If you head to the theater and throw a rock, chances are you'll hit at least three superhero movies. The genre has taken over the box office in the last decade, with the Marvel Cinematic Universe leading the charge. With such a crowded movie landscape, it can be hard to cut through the noise. Luckily for Teen Titans Go! To the Movies, it has realized the easiest way to do so is with fart noises.
Teen Titans Go! To the Movies, the feature-length continuation of Cartoon Network's Teen Titans Go! series, has everything fans of the show will love. The team dances and sings, it's more about having fun than saving the world, and it's not afraid to delve into a long stretch of meta jokes.
The story is hilariously simple. Every superhero on the planet seems to have their own movies. That is, except, the Teen Titans. This crew that would rather eat sandwiches than conquer evil doesn't think they'll be considered real superheroes until their adventures are immortalized on the big screen. And how can you blame them? Even Aquaman is getting a movie.
As they quickly learn, though, thanks to Hollywood director Jade Wilson (Kristen Bell), the movie industry doesn't think the Titans are nearly important enough to get their own film. This is done through a series of in-movie trailers for everything from a standalone Alfred Pennyworth film to Batman's utility belt getting a movie, while the team gets nothing. That's when they realize the only way to become the stars they dream of being is to find a nemesis. In this case, that's Slade (Will Arnett).
For those who haven't solved that puzzle yet. Slade is Slade Wilson, otherwise known as Deathstroke. The movie never calls him that, though--they just repeatedly refer to him as Slade. While it could be due to Deathstroke being too extreme of a name for an animated kids film, the Titans repeatedly refer to him as Deadpool.
The running Deadpool joke is a smart one, given Teen Titans Go! To the Movies is essentially a Deadpool movie aimed at a much younger audience. The film is 90 minutes of nonstop poking fun at the superhero genre, including the MCU and X-Men universes. Nobody takes it on the chin as much as DC Comics, though. From posters for movies like Batman v Joker: Yawn of Justice to Green Lantern admitting that nobody likes to talk about the movie he made, no DC character is safe.
It's the sort of humor this extension of Teen Titans Go! uses to capture the attention of adult audiences who might not be as enraptured by a Beast Boy dance party as younger members of the crowd.
Another running joke in the film that might be lost on younger audiences is the fact that Nicolas Cage is the voice of Superman. As many know, Cage nearly played a live-action Superman on the big screen, thanks to Tim Burton's proposed Superman Lives film. While that project never ended up happening, Cage's performance as this world's Superman is perfect, as is Halsey's Wonder Woman. There's also a pretty incredible cameo that most fans won't see coming.
While, for the most part, Teen Titans Go! To the Movies is a fun, low-stakes adventure, it's not perfect. The jokes about farting and pooping can wear thin. There's an extended sequence where most of the team revels in the fact that they used a fake toilet on a movie set to take care of their business. While this might be the kind of humor that makes some of the younger audiences giddy, it felt out of place. The movie spends a lot of time masterfully joking about and mocking so many things. Spending its energy on such low-hanging fruit seems unnecessary.
Additionally, though it's only 92 minutes long, there was a point close to the end of the second act where the story started to drag. Thankfully, once the third act kicks in, Teen Titans Go! To the Movies thrusts into overdrive as the Titans and a massive robot Slade go to war.
In the end, though, this is the kind of superhero film adults and small children can go to and both find something they'll love. In a superhero movie landscape where the world is constantly being destroyed by massive CGI abominations, this is a refreshing change. Will Teen Titans Go! To the Movies save the DC Comics movie universe? Not in the least. However, like the recently released Ant-Man and the Wasp, it doesn't forget how funny and exciting these types of movies can be.
Teen Titans Go! To the Movies is in theaters on July 27.
- A low-stakes adventure that's easy to get invested in
- The meta humor
- The voice cast
- An amazing cameo
- Poop jokes
- It can feel a little long
- No explanation as to why Slade isn't Deathstroke