Teen Titans Go! To the Movies (2018)

Teen Titans Go! To the Movies (2018)

written by Michael Jelenic and Aaron Horvath

based on the TV series Teen Titans Go! created by Michael Jelenic and Aaron Horvath

directed by Peter Rida Michail and Aaron Horvath

I’m all for irreverent movies that poke fun at themselves, and even more if they are doing so in response to popular genre tropes and clichés. Superhero films, in particular after the last ten years of Marvel vs. DC extended universe overload, have become prime for metacommentary, with recent attempts such as 2017’s The Lego Batman Movie and Thor: Ragnarok. It’s a delicate balancing act that not always works (I turned off 2016’s Deadpool after twenty minutes), but Teen Titans Go! To the Movies achieves it by finding the right mix of clever and playful.

I’ve only seen a couple of episodes of the equally self-referential television series this is based on, and now I’m curious to watch more. Teen Titans Go! To the Movies has the titular team of Robin, Starfire, Beast Boy, Raven, and Cyborg being made fun of by other superheroes for acting like silly kids. Hell, Hollywood hasn’t even made a movie made about them. What can this quip-loving crew do? Find an archnemesis they can battle, and – in one of the film’s best sequences – go back in time to disrupt the origin stories of Superman, Wonder Woman, Aquaman, and Batman. Because if those dudes didn’t exist, then they’d surely have to be taken seriously.

Things go from bad to worse in ingenious ways, and the result is an infectious blast for young and old alike, a sugar rush of color, cool characters, and laugh-out-loud scenes. Plus what’s not to like in a movie where Michael Bolton sings a montage called Upbeat Inspirational Song About Life? Haters will say I should give Deadpool another go. But for now I’ll just wait for the Teen Titans to come back to the multiplex with their sheer awesomeness and fart jokes.

Rating: ***

Carlos I. Cuevas