Trolls Band Together (G, 91 minutes)
The colourful, chaotic world of the troll dolls is back with this third adventure from DreamWorks - and it's brought with it one hell of a reunion.
You might have seen the headlines popping up in recent months about seminal 90s/00s boy band *NSYNC getting back together. Fans thought there might've been a reunion tour, and the rumour mill went into overdrive when they assembled on stage at the MTV Video Music awards to present an excited Taylor Swift with her gong. As it turns out, the real reason for their reunion was a brand new song for the soundtrack of the third Trolls film, Trolls Band Together. If you're an adult and this news didn't excite or interest you in the least, then this is not the kids' movie for you.
However, if it had you launching into the iconic choreography of the Bye Bye Bye clip, then you're in for a hell of a good time.
The two previous Trolls films have been full of fun, good times and a smorgasbord of catchy songs, and the trend continues in Band Together, but the focus is far more on Justin Timberlake's Branch than Anna Kendrick's Poppy this time around.
We open the film by learning that Branch was once in a boy band called Brozone with his four older brothers, and was known as Bitty B. Eldest brother John Dory (Eric André) was obsessed with achieving the perfect and mystic "family harmony", and when he takes that desire too far the band breaks up and goes their separate ways.
Branch, the baby of the crew, lives the intervening years pretending Brozone didn't happen, so when John Dory crashes the wedding of Poppy's best friend Bridget (Zooey Deschanel) and King Gristle (Christopher Mintz-Plasse), it's a shock to everyone.
John Dory says they have to get the band together to save everyone's favourite brother, the pink-haired Floyd (our own Troye Sivan), who has been taken by a new overnight success duo. The pair, Velvet (Amy Schumer) and Veneer (Andrew Rannells), have all the trimmings of a successful music group, but possess no talent of their own, and are literally sucking the life out of Floyd. So far, so Milli Vanilli.
As Branch, Poppy and John Dory round up the other brothers, they encounter another troll who is remarkably like Poppy - and who turns out to be her missing sister, Viva (Camila Cabello).
That story is enough to amuse the kids. It's bright, there's a great selection of songs, and Tiny Diamond (Kenan Thompson) continues to deliver the biggest laughs with his small shiny body and deep voice.
But where this film really shines is in its catering to the Millennial/Xennial parents. Trolls Band Together is chock full of pleasing musical references, from dialogue that name-checks at least five boy bands in one exchange, to whole conversations that directly reference JT's early-00s hair and fashion choices. Even the selection of songs for the trolls to mash up feels more in-jokey than the previous entries in the franchise.
There's even a few pointed bits of dialogue that are definitely for the adults, but would fly completely over children's heads.
The folks at DreamWorks have done a remarkable job of keeping this series fresh and maintaining interest, a credit to directors Walt Dohn and Tim Heitz, and writers Elizabeth Tippet, Thomas Dam and Kim Caramele (Schumer's sister).
While it's exciting to have new *NSYNC music, the song - Better Place - isn't as immediately catchy and winning as Timberlake's Can't Stop the Feeling from the first Trolls movie.
The film opens with a fun new animated logo for DreamWorks, a treat for film nerds.