“Trolls Band Together” was directed by Walt Dohrn and is the 3rd film in the “Trolls” franchise following the 2016 original film and its 2020 sequel which was also directed by Dohrn. The voice over cast sees Justin Timberlake, Anna Kendrick, Kenan Thompson, Zoey Deschanel & Christopher Mintz-Plasse all return to their titular characters while being joined by newcomers, Eric Andre, Daveed Diggs, Kid Cudi, Troye Sivan, Camila Cabello & Amy Schumer. Justin Timberlake’s bandmates from the group, *NSYNC, making cameo appearances in the film as well as perform one the new songs in the soundtrack.

Before the events of the first film, Branch (Timberlake) was the youngest member of a boy band, BroZone, with his 4 older brothers, John Dory (Andre), Clay (Cudi), Floyd (Sivan) & Spruce (Diggs). After one of their shows, the group have multiple disagreements and end up going their separate ways. 20 years later, Branch & Poppy (Kendrick) are attending the wedding of King Gristle (Mintz-Plasse) & Bridgette (Deschanel), the Burgens. At the wedding, John Dory arrives and informs Branch that their brother, Floyd has been kidnapped and being hostage by Velvet (Schumer) a Mount Raegon, who is using the singing powers of the Trolls to better her career and her twin brother. Floyd is trapped in a diamond cell and the only way to break it is to perform the perfect harmony. Together, Branch & Poppy must join John Derby and find the rest of their brothers & save Floyd.

Plans for a third “Trolls” began in November 2021 during Justin Timberlake’s Apple Music takeover. This film was a solid follow up to the previous film but unfortunately is the same formula as the previous film. It’s the same generic plot, we follow our main characters through the journey while sing pop modern versions of classic pop songs. With the first film, you forgave that cause they mixed in more of original songs. The second film was way more remixes of pop songs with one original songs. This film does the exact same thing with one new original song by *NSYNC. There are some of heartwarming moments in the film, about sticking together and looking out for one another. People complained about franchise fatigue which never really bothered me until I realized how many short films & spinoffs, they were from 2018 to now. From TV series & specials to 3 films within 5 years is a bit much.

This film does fire on all cylinders and cater to its target audience but from a storytelling aspect, it’s a generic formula that we’ve seen before from this exact same franchise. While it does have some special moments sprinkled throughout, it still has the same plot with the same outcome we’ve seen before. The hype behind this film was targeted to fans of not only the “Trolls” but the fans wanting to see & hear new material from *NSYNC. I didn’t focus on the spinoff series or specials, but I can understand the complaints of franchise fatigue. The “Trolls” films done a great job of catering to its core audience but don’t necessarily expand the overall story. They just tell the same story from someone else’s prospective. “Trolls Band Together” does follow the rules of a trilogy by reverting to the original and tying it all together but to get there, it’s the same formulaic plot line.