The Teen Titans and Nightwing are back with a new adventure you’ve already seen before! That’s right, it’s the story of how Deathstroke managed to get a mole onto the team who eventually betrayed the Titans, breaking bones and hearts along the way.
While this movie is still heads, tails, and rocks above the crap that we’ve been subjected to in the Teen Titans name over the last couple of years, this is a neutered animal for the same reason why I found Green Lantern: First Flight a tepid picture… simply put, it’s been done before and, in some ways, its been done arguably better.
I’m not a fan of the pre-Teen Titans Go iteration of Teen Titans on Cartoon Network either, but I understand it has a following mostly because Teen Titans Go is so awful. Personally, I found Teen Titans immature and annoying as well, but they did manage to come out with stretches of episodes that were pretty darned extraordinary. For instance, Teen Titan‘s version of “The Judas Contract” was very well done, well acted, and well written… as I said, I’m not a fan of the show, but I do consider that stretch of episodes classic.
With Teen Titans: he Judas Contract, that story is retold, only with less attachment to the characters. When you first meet Terra, she’s mean and she continues to be mean through most of the movie. There’s a few moments when you can tell that she’s torn between her obligation to Deathstroke and her growing affection for the team, but it’s muted and mostly there because its in the script. There’s next to no reason to like her, no reason to root for her, and almost no reason to hope for her redemption.
Can we talk Beast Boy for a moment? Look, I know he’s an egotistical attention glutton, I get that and I understand that about him, but why is he all of the sudden a sexually harassing creep? Why are the other members of the team not saying anything about it? Why is there no restraining order? Again, he’s supposed to be at the heart of this story, but most of the time I’m just wondering why no one is spraying his horny green butt with pepper spray.
I did enjoy the moments with Blue Beetle trying to reconnect with a sense of family by volunteering in a soup kitchen and seeing Starfire and Nightwing move in with each other. Those were moments I liked… and they were almost inconsequential to the plot. I also have to say that I’m enjoying the ever-evolving Robin. Compared to what he was way back in Son of Batman, he’s come a long way.
The pacing of this movie is well done, it never loses its sense of fun, and strangely enough… the animation looks rougher and, for some reason, I find that more appealing. It seems more hand-drawn and imperfect as though it was done by hand and not on a computer. To me, it gave it a personality.
This is not a bad movie… not in the least bit, but it has been done before and it’s been done better than this. I’m sure that, if you’ve never watched Teen Titans, you’d find this a perfectly fine movie and have none of the qualms that I did, but to me, it’s like watching an imperfect clone of something that was already imperfect. Add to that the wonky character motivations and the general lack of concern about the main characters, and The Judas Contract is an ultimately unsatisfying affair.
To me at least.
As I said, if you’ve never heard of this story, you’ll probably enjoy it just fine. What can I say? My nerdity is ruining everything.