‘Teen Titans Go! To the Movies’ pops with color (and a whole lotta shade)

Andy Moser, Features Editor

Color and shade? You bet! The Teen Titans are using both techniques to paint a beautifully dirty portrait of superhero films. No comic book movie franchise is immune, and the Titans are reading them all for absolute filth on the big screen—the same place said films were thought to be safe.

After realizing that any and all heroes are being granted feature films by studios with big budgets, Beast Boy (Greg Cipes), Starfire (Hynden Walch), Cyborg (Khary Payton) and Raven (Tara Strong) rally around their leader, Robin (Scott Menville), as the Titans gather all the necessary tropes and elements to pitch their own film. Even the most obscure comic book characters (major side-eye to Challengers of the Unknown) are getting recognition, and the Titans want a piece of the action.

Squad goals // courtesy of Warner Bros.

Their quest for stardom takes them beyond the threats posed by corny arch-villains and into the danger of their own egos, particularly Robin’s. Along the way are a myriad of teachable moments regarding teamwork and believing in oneself, but Titans makes its strongest points in its warnings against self-absorption and the importance of friendship over fame. But there are plenty of welcome distractions to strike a solid balance between heavy-handed lecturing, dumb comedy, peppy musical numbers, and the merciless evisceration of certain superhero franchise giants.

Titans certainly has plenty of laughs at the expense of comic book movies, their tired clichés, as well as the sheer amount of them being churned out each year and Hollywood’s continued obsession with them. It’s genuinely a lot fun, and writers Michael Jelenic and Aaron Horvath boast plenty of surprising wit in their script. Of course, Titans is a comic book movie in and of itself, and albeit a refreshing take on the genre, it’s still yet another superhero movie that owes much of its success to the very films it takes such deadly aim at. But part of what makes it so enjoyable is its willingness to laugh at itself as much as it does at its genre counterparts.

It’s not bad to look at, either. The vibrant colors seemingly pop right off the screen, saturating it with bold purples and warm sunset vibes.

Courtesy of Warner Bros.

Titans will surely get an earful from those who grew up with the cartoon and perhaps don’t care for its new animation style and content. I know it’s super cool these days to shred things we grew up with that have since changed over time, but resist the urge. Teen Titans Go! To the Movies has a bright spirit and a multilayered humor that caters to an array of age groups. It’s college-kid-approved, and it’s not without a lesson or two that will certainly be familiar but no less worthwhile. Plus, it’s about time we got someone other than Deadpool to stir the pot a little in the superhero community.

Sails: 4/5

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