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Review by Laura Prudom

Teen Titans Go! To The Movies Review

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Pure, mindless fun.

If you need an antidote to the muddled mess of Justice League, look no further than Teen Titans GO! to the Movies, a gleefully unhinged deconstruction of superhero tropes that isn’t afraid to take aim at the rest of DC’s cinematic roster (with a little good-natured Marvel ribbing thrown in just for kicks).

Essentially functioning as DC’s kid-friendly answer to Deadpool, Teen Titans GO! to the Movies trades the latter’s profanity and gore for fart jokes and musical numbers (Michael Bolton lends his voice to a fever-dream of a song that will be stuck in your head for weeks), but both films are equally skilled at affectionately mocking the genre that spawned them, while never losing sight of what made us fall in love with these iconic heroes in the first place.

Fans who are still mourning the darker, more serialized tone of Cartoon Network’s original Teen Titans cartoon probably won’t be won over by the insanity on display here - Teen Titans GO! to the Movies is basically a supersized version of a typical Teen Titans Go episode, complete with raucous meta-commentary, recurring gags that have a tendency to outstay their welcome, and occasional flashes of black comedy that are so deliciously twisted, the Merc with a Mouth might even be envious. To go into details would be to spoil the oddball comedy’s many delights, but while the film’s humor definitely skews towards younger viewers, it’s safe to say that Teen Titans GO! to the Movies has plenty of quips designed for the adults in the room, even if the toilet humor might test your patience. (There’s a literal joke about a fake toilet that goes on way too long.)

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The plot, such as it is, fully embraces the ubiquity of the superhero movie trend; every comic book character and their mother (especially if their mother is named Martha) seems to have their own movie these days, so the Teen Titans want one too. While Starfire, Cyborg, Raven, and Beast Boy just think the experience would be exciting, the Titans’ lack of recognition sparks an existential crisis in team leader Robin, especially since his mentor, Batman, has already had approximately eleventy big screen outings, but doesn’t seem inclined to share the love with his sidekick. In an attempt to prove they’re worthy of the big screen treatment, the young heroes set out to find a nemesis, but one soon seeks them out in the snarky form of Slade Wilson (aka Deathstroke, although that name is never referenced here).

What follows is generally predictable but a blast to watch, mostly because the genre is so ripe for mockery; much like the series, every frame of the movie is stuffed with hilarious Easter eggs, homages and in-jokes -- to the point where you have no chance of catching them all in one sitting -- and the voice cast includes a litany of cameos that will please any hardore comics fan.

Of course, The LEGO Batman Movie mined similar territory last year, and both films feature the vocal talents of Will Arnett, who trades the Dark Knight’s cowl for Slade’s black and orange mask here (unfortunately, there are enough similarities in his performance to make the connection vaguely distracting), but Teen Titans GO! to the Movies isn’t aiming for the depth or sophistication of that particular Bat-movie.

This isn’t the type of film that aspires to upend the genre, it just wants you to have a good time -- and ideally buy the soundtrack. (Seriously, the musical numbers are phenomenal: poppy, self-referential earworms that also allow the film to experiment with surrealistic interludes and different animation styles.)

While that ultimately leaves Teen Titans GO! to the Movies feeling a little insubstantial when the dust settles, when compared to the increasingly convoluted continuities of the MCU, X-Men movies and DC’s growing live-action slate, it’s kind of refreshing to watch a superhero movie that’s pure, mindless fun.

The Verdict

Teen Titans GO! to the Movies is bonkers in the best way - a gleefully weird, frequently witty ride that has no desire to take itself - or any other superhero movie - too seriously. It’s not essential viewing unless you’re a fan of the TV series, but comic book fans will find plenty to appreciate, even if it’s not the most original take on the genre.

Great
Teen Titans GO! to the Movies is a gleefully unhinged deconstruction of superhero tropes.
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Teen Titans Go! To the Movies