Teen Titans Go! to the Movies (2018)
Directed by: Aaron Horvath, Peter Rida Michail
Written by: Aaron Hovath, Michael Jelenic
Starring: Greg Cipes, Greg Davies, Hynden Walch, John DiMaggio, Kal-El Cage, Khary Payton, Kristen Bell, MIchael Bolton, Nicholas Cage, Scott Menville, Stan Lee, Tara Strong, Will Arnett
It seems every superhero has got their own movie. And at the premiere of Batman’s latest, the Teen Titans (Robin, Cyborg, Star Fire, Raven and Beast Boy) are hopeful of getting the same treatment. However, they aren’t even on the guest list, despite the fact that literally every other DC hero has been invited. Everyone from Superman (voiced by Nic Cage, finally getting a go at the role in one form at least), to the Challengers of the Unknown (who? Exactly!) turn up. As it turns out, sidekicks aren’t too popular and not worth a starring role in a movie, and as Robin fronts the Titans, they are favoured well below others, even the likes of Alfred and Batman’s utility belt. Robin takes it to heart and soon becomes obsessed with the idea of having his own film, so the Titans get to work.
Anyone who has seen the Cartoon Network series, Teen Titans Go!, will be well aware of how silly and nonsensical these characters are, and just how vulgar the humour is. From sustained fart and butt jokes, to literal toilet humour, it’s definitely aimed at a younger audience. That being said, the entire film is one big send up of the current state of the superhero sub genre, and is genuinely funny and entertaining. Whether it’s taking the piss out of Batman vs Superman, Stan Lee cameos or even the opening idents, there’s a lot of laugh out loud moments. As with all superhero movies, you need a super villain, which is a good portion of the plot here, as the Titans don’t actually have an arch nemesis. When they happen upon Deathstroke (played by none other than Lego Batman himself, Will Arnett), breaking in to STAR labs, they decide he’s the best contender to be their arch enemy, and do their best to foil his plans. Here however, he just goes by the name of Slade, and his alias is never uttered. Whether that’s a rights issue, I don’t know, but the Titans seem to think it’s an intimidating enough name to sound like a great bad guy. That’s not before an amusing exchange however, where the Titans mistake him for Deadpool, the character itself being a send up of DC’s sword weilding bad guy. With the arch nemesis in place, the Titans are finally considered good enough for their own film, although the rest of the team don’t really seem to take it as seriously as Robin, and they soon part ways. It’s from here we discover Slade’s plan of world domination.
Most big screen iterations of animated TV shows tend to have a different look. Obviously budgets are bigger and more time can be spent getting each frame looking as cinematic as possible. With Teen Titans Go! to the Movies, it’s pretty much the same as the TV show, and this crudeness adds to the appeal. It has no illusions as to what it is, and stays thoroughly grounded right until the end, with nothing being safe or sacred. In fact, it could almost be DC’s answer to Deadpool, only without the sex, language and ultra violence.