Warner Bros. have been releasing animated VOD films based on DC Comics characters for a couple of years now and people seem to be enjoying most of them. Although pretty good for the most part, there are a few animated movies that have been disappointing to say the least (I’m look at you The Killing Joke). The latest DC animated film is all about the Teen Titans and the villainous Deathstroke.
Here’s a short plot synopsis for the film;
- The Titans find a new member in Terra (Tara Markov), who is a girl who has power over earth and stone; she is also more than she seems. Is she a great ally or foe? nd what are the mercenary Deathstroke’s plans for the Titans?
Teen Titans: The Judas Contract is a sequel(a bit of prequel as well) to last year’s Justice League vs. Teen Titans. The film is based on a famous and critically acclaimed Teen Titans story line called The Judas Contract, by Marv Wolfman and George Pérez. So if you read or know about that story, then you may know almost exactly on what this movie entails. Thankfully, the film tries it’s hardest to balance the comic story line and the preexisting character development from previous animated DC films. I haven’t read the original comic but I knew quite a bit of what went on, mostly the big twist with a certain character and the main villain Deathstroke. So I went into this sort of excited, but at the same time worried that the film would fail to balance being faithful to the comic and the maintaining the foundation they built in previous DC animated films. Thankfully, although definitely not perfect, the film is quite enjoyable and has a lot to offer.
First, I want to talk about what I liked about the film before I get to some complaints I have. If you didn’t care for the action in the previous animated DC films than this movie may change your mind. There are some really satisfying fight scenes with the Titans that keep the movie going, and they are made up of some of WB’s best animation work yet. None of the fights felt forced or unnatural, the action had meaning and a driving force behind it. The characters were well voiced but the stand out for me was definitely by the late Miguel Ferrer as Deathstroke. He was fantastic as Deathstroke and his voice matched perfectly to what I think the character sounds like from the comics. Although Miguel Ferrer did a great job, I have a few problems with character himself (I’ll get to that later).
I really enjoyed seeing that some of the characters have developed a little since the last films. It showed that the filmmakers care about these characters and want to develop them the best way they can. Damian Wayne is a lot more likable now compared to other DC films starring the son of the Batman. The relationship between Dick Grayson and Starfire is kind of sweet, alebit a little weird sometimes. Beast Boy and Blue Beetle prove themselves to be vital in the film, they contribute to the team as much as anyone else. Raven is awesome because..um…she just is.
After finishing the film, one of the things that stuck out to me the most was the score. I really thought that the score matched really well to the tone of the film and it added a lot of excitement to the action scenes. The score brought all of the scenes together in a smooth and entertaining manner.
Now, lets get to the things I didn’t like about the movie.
Even though the movie does an OK job at balancing the comic story line and the development of the main team. The film tries really hard to fulfill the famous story arc but at the same time give character development to the titans. Unfortunately, despite it’s efforts, a lot of the development for certain Titans felt half baked and not fully realized. It sometimes felt like the movie needed an extra ten minutes to fully develop the titans, including their new recruit, Terra.
Which gets me to my other complaint about the film, the character of Terra (voiced by Christina Ricci), was very underdeveloped and annoying most of the time. I didn’t think that the film gave a good reason to why she was even invited to the team in the first place because of how she acts with the team. Terra seems very distant all the time with the Titans constantly trying to help her when she is constantly pushing them away. I think the film would have benefited greatly from introducing the character in an earlier film in order to fully develop her. My final complaint about the film is a large twist that happens with certain characters, including Deathstroke, that if you know about the comic then you already know what it is. I found the twist extremely weird and the worst part is that the film sort of breezed over it like it was nothing.
The film moves had a good pace and it never made me bored, which is something I can’t say for certain other animated DC films. The film clocks in at around an hour and 24 minutes with a neat post-credits scene attached as well. Not my favorite animated DC film but its still worth a watch, especially if you have already seen the previous films.
Teen Titans: The Judas Contract is on digital HD now and is set to release on Blu-ray and DVD April 18th.