3rd August 2018
A villain's maniacal plan for world domination sidetracks five teenage superheroes who dream of Hollywood stardom.
Aaron Horvath, Peter Rida Michail
Nicolas Cage, Kristen Bell, Will Arnett
Let me begin by saying I’m obviously not the target audience for this new animated feature based on the Cartoon Network show Teen Titans GO!. I’ve never viewed this American import before and was mostly unaware of it’s existence if I’m being personally honest. I knew Teen Titans were a bunch of adolescent superheroes led by everyone’s favourite sidekick Robin, but that’s exhausting all of my knowledge on the matter.
Having said that, I was somewhat hopeful after seeing a trailer that was surprisingly witty; poking fun at all the current superhero tropes in a sort of family friendly Deadpool way. The film itself even has an amusing running joke involving the character. So there I sat, surrounded by parents, who were in turn surrounded by their kids, and what I got was an annoyingly average barrage of colour and jokes aimed predominately at under 10s.
There isn’t a whole lot to say about Teen Titans GO!; It’s acceptable entertainment to take your children to, and there will be some genuine laughs along the way for the oldies (meaning anyone over 15) and superhero reference hunters. It just becomes monotonous and really outstays its welcome. The plot revolves around Robin wanting to be taken seriously by both the world and his peers, and to do this he and his Titan buddies plan on cracking Hollywood to get a film of their awesome exploits made.
It’s enjoyably meta, especially with Alfred: The Movie and Utility Belt: The Movie being advertised as jokes within the film itself; something that doesn’t seem too far fetched nowadays to be honest. But for every joke that hits, there are 3 that fail to raise anything more than a smile, and lots more clearly aimed for a younger audience. The recent Lego movies are good examples of balanced comedy that works for all ages: Teen Titans tries to capture this illusive balance, but unfortunately fails by over relying on fart jokes and laughing at bums.
Teen Titans Go! also runs out of steam fairly early on, around the 40 minute mark, and for a animation only lasting 85 minutes that certainly isn’t a positive. It feels like a half hour show stretched into a feature, which is perhaps the truth of what it is. Even if the 2D animation is nice to look at, and there are a couple of catchy music numbers, I couldn’t help but glance at my watch every few minutes.
Passable in execution but certainly nothing special, the Teen Titans fail to appeal to adults or teens for that matter. If you have kids under 13 and need a break, I suppose there are worst things you could sit through.
Some clever references to other superhero franchises
Eye-catching animation and hooky musical numbers
Runs out of steam very early on
Jokes predominantly aimed at those under 10