Review: BATMAN AND HARLEY QUINN Author: Bill "Jett" Ramey (Follow @BATMANONFILM)
Date: August 29, 2017
Crude, crass, unfunny (though it wants to be), and boring.
BATMAN AND HARLEY QUINN – the latest DC Universe Original Movie – is a lot of things, but the one thing that it’s not is good.
For the record, I got a reviewing copy from the fine folks at Warner Bros. a week ago. I watched it. And I watched it again. In fact, I ended up viewing it 4 times before writing this review.
I’ll put it this way: I’d rather watch SUPERMAN/BATMAN: APOCALYPSE – the worst of these DC animated films – than this.
In fact, the best part of the whole package is the preview of the next DC animated endeavor, GOTHAM BY GASLIGHT (which I’ve been lobbying for an animated film treatment for years). ANYWAY...
Visually, it looks like THE NEW BATMAN ADVENTURES, so I guess it’s kinda-sorta part of BATMAN: THE ANIMATED SERIES universe – at least that’s what it wants its audience to believe. Unfortunately, the aesthetic is the only thing it has in common with BTAS because even the worst episode of that series is better than this debacle.
It also features Kevin Conroy as Batman and Loren Lester as Nightwing. After watching this, I’m almost embarrassed for these two fine gentlemen to have been a part of this project.
Yes, it’s THAT bad. Here’s plot in a nutshell…
Batman and Nightwing must team-up with a paroled Harley Quinn (Melissa Rauch from THE BIG BANG THEORY) to find Poison Ivy (Paget Brewster), who has teamed with Floronic Man (Kevin Michael Richardson) and plans to turn the planet’s mankind into human/plant hybrids.
Honestly, I sat through this thing bored as hell. Once the nostalgia of seeing the kinda-sorta BTAS again wore off, all that was left was a bad movie.
I’m no prude and I’m certainly not uptight, but watching Harley strut around (and bend over) in her bra and panties, take, ahem, “advantage” of a tied-up Nightwing, and witnessing her fart – several times – in the Batmobile simply didn’t entertain me. It’s full of sexual innuendo (including an erect Nightwing – I’m not kidding), bloody violence, and – as we say in Texas – cussin’.
This is NOT a Batman film for young children. And there’s no problem with Batman movies and stories for an older/mature audience. I’m not sure if anyone reading this review would fall under this category, but I’m sure there will be some non-Batman fan parent who will see this while shopping and buy this “cartoon” for their young kid. My recommendation for entry-level access for a child into the world of Batman: THE LEGO BATMAN MOVIE. Also, even if you are a Batman fan, just be aware that this is NOT akin to a BTAS episode, OK?
The review continues after the poll!
As I previously mentioned, the animation and aesthetic is pure BTAS – I’ve got no problem with that aspect of this movie. The voice cast is top notch – you know what you’re going to get from Kevin Conroy and it was great to hear Loren Lester as Dick Grayson again. I also had no problem with Melissa Rauch as Harley. I think she was unfairly criticized by some for simply not being Arleen Sorkin. But as a fan of THE BIG BANG THEORY and familiar with her, I can see why she was cast. And look, others – including Hynden Walch and, of course, Tara Strong – so I’m just not getting the “she’s just not Arleen Sorkin” criticism. I thought she did a more than fine job.
Look, I get it, OK? Warner Bros. and DC took a risk with BATMAN AND HARLEY QUINN. I applaud them for that and I hope they continue to do so in the future, and I honestly get what Bruce Timm was trying to do here.