JUSTICE LEAGUE VS. TEEN TITANS

PrintE-mail Written by Andrew Pollard

Whether you appreciated Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice or not, the DC Animated Universe rarely fails to impress. Sure, there are a few blips in the road now and again, but the majority of the animated DC efforts can be quite stunning at times. So, is Justice League vs. Teen Titans a blip in the road or something worth hunting down? Let’s take a look.

Existing in the world that was technically created during the post-credits of Jay Oliva’s excellent Justice League: The Flashpoint Paradox before being fleshed out in the likes of Justice League: War, Son of Batman and more recently Oliva’s impressive Batman: Bad Blood, the plot of Justice League vs. Teen Titans centres on, you guessed it, a butting of heads between some of DC’s biggest names and their young protégées.

Key to the action here is Damian Wayne (Stuart Allen). When his ‘Damian knows best’ mentality causes the Justice League to lose a major lead, Batman (Jason O’Mara) decides that its’s time for his son to spend some time with the Teen Titans. Whilst his arrogance and untrusting nature cause problems, this latest Robin finds himself having to adjust to the team dynamic and work with his fellow Titans as they are faced with the threat of a Trigon-influenced Justice League. Simply put, Trigon {Jon Bernthal) wants the Titans' Raven (Taissa Farmiga), and he’s taken over the minds of Superman (Jerry O'Connell), Wonder Woman (Rosario Dawson), The Flash (Christopher Gorham) and Cyborg (Shemar Moore) in his attempts to get her. Batman? As ever, Bruce is one step ahead of the game.

It has to be said, Justice League vs. Teen Titans is without doubt a fun movie. Sure, considering that the dark and troubled Raven and Trigon are at the core of the story here, Sam Liu’s latest offering (he also directed the likes of Hulk Vs., Superman/Batman: Public Enemies, Justice League: Crisis on Two Earths, Batman: Year One, All-Star Superman, Justice League: Gods and Monsters, not to mention is helming the upcoming Batman: The Killing Joke) has its fairly grim and brooding moments, but the fantastic use of Damian Wayne/Robin means that there’s always something slightly lighter around the corner.

Since being brought in to this animated realm, Damian has been a breath of fresh air, and that is something that continues here, with his arrogant, cocksure nature a joy to see play out, particularly as this gets him in some pretty hot water with the already-established Teen Titans group. And on that front, it’s great to see characters such as Starfire (Kari Wahlgren), Beast Boy (Brandon Soo Hoo), Blue Beetle (Jake T. Austin) and, of course, Raven get their time in the spotlight.

Much like Jay Oliva’s recent Batman: Bad Blood saw a Batman movie shine by highlighting the other characters of the Batman world, Liu’s Justice League vs. Teen Titans manages to dazzle in how it’s a JL effort that does wonders when giving attention to its non-Justice League characters. In fact, bar the Caped Crusader, the film largely stutters and suffers when the Justice League are on screen.

Make no mistake about it, this is every bit the Titans’ movie, and it’s with these youngsters that the energy and camaraderie of the film really comes through. Trigon as the villain of the piece is decent enough, with his inclusion here lending itself to exploring Raven, a character so often fascinating in the comics but who has at times been simply depicted as the moody goth teen in other animated outings.

Justice League vs. Teen Titans is another win for the DC Animated Universe, and it’s a prime example of how the guys behind these offerings keep delivering fresh and engaging efforts that bring in casual viewers with their use of big name characters whilst also allowing some scope for some of the lesser-known DC faces to have their time in the sun. Added to this, the film itself looks stunning in its fluidity, making the action and explosiveness of certain moments stand out even more, yet also allowing for ample intrigue and low-key atmospherics for some of the movie’s more personable and sincere moments. This is certainly one that any DC fans should look to add to their collections, with casual fans also having plenty here to sink their teeth into.

Special Features: Three featurettes / Episode of Batman: The Brave and the Bold / Episode of Teen Titans / Sneak peek at Batman: The Killing Joke / Robin figure

JUSTICE LEAGUE VS. TEEN TITANS / CERT: 12 / DIRECTOR: SAM LIU / SCREENPLAY: BRYAN Q. MILLER, ALAN BURNETT / STARRING: STUART ALLEN, JASON O’MARA, TAISSA FARMIGA, JON BERNTHAL, JAKE T. AUSTIN, KARI WAHLGREN, CHRISTOPHER GORHAM, ROSARIO DAWSON, JERRY O’CONNELL / RELEASE DATE: MAY 30TH



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