Would it be surprising that Teen Titans Go! To the Movie, the big screen debut based on the popular Cartoon Network show, will automatically be better than DC’s Universe Titans since the trailer released from Comic-Con lost everybody who was invested. And while not everybody is psyched that this was made into an 87-minute movie, a lot of things turned out better or worse for an adult sitting in the theater hoping this was gonna be worth my time.
Every superhero seems to be getting their own movie these days, but not the Teen Titans, consisting of Robin (Scott Menville), Starfire (Hynden Walch), Beast Boy Greg Cipes), Cyborg (Khary Payton), and Raven (Tara Strong). Feeling like they want a movie of their own, they decided to go to Hollywood to make it happen, especially for Robin, who doesn’t want to be the sidekick anymore.
The news of a full-length movie happening didn’t scream excitement in my head much so a deadpan reaction. It’s not just because of the bad trailers, but it’s because Teen Titans Go! ruined what everybody loved about the original show back in the early days. In my opinion, it’s up there with the reboot of The Powerpuff Girls as the worst show on Cartoon Network. But even before giving this a chance, it feels dumb for another animated superhero movie released this summer that’s not Incredibles 2, or coming out the same weekend as Mission: Impossible- Fallout (great movie). With the lowest of expectations for any movie to come out in 2018, considered me shocked to honestly say Teen Titans Go! To the Movies had me laughing with how this was a lot better than the show.
Oddly enough, I always thought that the cartoon was just a joke for being nothing like before. It’s like the writers took that common complaint that’s been said about it and use that for the team here. They are considered a joke to everybody and nobody doesn’t take them seriously, which leads to famous superhero movie director Jade Wilson (Kristen Bell) saying no one is interested in a movie about them. Aaron Horvath, the creator of the show, and Peter Rida Michail directed this with Horvath and Michael Jelenic handling the script, and it’s shocking they managed to make this tolerable. How is it that this is funnier and more watchable than the show?
The target audience of the show is for pretty young kids, no surprise, and they will have a good time with this. Its quick, animation style is about the same, but with a bigger budget, I assume. It has the same kind of humor that it’s known for and even has some musical numbers to keep the ball going. For instance, there’s an actual song entitled “Upbeat Inspirational Song About Life” to lift up Robin’s spirits. Fans who are fans of the original show won’t get anything out of this except for grown and hating their lives while sitting through it. Luckily, I wasn’t one of them.
I was honestly surprised with how much I laughed during this. Even the first minute got me to laugh more than once. The movie plays it off as a satire of superhero movies and how it became this popular form of entertainment in today’s society. All of the humor is pretty much making fun of DC, Marvel, or anything that’s cliché about comic book movies. Would anybody else be down for a movie starring the Batmobile? I’m down for it. Basically, nobody is safe when this movie is insulting them in a clever way. Stan Lee, yes, made a hilarious cameo. Even some of the dark jokes kind of got me via time travel montage. It also has that meta-humor that’s almost in the same vein as Deadpool, but for kids. The main villain here is Slade/Deathstroke (voiced by Will Arnett), who becomes the Titans nemesis and the gateway for a movie to finally happen for them. The Titans even mistaken Slade for Deadpool because of how similar they look with the guns and swords.
There are tons of DC easter eggs that can be spotted if you’re quick to point out. Some random voice talents they brought in like Halsey as Wonder Woman and Lil Yachty as Green Lantern aren’t too noticeable, but they needed some big names for about two to three scenes. They even got Nicolas Cage to voice Superman. That’s actually kind of cool since he was supposed to play Superman a long time ago after Tim Burton’s take on the titular hero was canceled. Wasn’t so sure how I was gonna like this idea, but I get a laugh any time he appears.
Predictable? It is. It can be settled as a 10-minute episode from the show and nothing would be different. And leading into the third act, the laughs didn’t come through for me and it has the kind of humor that the show had that I wasn’t a fan of such as fart and poop jokes. Besides those problems, it’s still a fast-paced adventure, even for nonfans. Also, the last line hit it home for me.
As for an animated DC movies goes, this is nowhere near The Lego Batman Movie, but this was surprisingly good. For a movie that could’ve just been a special on Cartoon Network, this didn’t make me wanna lose faith for the world. This doesn’t change the fact that the show is still bad and annoying and it’s not gonna make it watch it, but it wasn’t that bad. I walked into Teen Titans Go! To the Movies thinking that I made a terrible decision on checking it out and thinking this was gonna be a waste of time but I ended up having fun about how absurd this was without taking itself too seriously.
Unpredictably clever, self-aware, and unexpected charm that’s put into this, Teen Titans Go! To the Movies shows that even the weakest of superheroes can have their own movie, and actually make it work. Grade: B