivan, Eric André, Amy Schumer, Andrew Rannells, Daveed Diggs.
Directors: Walt Dohrn, Tim Heitz
Rating: 2.5/5
Runtime: 92 min

The vibrantly colored candy backdrop of the marshmallow world, accompanied by boy band music is back in this third edition of the Trolls franchise. It’s mainly targeted at the kids and adults may just get enthused by the charge felt from their kids’ excitement.

There’s no real plot to speak of. The premise has the Trolls on a reunion mission. Branch (Timberlake) who with his four brothers was part of a popular boy band, BroZone, gets conflicted when his oldest brother, John Dory (André), reappears after years and asks him to find the rest of their brothers so they can sing together and save brother Floyd’s (Sivan) talent.

The sequences are not dramatic enough, the villains are ridiculous and the musical scenes don’t have the visual quality to get you rocking. But there’s plenty of opportunity for a psychedelic display of colorfully animated images, serenaded by music, singing, and dancing. The music in fact charts its course through 50 years of pop culture.

Comparatively speaking, the animation is slightly better than what was seen in the earlier two movies. Visually eye-catching and creative with its merge of 2D, the characters have well-crafted looks, and the jokes are intermittently funny. The mix of popular songs and some grown-up wit makes for a rather formulaic third-time outing. The jukebox of rock-along pop classics with its boy bands’ theme has the puns rolling in thick and fast.

The scripting though is the weakest of the trilogy. ‘Trolls Band Together’ puts together lessons about self-acceptance and the non-pursuit of perfectionism. But the message doesn’t hit the sweet spot. The voice work is rather bland, the musical themes don’t stand out either. The film manages to look good thanks to its colorful animation and canny use of crafts. The cheery tone has become passe and the assemblage of eclectic soundtracks fails to fuel interest. The Trolls franchise has apparently run out of ideas. This is at best a passable film that generates its rush from bright colors, unusual characters, and jukebox music.

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