Movie Review: “Teen Titans Go!” #2 at the movies

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The animation’s so flat, static and dull it relies on brighter-than-bright sparkly colors to make it pop. Like “Power Puff Girls” or “My Little Pony.”

The jokes are infantile-obvious and pounded home with a sledgehammer, as if the writers figured they had to get through something especially thick.

And the plot? Well, it’s about unworthy “Super Heroes” angling to get a movie made about them. They, uh, succeeded.

“Teen Titans Go! To the Movies” should only be seen by its target audience — ten and under — on the appropriate-sized screen. Yeah, it’s a TV show which they squeezed a cut-rate $10 million movie out of, but I figure it’ll play best on a tablet or smart phone, preferably in the back seat of the minivan on a road trip to America’s National Parks.

With headphones, so nobody over 10 will have to hear this puerile piffle. But under 10? Butt jokes, fart gags and a whole scene of poop — what’s not to love?

I’ve seen a bunch of rave notices for this in the nerdosphere and wondered, “Are Bronies the ones reviewing this?” But no. Might as well be, though.

It begins with the dimmest Warner Brothers short cartoon ever to grace a big screen (“The Late Batsby”), and follows with a tale of how Titan Tower’s most famous resident, The Boy Wonder, Robin (voiced by Scott Menville) craves a super hero movie all his own.

The other Titans? Raven, Starfire, Cyborg and Beast Boy? They can be in it, too.

Only they’re all regarded as “a joke” by everybody in the DC universe, and in Jump City, where they fight crime and rap out their “sick” theme song. Superman (Nicolas Cage, a clever voice-gag) and Batman (Jimmy Kimmel, less clever) agree. “Goofsters…a joke.”

How to change that? Get Hollywood, especially blockbuster director Jade Wilson (Kristen Bell), to notice them. Go there and round up a nemesis worthy of the big screen challenge (Will Arnett is Slade) and maybe go back in time to change the origin stories so that the real DC superheroes don’t become superheroes.

Their “time cycles?” Big Wheels. Their traveling music? “Back in Time” from “Back to the Future.”

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Keeping Bruce Wayne’s family out of that Gotham alley and helping Jor-El (a bad Brando impersonator) save Krypton with techno music is the most interesting inside comicdom part of the plot, and it’s dispensed with in a flash.

At least there’s a “subtle Stan Lee cameo,” as in not-subtle, but funny in concept — Mr. Marvel Comics showing up in a DC movie?

I smirked at Stan and at Michael Bolton showing up to sing the “Upbeat Inspirational Song.” A smirk is all this is worth. The “manic” irreverence and anarchy of classic Warners ‘toons, of “Animaniacs” or even the first “Lego” movie, is missing. The gags about Disney (a “Lion King” spoof) seem winded.

A lot of fanboys seem to be endorsing this as the training wheels film that will create the next generation of cable cartoon TV and comic book addicts. But “Teen Titans Go! To the Movies” is too slapdash to manage that.

Go see “Incredibles 2” if that’s your aim. Even seeing it a second or fourth time will be more entertaining and surprising than this.

1half-star

MPAA Rating: PG for action and rude humor

Cast: The voices of Scott Menville, Will Arnett, Kristen Bell, Nicolas Cage, Stan Lee and Michael Bolton

Credits: Written and directed by  Aaron HorvathPeter Rida Michail. A Warners Animation release.

Running time: 1:33

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12 Responses to Movie Review: “Teen Titans Go!” #2 at the movies

  1. J says:

    Roger Moore’s nation has no sense of humor or wonder in it, much like Roger Moore himself. If his taste in clothing is similar to his taste in film, and it is, you’ll see only the most shallowly obvious Oscar bait get his praise. As a reviewer he thinks he is going against the grain, but Roger hasn’t thought outside of the box since before the box was invented.

    • “J” from Chehalis (BFE, Washington State) goes to Centralia College (me either), still lives with his parents, still watches children’s cartoons and finds butt shots and pooping in a prop toilet gags the ne plus ultra of humor, and delights in “deep” references to B2TF and comic book lore because they flatter his limited view of the world and even more limited view of pop culture. See how that “leaping to conclusions” thing works? And plainly I’m better at it than you, as there are flattering reviews of thousands of comedies and animated gems archived here.
      “Titans?” It’s a cartoon. TV level animated pablum served to kiddies, and adults who should know better.

      • Jason says:

        TTG! is a remarkably intelligent show, somehow some people who pompously throw out five-dollar words are, ironically enough, unable to grasp just how intelligent it is.

      • Recognizing the difference between a “Back to the Future” reference and high culture is a mark of adulthood. Even “The Simpsons” manages that, despite the presence of your High Priest and Role Model holing up in The Android’s Dungeon.

    • Zack says:

      J Dude Teen Titans Go is trash thats pretty much common knowledge. Yes Roger is a hack but at the same I cant sit by and see you defend this movie lol

  2. Allan says:

    I’m not a fan of the 2003’s cartoons bc I was born in the 80’s, but now I wanna see this movie! I was checking the TTG in CN and all that hate is undeserved. The plot and meta-humor of the movie sounds better than what I was expecting.
    Sir, you need to stop your whining and star to enjoy your existence.

  3. madrox21 says:

    Hey Roger, Go Crack an Egg on it. CA-CAW!!

  4. Bro, it’s a cartoon.

    You sound like you went in to be moved by it or something lol

    Sorry it wasn’t the kings speech

  5. Zack says:

    I love how you mentioned bronies implyign they would praise Teen Titans Go. Bronies usually like good cartoons and everyone knows bronies dont like trash like Teen Titans Go. Dont get me wrong the show is trash though it being a cartoon does not excuse it. I do agree with you it is baffling to see so much praise for something like this. But you are wrong when it comes to comparing trash to MLP which is something confirmed as one of the 20101 golden eras. Also I see your comments dismissing an adult just cause they like a cartoon. If its written well then it shouldnt matter. TTG is trash and yet you once again dismiss anyone especially the bronies and any other adult who enjoys a cartoon especially looking up someones IP just cause they told you off. Pro tip that’s not what critic does, But props to you for wrecking Teen Titans Go I cant believe the movie is doing well.

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