Hot Take: Is it meta or just meh? I’m leaning toward meh but it could be me. It didn’t feel like much more than a few episodes of Teen Titans strung together with an added scoop of potty humor. Seriously, there are numerous jokes about using the potty, it’s a thing.
Didn’t we get enough superhero satire with The LEGO Batman Movie? If you were one of the ones who felt like we needed more, Teen Titans Go! To the Movies will attempt to fill the void for you. Based on the popular animated series from The Cartoon Network which has 5 seasons and 213 episodes under its utility belt, Teen Titans Go! To the Movies looks to capitalize on its own popularity and our own obsession with cinematic superhero serials with a ho hum plot that doesn’t feel grand enough for the big screen and could have been crammed into a two part episode on The Cartoon Network. If the film version of the episodic show was able to beat The LEGO Batman Movie to the punch, maybe it wouldn’t have felt so stale. It should appeal to the show’s fans and have just enough to satiate the more rabid superhero fans who seem to be unable to get enough cinematic superhero stories.
The film opens with the Teen Titans taking on Balloon Man. When he doesn’t recognize them, they launch into an introductory rap song about themselves which distracts them from stopping him. While they continue, the joke is revealed as the Justice League sweeps in and saves the day before they wrap up their rap. In the aftermath, the Justice League takes potshots at the Teen Titans criticizing their legitamicy for not even having a movie. After being humiliated at the premiere of Batman Again, Robin becomes obsessed with getting a movie made about them and the Teen Titans and they figure the key is getting an arch-nemesis.
Essentially, the film is just an excuse to riff on the superhero film genre. The meta humor often falls flat outside of some of the bathroom humor that, at it’s most basic level, strikes a humorous chord. Having watched a few episodes of Teen Titans Go!, the laughs are on par with the show but don’t feel grandiose enough to warrant a cinematic jaunt. The regular cast of voices was retained with Scott Melville as Robin, Greg Cipes as Beast Boy, Khary Payton as Cyborg, Tara Strong as Raven and Hynden Walch as Starfire. Some of the choices for the other characters are inspired. Most notably is Nicholas Cage as Superman which is funny if you know the backstory of Cage’s cancelled turn as the Man of Steel. Stan Lee also appears as himself in one of the more meta jokes that strikes gold. There’s also Jimmy Kimmel (as Batman), Will Arnett (as potential arch-nemesis Slade), Halsey (as Wonder Woman), Lil Yachty (as Green Lantern), Wil Wheaton (as Flash), Patton Oswalt (as Atom Man), Kristen Bell (as superhero filmmaker Jade Wilson) and even Nicholas Cage’s son Kal-El Cage (as a younger Bruce Wayne). Recognizing the voices might have been more fun than the movie itself though. It doesn’t hurt the television franchise but it doesn’t move it forward either.
If you’re a big fan of Teen Titans Go! you’ll probably enjoy their journey to the cinema. If you need a few laughs at the spectacle of superhero flicks, Teen Titans Go! To the Movies might work for you, too. Otherwise, this one might miss the mark. It’s a throwaway summer flick amidst plenty of better options.
You saw The LEGO Batman Movie and thought you needed more superhero laughs.
You saw the preview and thought, “HEY! Stop making fun of my beloved superheroes!!!”