Batman and Harley Quinn
2017, Warner Home Video
Yikes. Who thought this was a good idea?
Dick jokes, ball jokes, fart jokes (Batman: “Smells like… discipline.” WTF????), Harley Quinn & Nightwing having sex, weird music/dance scenes, a female superhero/supervillain version of Hooters, an up-close shot of Harley Quinn’s butt while wearing nothing but panties, plus a story that was pretty dumb and never really had a conclusion… it’s like a horny 15-year-old wrote this movie.
Sadly, that’s not the case. The movie was written and executive produced by the architect of the DC Animated Universe, Bruce Timm. If you’re not familiar with the DCAU (AKA the “Timmverse”), it started with 1992’s Batman: The Animated Series and ended in 2006 with Justice League Unlimited. I’m not sure what got into Bruce Timm here. Is he on drugs? Is there trouble in his home life and he’s coping by turning Batman into a raunchy comedy? Tonally, this movie does not fit in with any of the previous DCAU shows, but according to Timm, Batman and Harley Quinn is indeed a continuation of that universe. As far as as I know, Warner Bros & DC Comics have not committed themselves to that line of thinking.
The aforementioned dumb plot involves Poison Ivy and the Floronic Man trying to “save” the earth by turning every living creature into a plant hybrid. Batman and Nightwing track down and recruit Harley Quinn (who has apparently been rehabilitated, released from Arkham Asylum and gone straight) to use her friendship with Poison Ivy as a way to convince Ivy to give up her plans.
Towards the end of the movie Ivy sees the error of her ways while Floronic Man intends to carry out their plans. Just when it seems like the Floronic Man is going to make his plan a success, Swamp Thing gets a grand and majestic entrance, but only to tell the Floronic Man that he won’t stand in the way of his plans because it is not his place to judge him. Swamp Thing then sinks back into the swamp and leaves him to it. WHY DID HE EVEN SHOW UP THEN?
With our heroes seemingly defeated the world about to come to an end, Harley suddenty remember she’s got some matches. Everyone begins to smirk and the movie ends. Yep. We don’t actually get to SEE the resolution of the movie and we’re left to assume that Batman and Nightwing were willing participants in burning a man (technically an inter-dimensional wood nymph, but whatever) alive.
It’s said to see garbage like this come from the mind of Bruce Timm. I enjoyed Timm’s Justice League: Gods and Monsters a lot. That animated movie was released in 2015 and is not part of the DCAU, but this is wildly different than anything we’ve seen from Bruce Timm.
If you’re like me, you’re probably going to watch every movie DC Comics put out, but wow. This is one I can’t imagine many people enjoying. Worst DC animated movie in a very long time. Probably the worst ever.
Maybe the next time they want to do a DCAU movie, they should give writer Paul Dini a call. He created the character of Harley Quinn for Batman: TAS and wrote some of the series’ best episodes.