Heroic Laughs: Our Review of ‘Teen Titans Go! To the Movies’

Posted in Movies, Theatrical by - July 26, 2018
Heroic Laughs: Our Review of ‘Teen Titans Go! To the Movies’

Long before Deadpool succeeded in making fun of superheroes tropes seem cutting edge on the big screen, Teen Titans Go! has been covering the same territory on television since 2013. A cornucopia of pop culture references and self-deprecating humour, the show received both praise and ire from critics and comic book purest.

Considering the box office dominations of superhero flicks for the last decade, it is only fitting that the Teen Titans Go! To the Movies would center around the Teen Titans’ (Robin, Starfire, Cyborg, Beast Boy and Raven) desire to get their slice of the lucrative pie.

Realizing that everyone in the DC Universe, from Batman’s loyal butler Alfred to obscure characters like Challengers of the Unknown, are landing studio deals, Robin believes it is time he gets his own movie. After all, nothing legitimizes a hero like being immortalized on film. The problem is Robin and his fellow Teen Titans are viewed as a joke by superheroes and villains alike.

It is not just groups such as the Justice League that think the Titans are goofs. Famed director Jade Wilson (Kristin Bell), hot off her recent film Batman Again, sees no value in the team as they do not even have an archnemesis. Enter the villainous Slade (Will Arnett) who has plans of taking over the world with his mind control device. Believing that stopping Slade will improve their chances in Hollywood, the Teen Titans quickly learn that fame and friendship do not always mix.

Equal measures of smart and irreverent humour, Teen Titans Go! To the Movies is far more entertaining than one would expect. It never feels like an extended episode, but rather a sharp exploration of how much superhero films have changed the film industry. The film cheerfully takes aim at everything from effects heavy 3D films to 80’s inspiration movie songs to the Stan Lee cameos in Marvel films.

It effortlessly mixes in potty humour for younger kids with darker humor for adults. A perfect example of the latter can be found in some wonderful jabs at superhero origin stories.

While it is hard not to see the comparisons to Incredibles 2, Teen Titans Go! To the Movies marches to its own rap beat. Filled with many comedic Easter Eggs, these Titans show that even jokers can have their heroic moment in the sun.

This post was written by
Courtney is a Rotten Tomatoes approved critic and the founder of Cinema Axis. He can frequently be heard discussing film as co-host of Frameline on Radio Regent. Courtney has contributed to several publications including Leornard Maltin, That Shelf, Black Girl Nerds, and Comix Asylum Magazine. He also celebrates diversity in cinema as co-hosts of the Changing Reels podcast and is a member of the Online Film Critics Society.
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