I’ve pretty much gotten over my immense hatred for the watered down reboot of the “Teen Titans” animated series. It’s here to stay, and I’m over it. So I approached the new big screen adventure with an open mind and rock bottom expectations. All things considered “Teen Titans Go! To the Movies” is a mixed bag. Sometimes it hits with some sharp, slick superhero movie and Hollywood satire and truly engaging protagonists. Other times it feels like the writers are running out the clock with goofy filler and distracting musical numbers.
“Teen Titans Go! To the Movies” is an animated movie based on the hit reboot that pictures the group of young DC superheroes struggling to be taken seriously. In a world filled with Superman, Green Lantern, Wonder Woman, and Aquaman, they can’t quite make a name for themselves. Robin longs to get noticed by being featured in a big screen movie, and seeks his claim at a big screen debut when he’s laughed out of the big screen premiere of the new Batman movie “Batman Again.” Hoping to convince big Hollywood executive Jade Wilson (Kristen Bell), they look for ways to earn their own movie, even going back in time and altering some pasts.
The narrative for “Teen Titans Go! To the Movies” is all over the place with some very funny jabs at modern cinema, and some distracting nonsense, as well. The writers seemingly have full license to spoof the entire sub-genre of superhero and comic book movies and never relent in the satire. There’s jabs at “Batman v Superman,” ads for pointless superhero spin offs like “Alfred: The Movie” (Coming Broom), and “Batmobile: The Movie” (Coming Vroom). There’s even a whole moment where the Teen Titans confuse the super villain Slade (Will Arnett is hysterical) for Deadpool. The writers go for broad superhero satire and deeply rooted superhero movie gags that only the fans will get.
I laughed a lot at the Challengers of the Unknown gag, and also caught on to the wink wink nudge nudge in joke of Nicolas Cage playing Superman. There’s a shocking amount of detail for something that I initially thought of as a cash grab. Every single DC character makes an appearance in some form, and there’s even a play on their famous rogues. On the other hand, with the fat cut, “Teen Titans Go! To the Movies” is an hour long affair at best, as there’s a few pretty humdrum musical numbers, including a ten minute techno number that I kind of zoned out to. At best “Teen Titans Go! To the Movies” deserved to be an hour long event on Cartoon Network and not a big screen feature. That said, what’s done is done and while “Teen Titans Go! To the Movies” is a mixed bag, it’s a fun, occasionally raucously funny satire of superhero and comic book movies.