It’s the school holidays, a time when parents across the UK prepare to pay over a healthy chunk of their salary to their local cinema’s snack counter, switch off their brains and sit in the dark while the latest family feature washes over them and their offspring. Occasionally, very occasionally, a worthy film rises above the flotsam to capture the imagination of every generation and bond them all in the warming glow of genuine enjoyment.

Trolls Band Together is not that film.

Poppy (Anna Kendrick) has never been happier. She’s attending the wedding of her best friend in the world, the Trolls and the Bergens are united and living in peace and she and Branch (Justin Timberlake) are officially a couple. Yay! But, despite their new closeness, Branch is holding back his true origin story; the mild-mannered Pop Troll used to be a legit pop star, a member of boyband BroZone!

A fallout led to his brothers scattering across the land and now their heartfelt music only brings him pain. At one time it seemed they would never reunite, however, fate has other plans and soon the boys will need to man up and hit the elusive perfect family harmony or risk losing one of their number for good. Can the band put their differences aside to save a bro before his last note rings out? Can the power of their fragmented bond really shatter diamond?!

Luckily Poppy is always up for a quest so, with the quick-quipping Tiny Diamond (Kenan Thompson) ill-advisedly at the wheel and a song or ten on their lips, the couple hit the road for another peppy adventure. Along the way, Poppy will also come face-to-face with the echoes of her own past and maybe fulfil her wish for a sibling to love. Fame-hungry baddies won’t part with their BroZone boost without a fight but Trolls are feisty foes so rest assured that a happy ending won’t be far behind.

Trolls Band Together is…fine. It’s fine. It’s all a bit loud and hectic and the story is flimsy, making it impossible to care what happens to anyone or anything, but it’s over mercifully fast so you’ll leave unscathed if you absolutely have to sit through it. Thanks to the presence of Mr Timberlake the movie features brand-new songs from *NSYNC (whose members, let us remember, are ALL Allan). This could be a selling point (or a red flag, depending on your leanings) it is, however, the only one.

Even Anna Kendrick’s Poppy – with her winning enthusiasm and “let’s put on the show right here!” spirit – sounds frazzled. By the time Poppy’s kindred spirit – the uncannily similar Viva (Camila Cabello) – arrives on screen, the poor little Queen of the Trolls is giving Anne Hathaway trying to singlehandedly carry the 2011 Oscars levels of sonic desperation as she tries to crank her woo hoos to eleven. It’s not the most comfortable watch.

While boy band puns raise a chuckle, the new brothers have a sweet enough bond and the Trolls generally continue to be all tactile charm and wholesomeness, the addition of scheming fame junkies Velvet (Amy Schumer) and Veneer (Andrew Rannells) is less successful. Their sterile plastic aesthetic and generic Vegas fruit machine world are borderline offputting, especially when contrasted with our beautifully rendered heroes.

Fortunately, any mild perils along the way get dispatched with disinterested ease. Allowing the predictable plot to conclude with minimal pain (ugly villain animation aside.) The latest outing for the Trolls probably won’t win them any new fans but its inoffensive enough fare for a rainy day.

Trolls Band Together opens across the UK on October 20th 2023

Trolls Band Together
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Emily Breen
Emily Breen began writing for HeyUGuys in 2009. She favours pretzels over popcorn and rarely watches trailers as she is working hard to overcome a compulsion to ‘solve’ plots. Her trusty top five films are: Betty Blue, The Red Shoes, The Princess Bride, The Age of Innocence and The Philadelphia Story. She is troubled by people who think Tom Hanks was in The Philadelphia Story and by other human beings existing when she is at the cinema.
trolls-band-together-reviewThe latest outing for the Trolls probably won’t win them any new fans but its inoffensive enough fare for a rainy day. The very definition of fine.