‘Teen Titans Go! To the Movies’ is kid-friendly superhero skewering
“The superhero movie wave doesn’t really seem to be ending. In fact, it’s more like a superhero movie rising tide that has now formed a permanent lake on top of the film industry.” – Bob Chipman
How the superhero movie trend began can be debatable (put me down on the side of Blade being the starter), but at this point it can’t be denied that it’s going strong with no end in sight. It was only a matter of time then that the lighthearted entries would make them a focal point of the plot.
While not on the level of The Lego Batman Movie, Teen Titans Go! To the Movies provides a fun enough time for kids and has a few things in store for adults.
The Teen Titans team – consisting of Robin (Scott Menville), Starfire (Hynden Walch), Cyborg (Khary Payton), Raven (Tara Strong), and Beast Boy (Greg Cipes) – operates in the shadow of more prestigious groups like the Justice League and doesn’t feel like they get the credit and recognition they deserve. This becomes more clear to Robin when not only are they not invited to the premiere of the latest Batman film when all other superheroes are, the trailers for upcoming movie spinoffs are about everything but him.
Convinced that having their own movie will bring them validation, they set out to make it happen. They approach film director Jade Wilson (Kristen Bell) to pitch themselves but she turns them down, primarily on the basis that they don’t have an arch nemesis. Soon though they start running into the villain Slade (Will Arnett), who’s been stealing crystals to power something bad.
As those familiar with the property are already aware, this movie is based off of the current Teen Titans Go! TV show and the not the earlier incarnation. Fans of the latter seem to detest it, as it’s more comedic and goofy whereas their show of choice was quite serious. Personally, I haven’t really watched either and thus don’t have any particular attachment to one or the other, so I wasn’t bothered. I will say though that for those that hold this view, Go! To the Movies likely won’t change their minds.
Being a direct response to the over saturation of superhero movies was a good direction to take the story in and the film commits to the conceit. The jokes made at their expense land remarkably well, as do the plethora of references to the DC brand all around. This is the kind of movie one needs to pause at times to catch everything the frame has to offer. And finally getting Nicolas Cage to play Superman was a great touch.
But again, this is all designed for younger audiences. The adults watching will most certainly pick up on all the story beats long before they happen. Also the humor at times can be a bit too sophomoric, which detracts a little from the mood set by the more clever gags.
Overall however, Teen Titans Go! To the Movies is a bright and funny good time. Now how about giving Adventure Time the theatrical movie treatment?