Batman and Harley Quinn – Film Review

When faced with a global threat, Batman (voice of Kevin Conroy) and Nightwing (voice of Loren Lester) have no choice but to team up with Harley Quinn (voice of Melissa Rauch) for a chance at putting an end to the sinister plan orchestrated by Poison Ivy (voice of Paget Brewster) and Floronic Man (voice of Kevin Michael Richardson).

It’s been quite some time since I watched a film in the DC Universe Animated Original Movies series. Due to the coronavirus pandemic ongoing this year, this was the first year since 2008 in which there wasn’t a new Marvel Cinematic Universe film released. Gratefully we had DC’s Birds of Prey back in February, which is still one of my favorite movies of the year so far.

Other than that though, comic book film fans haven’t had much luck with the movie industry this year. Lately, I’ve been really wanting to watch something superhero-related, so I figured I would check out some DC Animated films I have yet to see. Firstly, I watched Sam Liu’s Batman and Harley Quinn, which has a bit of a mixed response with fans.

Honestly, this is the first DC Animated movie in a while that I genuinely did not like. There are some entertaining sequences, but for the most part, Batman and Harley Quinn comes across as a directionless and extremely cringe-inducing outing for the Caped Crusader and company. A large portion of the film’s cringe-factor comes with its sexual innuendos that will make you shake your head.

Courtesy of Warner Bros. Home Entertainment

It’s weird because this film sometimes feels like it caters toward a more adult and mature audience, but in the very next scene, somebody will fart, and then it suddenly feels like a movie for young kids. The tones in this flick just didn’t meld well together. There’s also a scene about thirty minutes in that features Harley Quinn up on stage singing for a solid five minutes or so, and it comes out of nowhere.

In fact, there are plenty of scenes here that are head-scratchingly weird. Did that scene with Harley singing have anything to do with the overall storyline of the movie? No. So why was it in the film? Perhaps it was included in an effort to make audiences laugh, but I get the feeling it will make them cringe instead.

As per usual with other DC Animated entries, Batman and Harley Quinn features some genuinely great animation that looks virtually seamless in every scene. In truth, it’s the film’s one true saving grace. Plus, every once in a while there are some fun action beats that are entertaining to watch. But overall, this film felt like it didn’t even have a real story at its core. It plays out like Batman, Nightwing, and Harley Quinn just goofing around. And maybe that will appeal to some people out there, but it didn’t appeal to me.

Although Batman and Harley Quinn has great animation and some fun action beats, its weird sense of humor and flat story make this a dull outing for the Caped Crusader and company.

Overall Grade: D+

MPAA Rating: PG-13 for sexual content, language, violence and action, and for rude humor

Cast: Kevin Conroy, Melissa Rauch, Loren Lester, Paget Brewster, Kevin Michael Richardson, John DiMaggio, Eric Bauza, Robin Atkin Downes, Trevor Devall, Rob Paulsen, Mindy Sterling, Bruce Timm

Directed by: Sam Liu

Distributed by: Warner Bros. Home Entertainment

Release Date: August 14, 2017

Running Time: 74 minutes

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