Justice League vs Teen Titans (2016, 79 minutes)
Plot: The Teen Titans must stop the villainous Trigon from taking over the world.
Source Material: This is an original story, albeit a fairly familiar plot in Titans lore. It’s a sequel to Justice League: War and JL: Throne of Atlantis as well as the Batman animated films we’ve had so far in the same continuity. The Teen Titans shown here are more or less the animated series members, with Cyborg brought over from the Justice League movies.
Animation: After the low of War, this is a full recovery. This is a really great looking movie. animation is extremely fluid with action sequences that explode with life. The characters also felt more expressive. I definitely feel like at times this was poorly paced with a giant montage in the middle but that feels as much a script flaw as animation. Talking’s still a bit iffy but big time plus for the film.
Script: Here’s the big issue this film has: WB won’t greenlight a movie without big name characters in the title. So while the Teen Titans are the focus of the film for the vast majority, the Justice League is shoehorned in, largely to give the TT a boost and to give us the very brief fight that allows the film its title. Really the film’s biggest problem is it never feels like the stand alone Titans movie it could be due to the continuity surrounding it. It feels so unfocused and uncertain of what it is. There are plusses though. The characters are sharp at least and protagonist Damian Wayne has a nice arc.
Voice acting: I try not to review a kid’s acting but I’ll break that here. Stuart Allan is really kind of great as Damian Wayne, bringing the correct arrogance to the role. He really elevates the film. That’s good because he’s balanced by Taissa Farmiga as Raven. Look, I tried not to let the baggage of 6 Years taint my reaction to her here and I didn’t need to. She’s certainly better working with a script but she still leans far too hard on the disaffected teen vibe which, yes, is the character, but left me more than a little annoyed. Jon Bernthal is wasted as Trigon, his voice digitally altered to all hell. On the plus side, Rosario Dawson does get a bit more to do as Wonder Woman. Other voices were solid.
Final Verdict: This falls right at par for these, a 3/5. I really think a stronger script might’ve moved it to a 4 but this had a major identity crisis. It’s great looking and if you like the teams throw it on, but I found it missed what it could’ve been.