Saturday, August 11, 2018

Teen Titans Go to the Movies - Movie Review

Written by Shiggins

Better than Justice League?

Whether you love it or hate it, you can't deny that Justice League is one of the superhero movie genre's most mishandled blunders. DC's big-screen movie universe has been full of many misses and far too hits, but the straight-to-dvd animated works are usually considered great. So what happens when DC brings out a big-screen animated movie, combining the best with the worst? Well, apparently we get Teen Titans Go to the Movies!

Believe it or not, this Slade isn't as scary as the original. I know, I was shocked too!

Based on the 2003 hit that aired on Cartoon Network, Teen Titans Go is a low-budget series that uses flash animation and shorter episodes with a focus on making jokes and selling toys. Honestly, I don't hate the series but it certainly is a step back in an era where we're already losing far too many 2D cartoons to 3D, and mature themes for goofy ones. That being said, I have watched TTG a few times and it did make me laugh, but that doesn't mean I wasn't shocked to hear a film of this was coming out. "Really? Teen Titans Go is getting a movie?" I said.

This superhero movie is about superhero movies, funnily enough. The Teen Titans want to be taken seriously, especially their leader Robin who has become slightly obsessed, and they believe that if they get a movie then their dreams will come true. However, they need to find an archenemy to impress the director. Luckily for them, this is when the villainous Deathstroke Slade is revealed to be hatching an evil plan to take over the world!

Oh yeah, I forgot... Superman kinda sucks in this!
Thankfully, the cast from the 2003 series and Teen Titans Go are back for this film. They've been playing these roles for 15 years now and it would be an insult to have celebrities come in to replace them. So we have Scott Menville as Robin, Greg Cipes as Beast Boy, Tara Strong as Raven, Hynden Walch as Starfire, and Khary Payton as Cyborg. They know these characters well, and it shows amongst the silly action and jokes.

Newcomers to the cast are Will Arnett as Slade, Kristen Bell as acclaimed movie director Jade Wilson, Greg Davies as Balloon Man and even Nicholas Cage getting to play the role he's dreamed of for years... Superman! Yes, this man is finally Superman! How can you hate a movie that casts Nicholas Cage as Superman?

It's sad that we'll probably never get a great Swamp Thing movie...
The film instantly makes you aware of what it's intentions are, and is proud to show it. It is a film for kids, with some cheeky in-jokes for the parents dragged to see this film. When the film opens up with the Teen Titans rapping a song to tell a giant Balloon Man who they are, but ignoring him to tell the audience so he continues to commit evil, the message becomes abundantly clear. Scenes like this show the film is not trying to be taken seriously, and would rather have a good time telling fun jokes, lame jokes, or a mixture of both.

For the most part, it surprisingly succeeds. Every scene has at least something that made me smirk, and I found myself laughing surprisingly loud when the best jokes came out. It's completely childish and immature, but it made me laugh so who cares? I'm childish and immature! We're all childish and immature, deep down! There's a scene where the Teen Titans get the "genius" idea to stop the Justice League ever existing so they can be the only true heroes, and the lengths they go to stop Aquaman or Batman becoming the heroes they are destined to be are great. And surprisingly dark!

To quote the TTG series: "Dem leeeeegs."
In fact, this movie has some shockingly dark moments, all of which are hilarious. The amount of characters that the Teen Titans ruin the lives of, or even murder, are surprisingly high! I loved how much this film got away with, despite it clearly being meant for little kids and was only created because studios love money and merchandise. For a film that, no doubt, had so much studio control over it, I can only imagine how far this would have gone if it could have.

The jokes involving Slade are funny as well, although they do drag on. Will Arnett is a very funny actor with a lot of talent, but his performance in this reminded me too much of the Lego Batman movie, in which he played the lead. The scene where he uses "mind manipulation" on the Teen Titans wears thin quickly but keeps going on.

It's like DC's Deadpool! For kids!
Like many other kid films out there, this one has its cringe moments. Twerking, rapping, moments of rave music, odd noises to try and entertain the babies... We've learned by now that kid films don't need to do this, but some of them refuse to take that lesson to heart and keep going. The Krypton scene in particular is very obnoxious.

Perhaps the film's biggest failing is the use of the main characters, besides Robin. Cyborg, Beast Boy, Starfire and Raven have no arcs or motivations beyond "Help Robin and save the world", which is an ultimate shame. Raven in particular keeps bouncing from deadpan disinterest to goofy shenanigans, making her feel inconsistent. Again, the film isn't trying to be anything but a good time with jokes (It even boldface admits that at the end), but some development for these characters could have gone a long way.

I desperately want to see Ron Perlman's Slade meet Will Arnett's. It'd be like Avatar's Ozai meeting the Adventure Time's Ice King.
The action is fine, if predictable. The animation, as I previously noted, is flash animation which means the visuals are fairly restricted and never feel that immersive, but at least they're moving constantly from location to location so you don't think too much about it. And to the film's credit, the characters do fit in with the environment and feel connected to the world. I've seen cartoon movies with massive budgets fail in this regard, but TTG makes it work.

On a side note, I had two revelations while watching this film.

The first is that we, fans of the 2003 series, need to get over Teen Titans Go. I've seen "true fans" of the show complain about this show since its inception, and I was on their side during the first season, but we're now five seasons and a movie in. The original Teen Titans is getting a season 6, from what I can tell. It's time to calm down, and let the kids have what they have. The 2003 series still exists and it is coming back to answer our cliffhanging problems. There is no excuse anymore to complain about a kids' cartoon.

There's like 5 jokes in this one picture, and the least funny one is the one they want you to focus on.
Secondly, this film perfectly encapsulates the current situation of the DCEU (Or "Worlds of DC" as we're supposedly meant to call it now). A poster in this film says "Batman vs Superman; Yawn for Justice". And that's funny, but also brings out the sad message that even the writers of DC films know how poorly the DC movies are doing these days and can do nothing about it but either laugh at themselves or cry. Justice League should have easily made a billion dollars. A film featuring Batman fighting Superman should be one of the best superhero films of all time. Warner Bros' mishandling of the DC franchise has brought out a scenario where the best DC films are making fun of them, such as Lego Batman and TTG. I should be able to consider TTG a palate cleanser, but it's honestly the best DC film I've seen since Wonder Woman. And that's kinda sad.

Teen Titans Go to the Movies is not going to win any awards or wow audiences with its heart. And it isn't trying to, which means it is free to embrace the total insanity it creates and never stop until the credits roll. Kids will have a good time for the rapping and comedy, and older fans of DC will enjoy the countless Easter Eggs and homages to DC's long history of comics and movies while wishing the writers could have resisted the urge to include so many butt jokes. It is what it is.

Also, there's a shop in the Balloon Man scene called "the Ror Shack". That's genius.

Film Rating: 7.5/10

Best Performance: Scott Menville as Robin.

Best Part: Back in time montage.

Worst Part: Krypton twerking.

DC, hurry up and give the fans what they really want!

Shiggins:[Admin]   .
Born under the stars of the Dark Gods, Shiggins owns the power of the Great Eye and is utterly magnificent in his omniscience. If you dare to discover more about someone as great as him, then go ahead. And to all my friends and family members, YOU are wrong and I should be disappointed! Not the other way round!,. You can find out about him or ask him stuff on or go to his tumblr page

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