10th Aug2018

‘Teen Titans Go! to the Movies’ Review

by Jak-Luke Sharp

Features the voices of: Greg Cipes, Scott Menville, Khary Payton, Tara Strong, Hynden Walch, Will Arnett, Kristen Bell, Eric Bauza, Michael Bolton, Nicolas Cage, Joey Cappabianca, Greg Davies, John DiMaggio, Halsey | Written by Michael Jelenic, Aaron Horvath | Directed by Aaron Horvath, Peter Rida Michail

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It seems to the Teens that all the major superheroes out there are starring in their own movies-everyone but the Teen Titans, that is. But de facto leader Robin is determined to remedy the situation, and be seen as a star instead of a sidekick. If only they could get the hottest Hollywood film director to notice them. With a few madcap ideas and a song in their heart, the Teen Titans head to Tinsel Town, certain to pull off their dream. But when the group is radically misdirected by a seriously super villain and his maniacal plan to take over the Earth, things really go awry. The team finds their friendship and their fighting spirit failing, putting the very fate of the Teen Titans themselves on the line.

Teen Titans Go! To the Movies could not even resist the urge to create a self-deprecating and humorous title. A comedic precedent that is the first sign of things to come throughout the film, I assure you. Shockingly, it won’t come as a surprise to state that the entire film resonates with the same self-referential humour that points fun, not only at what is a ridiculous premise at hand with the Teen Titans themselves, but also at the state of the current Warner Bros D.C.E.U. slate. Similar, somewhat with Tim Miller’s Deadpool and the David Leitch sequel achieved with excessive and gargantuan success, albeit here a far more numbed, disciplined and clean manifesto is present but unfortunately more tiresome and stagnant with a canon that isn’t the quintessential comedy characters.

The fact that Warner Bros have dealt the blow of attacking themselves in the open, would seem to suggest that they’re in on the joke and take any venomous attributes out of the whole debacle, projecting the insecurities out to the world using a simple offence as a rather ingenious defence. A joke or two would have sufficed, but an entire ninety-minute feature is pushing the boundaries of overindulgence and entertainment values. To imply that Teen Titans Go! To the Movies isn’t good enough for a cinematic release isn’t fair. That’s why I’ll go as far as saying it adamantly should’ve stayed away from cinema screens and propose a television release or debut on the long-awaited DC streaming service. I’m not suggesting that this is a truly horrific and painful experience, quite the contrary considering the clear love of the artistry in the animation, but looking at the final product, it has so little substantial entertainment aside from the same regurgitated joke directed at popular film culture at each and every corner. A factor that simply doesn’t quantify a substantial merit of entertainment, even in the stitchings of something that has a very clear and young demographic who will happily eat every single frame up, even if they don’t necessarily understand the humour at hand.

If you’re active on Twitter or in any way involved in the current affairs of film, you’ve undoubtedly heard all the jokes and rebuttals the film entails in the last two years, of course online its a more excessive and controversial fashion. A massive stockpile exists of a vast hatred of everything and anything concerning the current state of the D.C.E.U. which leads to a concern of just why Warner Bros would fire the first shot at themselves, or in-fact bring certain elements into the spotlight of the mainstream. It’s clearly a very conscious decision, perhaps to engage the older end of the audience to sit back and find humour in a fandom that’s ultimately becoming ever increasingly more toxic with each and every release. And in the respect, it’s difficult to find fault in the attempt of defusing tension, but ultimately it’s remarkable that Warner Bros decided to touch upon the subject, let alone in a very child-friendly film. Perhaps there will be a method in the most definite madness, only time will tell.

Teen Titans Go! To the Movies is in cinemas now.

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