27 November 2007

Ink Blots - Teen Titans: Trouble in Tokyo

After 5 seasons, the Teen Titans were retired from Cartoon Network, but fans rejoiced at the announcement of one last adventure for the gang in the form of a Direct to Video movie. And while fans got that last adventure, they were likely a bit disappointed by a movie that was more different than grand.

The movie opens with a clash between the Titans and a brightly colored Japanese ninja named Psychotech. He warns them of his boss Brushogun. So off they go to Japan were they meet Diazo and his Tokyo Troopers. They assure the Titans that they have everything under control and that Brushogun is just a myth. The team decides to enjoy the scenery, but Robin isn't so sure. Then Robin is attacked again by Psychotech, and framed for murder. It up to the Titans to get to the bottom of things, clear Robins name, and bring down Brushogun.

The main problem with this movie is that it tried to bring in a new menacing villain when I would have really liked to see the return of one of the big bads from the series. Slade always made for an intense story. Resolving Terra's story would have been a nice conclusion to the series. Even the return of Brother Blood or The Brain would have been more satisfying that introducing a brand new bad guy that is supposed to be established as a true threat in 70 short minutes. The creators wanted to give us something different, which I do appreciate, but since this was the last Titans we would ever get maybe they would have been better off giving us more of what we liked in the show.

Anyways, the overall story is fairly predictable, but there are some great comedic elements. The Titans really shine when they are zany. Cyborg's subplot involves a sushi chef determined to stop him from making good on the "all-you-can-eat" promise by feeding him raw octopus, and other oddities. Starfire also shows down with an Astro Boy clone. I am sure there are plenty of other anime references that I didn't notice as well. The animation is on par with the series, but really nothing special either. I don't know, maybe I am being harsh because this film could have been a cap on the show tying up a lot of unresolved story elements. Instead, its a missed opportunity, though still not a travesty like Brainiac Attacks . Basically, this film ends up being a pretty average, though longer episode of a pretty good series, and ends up settling for a B-.

BUY IT NOW: Teen Titans on DVD

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