MOVIE REVIEW: Justice League Vs. Teen Titans

The Justice League are battling against the Legion of Doom, made up out of all the super criminals that the Justice League have faced, and Robin (Damien) is on crowd control.  When Weather Wizard is possessed by the demon Trigon, Robin takes it into his own hands to end the fight, in the usual brutish way that Robin ends things.  This forces Batman (his Dad) to send Robin to the Titans Tower to learn team work and hopefully take the edge off his attitude.

With the other Versus movie in theaters right now and defying the critics to become one of the top Superhero movies at the box office ever it seems fitting that we see some animated adventures.  The Warner Bros. & DC animations have been more or less pretty much a consistent presence for the fans.  Giving great adaptations of the books has proven to be their calling card.  The trouble is that I’m not sure this one works for me.  The action is there, no doubt, and the film isn’t terrible, the three out of five means it’s better than average, lets not forget that.

I’m a big fan of the Teen Titans, and I don’t think I’m over the fact that they cancelled Young Justice, which had so much potential.  Also I’m pretty much a DC guy when it comes to comics, spending a lot of money that my wages can’t handle on trying to get copies of the earliest appearances of the Titans.  My problem with this film is that there are a few moments when you get dragged out of the film and think that you are watching a terrible teen movie from the 1990’s.  Add to that the fact that you just want to slap the face of Damien Wayne, played perfectly by Stuart Allan, and you shouldn’t feel that way.  You get that he’s been raised by the Assassins and that maybe his opinion is correct on how to handle the threats that are facing the world.  But it doesn’t change how annoying he is.

Anyway.  As Damien reluctantly joins the Titans to train he meets the rest of the team led by Starfire, and other members of Beast Boy, Blue Beetle, and Raven.  The story focuses on Raven who Trigon is trying to use to release him.  It is amazingly nice to have a story based more on one of the Titans that I’m none too familiar with.  The young girl who probably has more power than the rest of the team put together is standing firm against Trigon, no matter what he throws at her.  The Titans, fractured as they are, come together to protect Raven even when the Justice League wants to take her away to protect her.

Over the last few years I’ve eagerly waited for the next release from the Warner/DC partnership and when this film was announced I was scrapping together the pennies to buy the BluRay copy.  Now after seeing the review copy I’m in two minds if I should spend the cash on a copy of this or pay off that ever-increasing credit card bill.  Again it is not that it’s a bad film, the voice talent is top-notch with two members of the Daredevil cast joining the other side, and when the action is there it becomes the usual top shelf DC animation.  The problem is that the writers and directors must have grown up or had their own teenage years in the late 1990’s or the early 2000’s.  This is not how teens that I watch through my high-powered telescope, or you know pass on the street, yep use that one, pass on the street behave these days.  Damien and his annoying personality should have been toned down and a more current attitude for the Titans would have been nice.

With the live action Justice League film starting production in the next couple of weeks and the Zack Snyder effect dividing the fans into two groups, those with taste and his fans, it’s probably a good thing that we keep these animations out of the hands of someone who hasn’t loved a comic since his ego has taken hold and in the hands of the creators.  Just try, that’s all I’m asking, try to have a look at the modern world and make the Titans of this time, not the time that you were growing up.  If you’ve liked or loved the animated movies from Warner/DC over the last few years there is a whole lotta love to be had here.  I just hope that they never develop the technology where you can slap an animated character, I’m sure that Damien would slap me back.

Director: Sam Liu
Writers: Bryan Q. Miller, Alan Burnett, Gardner Fox, Bob Haney, Bruno Premiani
Stars: Rosario Dawson, Christopher Gorham, Shemar Moore, Jerry O’Connell, Jason O’Mara, Stuart Allan, Jake T. Austin, Jake T. Austin, Sean Maher, Brandon Soo Hoo, Kari Wahlgren, Jon Bernthal, Terrence ‘T.C.’ Carson, Rick D. Wasserman

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