Wednesday, July 25, 2018

Teen Titans Go! To the Movies

Since the show's introduction back in 2013, Teen Titans Go! has met with mixed reaction from fans. Some love the madcap feel of the short adventures while other felt DC strayed too far from the earlier (more serious take) found on the first Teen Titans animated series. Even if the show's writing has been somewhat inconsistent, I've enjoyed my share of Teen Titans Go! and my only real question was whether or not its slapstick style could work stretched out over a feature film? You bet your ass it can.

Full of DC fan references and inside jokes (such as Nicolas Cage playing Superman), the film is a nerdtastic delight.

The movie throws us into a world (not unlike our own) full of super-hero movies. Robin (Scott Menville), the selfish leader of the Teen Titans, desperately wants to join the ranks of Batman, Aquaman, Superman, and the rest of DC's top heroes who have all earned their own movies. Alas, no one takes the sidekick or his misfit team seriously. The solution? Find an arch-nemesis and convince a studio exec (Kristen Bell) that the Titans are worthy of a movie.

Sure there's plenty you an nitpick here, including some lowbrow humor made at the expense of the Balloon Man, but this movie is F-U-N. Those unfamiliar with the show's style may take a little longer to warm up to Robin's selfishness, Cyborg (Khary Payton) and Beast Boy's (Greg Cipes) zaniness, Starfire's (Hynden Walch) infectious joy, or Raven's (Tara Strong) dark humor, but the film is packed with so many jokes, cameos (even Animal Man made the cut!), and inside plot points (including a Michael Bolton montage AND the Titans throwing Martha and Thomas Wayne into Crime Alley - for reasons that MAKE SENSE to the plot of the film!) that it's impossible not to smile, sit back, and enjoy the ride.

The choice of Deathstroke (Will Arnett), or simply "Slade" as he's referred to here (when he isn't mistaken for Deadpool) is both a clever nod to Teen Titans history and a move that makes perfect sense given the strengths and weaknesses of this collection of teen heroes. There's also time travel big wheels, musical numbers (a couple of which are likely to get stuck in your head for a few hours), trailers for the most unexpected DC characters, and even a nice lesson about accepting who you are. Incredibles 2 is a more complete and polished animated film, but I had at least as much fun with these heroes and their first trip to the movies.

No comments: