Thursday, August 9, 2018

Teen Titans Go! To the Movies

★★★★½ - A Review by Cameron Kanachki

Many of the recent films in the DC Extended Universe have felt incredibly dark. Sure, The Dark Knight trilogy was dark & brooding, but it had a purpose & it fit the film. The films in the DC Extended Universe are just dark & brooding to be dark & brooding, trying to copy the atmosphere of The Dark Knight trilogy, but forgetting how to make the atmosphere feel tense as well.

Teen Titans Go! To the Movies, although not part of the DC Extended Universe, is a light-hearted escapist romp that will give DC fans some well-needed relief. The film follows the Teen Titans: Robin (voiced by Scott Menville); Beast Boy (voiced by Greg Cipes); Cyborg (voiced by Khary Payton); Raven (voiced by Tara Strong); & Starfire (voiced by Hynden Walch). They fight crime, but on a much smaller scale, & when they try to fight bigger battles, they become easily distracted, eventually allowing the Justice League to finish the job. The Justice League consists of Bruce Wayne, AKA Batman (voiced by Jimmy Kimmel); Clark Kent, AKA Kal-El, AKA Superman (voiced by Nicolas Cage); Diana Prince, AKA Wonder Woman (voiced by Halsey); John Stewart, AKA Green Lantern (voiced by Lil Yachty); Barry Allen, AKA Flash (voiced by Wil Wheaton); Ray Palmer, AKA Atom (voiced by Patton Oswalt); & Arthur Curry, AKA Aquaman (voiced by Eric Bauza). They tell the Teen Titans that they're too childish, & they don't even have a movie of their own yet.

The Teen Titans sneak into the premiere of Batman Again, directed by noted superhero film director Jade Wilson (voiced by Kristen Bell), Robin embarrasses himself in front of the audience, believing there was a movie going to be made about him. After this, the rest of the Teen Titans suggest that in order to get their movie made, they need an arch-nemesis.

And that arch-nemesis comes in the form of Slade Wilson, AKA Slade (voiced by Will Arnett). Now, the Teen Titans must stop Slade in order to reach the success they've always wanted.

The voice cast is amazing. The main 5 voice actors do fantastic jobs. But the real scene-stealers are Arnett (who is always funny) & Cage (who is a golden god).

The direction by Peter Rida Michail & Aaron Horvath is great. Although it does falter in the middle, they always have a steady hand & keep the film light-hearted.

The screenplay by Michael Jelenic & Aaron Horvath is brilliant. The plot is intriguing, the characters are well-developed, & the humor is spectacular, poking fun at many of the standard superhero tropes you see a lot nowadays.

And the animation is wonderful. The animation is very simple: classic 2D animation. But that doesn't detract from the film: it doesn't look cheap, & it adds a timeless feel to the film.

This is a great animated film. Although it has a couple minor flaws, it's still better than any film in the DC Extended Universe so far.

Teen Titans Go! To the Movies was seen by me at the MJR Marketplace Digital Cinema 20 in Sterling Heights, MI on Saturday, July 28, 2018. It is in theaters everywhere. Its runtime is 92 minutes, & it is rated PG for action & rude humor.

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