Teen Titans: Judas Contract Review

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Posted April 12, 2017 by Aron Pohara in Movies

Directed by: Sam Liu

Starring: Stuart Allan, Miguel Ferrer, Christina Ricci, Brandon Soo Hoo

Released: 04/02/2017

The Judas Contract is one of the most influential comic book stories of the 1980’s, if not ever.

Written by Marv Wolfman and George Perez,  it was one of the most adult themed stories to come out of the big 2 at the time. This book precedes books such as The Dark Knight Returns and Watchmen, and is as seminal a work as either of those.

The movie has been gestating in the DC vaults ever since Wonder Woman came out. Now that we finally have it, the main question is: “Does it work?”

For the most part, the adaptation is faithful, with some of the original characters being swapped out for new cast members. However, the concept remains the same. There are a couple of events that are not represented here, which are somewhat missed, as they added a bit of drama to the source material.

There are quite a few scenes taken verbatim from the book, and despite a different cast, they all work. There are also scenes that can sometimes throw you out of the movie – I’m looking at you Kevin Smith.

Now for the cast…

Miguel Ferrer as Deathstroke and Christina Ricci as Terra truly steal the show here.

Ferrer plays Deathstroke, who is possibly one of the most dangerous villains the Teen Titans have ever faced. This is evident here. His menacing and scheming demeanor comes through Ferrer’s voice perfectly, and his gravitas is felt every time his character is on screen. His scenes with the Titans, especially Nightwing and Robin, are fantastic and add to the depth of the character. His presence alone is what makes this movie work as well as it does.

Christina Ricci plays Terra, who is new to the Titans. She has a troubled past, and the Titans take her in to become part of their family. Ricci portrays her very well, especially in scenes with Beast Boy and Robin. I do wish that her character was fleshed out a little bit more, but Ricci does an admirable job with the material she has.

Brandon Soo Hoo brings playfulness and charisma to Beast Boy, now completely in his element after being introduced in the first movie. He is an important character here, attempting to bring normalcy to Terra’s life. Through his humor and quirkiness, he embodies what Terra was missing. Overall, his voice fits the character perfectly and it would be hard to see anyone else in animated form but him at this point.

Jake Austin plays Blue Beetle, and his story line is actually more developed than I thought it would be considering the run time. He conveys the anguish that comes with being Blue Beetle, but also adds optimism to his mission and tries to help people.

Stuart Allan reprises his role as Damian. Allan brings his cockiness back, but the growth of this character has been phenomenal to watch. He’s still a jerk, but it is evident that he cares for his team mates. Allan captures the playful jabs, and they land. The scenes between him and Ferrer that were just fantastic.

Sean Maher and Kari Walghreen as Nightwing and Starfire, respectively, bring the duo to life. They seem very comfortable in these roles and handle them admirably. Nightwing’s costume however is red, which is a little bit disappointing.

Taissa Farmiga as Raven takes a bit of the backseat here to the story, even though she is still an important piece to the puzzle. I can’t quite say that I am sold on her interpretation of Raven as a soft spoken girl. She mostly sounds “emo,” and that’s not what Raven sounds like in my head.

Which brings me to the secondary antagonists: Brother Blood and Mother Mayhem

Brother Blood looks nothing like he does in the comics, and the script has completely missed the point of his character. Gregg Henry does a good job, however his character was just not written well. I felt like I was watching another Arrow-verse Brother Blood iteration,which is a shame. His design isn’t great either. George Perez’ costume was perfect, and there was no trace of it in this adaptation. The character felt more like a goon than the menacing force he is in the comics.

Meg Foster plays Brother Blood’s right hand, Mother Mayhem. She has no other agenda then seeing Blood get what he wants, and she has no interest in claiming personal power. She has limited screen time here, but she felt like a force to be reckoned with.

The animation in this movie feels a lot more fluid than previous animated movies. The art style is consistent, but it’s more refined here. The colors seem more vibrant and work well to showcase the costumes. Where the animation falters from time to time is with the depiction of Brother Blood and his followers. Everyone looks the same. Overall the animation is a step in the right direction for the future of the DCAU.

Judas Contract is an entertaining movie that mostly manages to capture the comic. It is a fun movie to watch, and an improvement over Justice League vs Teen Titans. It would have benefited from a longer run-time,  as some of the elements of the story just glossed over or rushed

At the end of the day, this is an interesting take on a classic story. If you enjoy the Teen Titans, definitelycheck it out!

Teen Titans: Judas Contract




Teen Titans: Judas Contract


80

Final Score

8/10

    Pros

    • Deathstroke
    • Terra
    • Mostly faitful to the source material
    • True Teen Titans movie

    Cons

    • Pacing
    • Brother Blood feels off
    • Some parts of the book left out



    About the Author

    Aron Pohara


    • Josh

      watching it tonight!!