|"So, is Raven into short angry guys? |
Asking for a friend."
If you're going in blind, don't think of the title as literally as it appears. There is a unique twist on the concept that I wasn't expecting. The story is really about Damian Wayne and Raven, and a deep one it is. The Justice League themselves take a back seat to Raven's story and Damian Wayne's arc, that having been built up for several films running, starts to come to a poignant resolution. With spot-on voice acting by Taissa Farmiga (Raven) and Stuart Allen (Damian), it's made easier to engage with their plight. The crux of the plot revolves around Raven's mysterious, and shockingly dark origin story that is as gripping as it is fascinating. I never got into the Teen Titans before this film. Nothing against the characters or concept, I just never got around to it. Even so, I wasn't expecting to dig the characters, and especially Raven as much as I did.
Keep your expectations in check, though. This isn't so much a Justice League film. They're not in it as much as some viewers might want, but it makes up for it in so many other ways. The action is great, for one. The skirmishes are more creative compared to other recent DC animated features, given the unique variety of powers the Titans bring to the table. The violent alien scarab that has joined with teenager Jaime Reyes' body or the shape-shifting Garfield that can morph into several different powerful animals provide for endless surprises and fun. The writers and animators take advantage of this eclectic mix of powers in every way imaginable as the team fights demonic forces from Raven's world.
As much as I loved this film, it got dangerously close to failure when the leader, Starfire, tries to raise morale for the teens by taking them out for a night of fun. We are treated to a pop-rock, touchy-feely montage of the teens connecting and sharing corny moments together. I almost threw up in my mouth it was so painfully out of place and hamfisted. Thankfully, it doesn't last too long before the story takes it up several notches and we start to see the core of Raven's dark story come to fruition and we start to understand the stakes.
The action is great, the voice acting is just right, the story is dark and gripping, Damian's arc starts to resolve, and we're even treated to some tasteful laughs here and there. It's a surprisingly good addition to DC's continued dedication to quality animated features and I highly recommend it to any DC fan, but especially Teen Titans' fans and those specifically of Raven. What an awesome character!
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- written by J.G. Barnes