Wednesday, July 12, 2017

Teen Titans: The Judas Contract

***DISCLAIMER*** The following review is entirely my opinion. If you comment (which I encourage you to do) be respectful. If you don't agree with my opinion (or other commenters), that's fine. To each their own. These reviews are not meant to be statements of facts or endorsements, I am just sharing my opinions and my perspective when watching the film and is not meant to reflect how these films should be viewed. Finally, the reviews are given on a scale of 0-5. 0, of course, being unwatchable. 1, being terrible. 2, being not great. 3, being okay. 4, being great and 5, being epic! And if you enjoy these reviews feel free to share them and follow the blog or follow me on Twitter (@RevRonster) for links to my reviews and the occasional live-Tweet session of the movie I'm watching!  Hey everyone, Judas lost his contact--oh, sorry, misread the title.  It's contract, not contact.  My bad.

Teen Titans:  The Judas Contract - 4 out of 5

28.  This is the 28th film in the DC animated universe.  That is just amazing!  I know I say this in all the reviews but, for the most part, the quality is pretty decent with these films.  Even if the movie is, for all intents and purposes, a bit disappointing, they still are serviceable and entertaining to an extent.  The last film (Justice League Dark, check the review here) had some criticism from me in the form that I was a little annoyed that DC wouldn’t let the film exist without Batman having some sort of presence in it but this time it seems DC is going to go Batman-less with Teen Titans:  The Judas Contract (ignore that having Nightwing in it gives it a Batman connection).  If Teen Titans vs. Justice League was the tutorial level, this feature is the start of the game and the training wheels are off (meaning there is no sign of Batman in this one).

Whoa, whoa, whoa!  Dick, what they hell are you doing?

When Nightwing (Sean Maher) teams with the Teen Titans; Robin (Stuart Allan), Blue Beetle (Jake T. Austin), Raven (Taissa Farmiga), Terra (Christina Ricci), Beast Boy (Brandon Soo Hoo), and Starfire (Kari Wahlgren), they track down a cult leader by the name of Brother Blood (Greg Henry).  Blood has a device that will allow him to absorb the abilities of anyone attached to it and he hires the mercenary Deathstroke (Miguel Ferrer) to track, subdue and bring the Titans to him so that he may gain their powers.  Little do the Titans know is that Deathstroke has an agent of his own that has infiltrated the team and plans to bring them down from the inside out.

"Okay Titans, I've called this meeting to discuss a major problem we are having...
someone isn't replacing the toilet paper after they've finished using it.  Oh, also
someone on the team might be a spy."

Everyone kept insisting that Brother Blood didn'tlook stupid in that outfit as a joke.
Based on the storyline from Marv Wolfman and George PĂ©rez in the comics, this latest animated feature is a decent standalone story for the Titans that isn’t doing a whole lot to advance their animated world but it definitely isn’t something that was just farted out and released in order to make a quick return.  The story is tight and this adaptation keeps the spirit of the original comic book storyline exceptionally well and it’s pretty cool to see Brother Blood come to life in animated form.  Sometimes DC’s animated films have a habit of moving too fast or feeling like they are cramming too many threads into the plot but The Judas Contract never seems to have these drawbacks and everything about the film unfolds fairly well.

Her name is Tera and she has earth manipulating powers...let's codename
her Terra.  Sometimes comics are a little on the nose.

Like all previous DC animated films, this one has the standard character design and animation so it all looks and feels like it exists in the same shared world.  The film also delivers on the standard top shelf action that is seen in the other films and they also have a great cast giving life to these heroes and villains—both returning members and new voices.  I will admit that I did find Miguel Ferrer (rest in peace) to be an odd choice for Deathstroke.  Ferrer definitely had a voice that fit the character but I’m so familiar with his work as an actor, and his face and image are so ingrained in my head that I had a hard time separating the animated character from the actor who doesn’t seem anything like Slade Wilson.  He still did a tremendous job but whenever I head Deathstroke speak, all I could think about was Ferrer in Robocop.

"I'm called Deathstroke because I stroke death...oh no, I just realized
how that sounds!"

The drawbacks to Teen Titans:  The Judas Contract are very limited. The only thing that really comes to mind is that replay value might be very minimal.  I don’t see me watching this one again because the story, while good, isn’t super exciting and the action (also good) wasn’t so impressive that I have to see it again.  It’s a great movie and has stupendous voice acting and animation but it does sorta feel like an average release and just another addition to the DC animated library.  That being said, it is one of their better releases from the selections that sorta feel like they are just filler movies.

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