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8/24/17

JUSTICE LEAGUE VS. TEEN TITANS - REVIEW


Released in 2016, Justice League vs. Teen Titans was an animated feature attempting to give a bit more of a grown-up edge to the Teen Titans by making them useful to the Justice League as they deal with a new significant enemy.

The film opens with the Justice League in the middle of a battle against the likes of Lex Luthor, Toymaster, Cheetah and Solomon Grundy. After Damian Wayne/Robin (voiced by Stuart Allan) disobeys Batman's orders by ending the fight all by himself, he is sent for training with the Teen Titans so he can learn teamwork. Unsurprisingly, he initially clashes with the other members of the team but grows to work with them instead of against them when demon Trigon (Jon Bernthal) starts posing a threat to the entire world. Damian Wayne is just as much of a moody brat as he was in the Son Of Batman trilogy, if not more so, and he's pretty dislikable throughout. He quickly becomes friends with Raven (Taissa Farmiga), who is somehow even more emo than he is, which leads to a lot of dull angsty conversations between the two. Starfire (Kari Wahlgren) is even forced to organise a day out at the fun fair to cheer up these two miserable sods in what is quite possibly the worst and most cringe-worthy sequence in any of the recent DC animated movies.

The Justice League take a back seat to the Titans in this film and, in fact, the former get saved by the latter. Of course, this means that Superman becomes possessed just like he was in Justice League: War, leading to a lot of in-fighting. On the plus side, when everyone finally takes on Trigon in the third act, things improve quite a bit. The hellish setting is very cool, Damian finally gets to face his mentor Ra's Al Ghul and the action is a lot of fun. You can't help but feel, however, that there was a much better film in there somewhere. Damian's character arc and the whole Trigon plot make sense and they link both superhero teams together quite well but that just doesn't provide much in the way of originality. We've seen Damian get over himself before, we've seen a big monster attack the city before, we've seen the Justice League fight demon-like creatures before. As a re-introduction to the Teen Titans, this isn't bad but anyone not particularly keen on those characters will have a hard time sitting through some of the corniest aspects of this movie.

If you thought Justice League Dark was a throwaway crossover, think again as Justice League vs. Teen Titans is easily one of the least impressive or memorable animated films DC has put out. It's not terrible, it's just bland and its best elements come too little too late.

Forgettable.

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