Sat | Oct 20, 2018

'Teen Titans Go! To the Movies'

Published:Monday | August 13, 2018 | 12:00 AMDamian Levy/Gleaner Writer
From left: Beast Boy, voiced by Greg Cipes; Starfire (top left), voiced by Hynden Walch; Robin (centre), voiced by Scott Menville; Raven (top right), voiced by Tara Strong; and Cyborg, voiced by Khary Payton, in a scene from ‘Teen Titans Go! To the Movies’.

For the last five years or so, we've been singing the same tired old song - "Superhero movies are dying." Pretty soon, audiences will be exhausted with men in capes and women in tights. While the biggest movies continue to feature those same characters, it is hard not to feel slightly suffocated by supers.

This year alone, we've already had numerous marvel movies - the return of The Incredibles, Deadpool 2, and coming down the pipeline is Aquaman, Spider-Man: Into The Spider-Verse and Venom. Then there are the superhero movies by another name like Mission Impossible: Fallout and Equalizer 2, which might as well be putting its main characters in domino masks. Superhero movies are everywhere, and they're inescapable.

Teen Titans Go! To the Movies is another superhero movie - one that seems to hold itself in contempt. Based on the show that's based on a show, the film follows the characters of Teen Titans Go!. Tired of being viewed as the jokes of the superhero world, the Titans, Robin in particular, want a movie made about them. If everyone else is getting one, why not them?

What follows is an irreverent, meta and unforgiving take on superheroes, their movies, and filmmaking in general. Teen Titans Go! To the Movies is Deadpool for kids. It nods and winks at the audience with a straightforward story that's easy to follow and fun characters. Mostly, it's an entertaining film, but every now and then, the film reminds you what it's based on. A show for children.

It doesn't have you checking your watch like most children's drivel does. Thankfully, the film is a brisk experience, running at only 90 minutes, and parents won't be painfully bored. Still, the film has a tendency to repeat jokes - some that don't really warrant repeating. Strangely, that's fitting for the message of the film. To never apologise for who you are, no matter how incongruent it might be with what people expect. When the Titans are at their loudest and most obnoxious, they're their most earnest.

Since they bring the laughs for most of the film, you can't help but respect them. The film is also wildly creative with its animation and dips into several distinctly different styles that best suit the story at the time. It's adventurous, a little juvenile, but 100 per cent authentic.

Rating: Half Price