Saturday, November 18, 2017 • Morning Edition • "Blacklisted since 2012."

Batman & Harley Quinn Review

Written by Zechs on Thursday, August 17 2017 and posted in Features

Batman & Harley Quinn Review

A quick fun romp that has a very nostalgic feel for fans of Batman: The Animated Series, but not much else per the usual standard DC Animated fare.



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Well, this ends the DC animated fare on a better note than last year.   Batman & Harley Quinn is this year's latest offering from Bruce Timm and is a much better showing than last year's lackluster Batman: The Killing Joke. If you call lukewarm better. The greatest thing I can say about this movie is it feels like an extended episode of Batman: The Animated Series, or makes up for the almost lack of Nightwing in Justice League. However, that said. That brings us to the greatest problem this movie has: tone.

The tone is ALL over the place in this film. This movie is me plastered after realizing I'm about to have two weeks off of vacation. It's all over the place. It doesn't know what kind of film it wants to be.  The film wants to be a screwball comedy, but it also throws in super serious moments. It'll throw in a 60s Batman reference, while another time decides to homage batshit crazy Batman from Batman vs. Superman: Dawn of Justice.  

That's how crazy the tone of this movie is. One minute you'll be giggling the next minute switch to totally dramatic, and then right after go for a fart joke. Then the film will decide nah it wants a musical number or two cause WHY NOT?! I mean, the first musical number I can see given the protagonists are just as startled by it. Plus, the moment is just great fanservice when it comes to knowing each and every Easter Egg to a Batman: The Animated Series episode. Then just when you think we're going to get on with the plot. BAM another sidetrack. 

If that wasn't enough, there isn't really an ending to the movie as well. I mean there is an ending, but not one that feels finished. It just feels utterly batshit bonkers which I guess fits the tone of Harley Quinn. But resolution wise? It just ends, when everything was getting good. Oh, sure there's a mid-credit sequence and an epilogue (that homages Harley from the Batman). The ending just feels so out of left field, other how Looney Tunes it is (perhaps the intent, but it just feels so out of place).

Still, with all my bashing, this movie is very well animated. The style again is perfectly in line with both versions of Batman: The Animated Series (okay I admit seeing the first Batmobile from the series brought a tear to my eye). Likewise, when you have Kevin Conroy and Loren Lester.  They just pick up where they left off way back in freaking 1999. Not only that but you get a new villain, the Floronic Man (voiced by Kevin Michael Richardson), which was a nice touch as well. It's great that they went deep into the well than say just go with the Joker or something predictable given the spotlight is on Harley.

Speaking of that I've gone on and on and haven't' said much of Melissa Rauch as Harley Quinn. She's pretty good. Yes, it does take awhile to adjust your head when you realize Arleen Sorkin isn't voicing the character again (given the character animation your mind thinks Sorkin, but sadly she's retired from reprising the role), but Rauch nails Harley very nicely. Once you get used to Rauch, you realize just how absolutely she went to town with the role. Ironically, her tone fits the movie in the batshit bonkers way, but given that is the personality of Harley herself: I'll buy that. The movie being batshit bonkers? Yeah, no I won't buy that. Give me a proper conclusion dammit! 

Paget Brewster as Poison Ivy is good, but unlike Rauch, she doesn't have much to work with. It's a shame given if there was an actual ending that would mean a better resolution to Ivy's story and there lies in what could have been something. Instead, it just feels like a waste of Ivy when the potential was there all throughout the movie, and just when you think there's gonna be a payoff: there isn't.  

Batman & Harley Quinn aims to be a more adult themed story of Batman: The Animated Series, and then falls up short. The elements to enjoy it are there, but in the end, it becomes just another standard DC Animated fare. Fun to watch once, and that's it. However, this does seem everyone involved tried more but feels like they fumbled it at the last moment. Like they were trying to do a "Harlequinade" or "Harley's Holiday", but missing what made those episodes so darn memorable and fun. That can make you keep rewatching them over again and again. Basically, a satisfying ending! Nothing of which we get here sadly. Still, even flawed this is worth just a single viewing for fans of the old show and just to see Rauch's vocal performance as Harley if nothing else. Other than that this is the usual standard DC Animated fare, but slightly better than what we've gotten in the past. 

3 out of 5

 





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About the Author - Zechs


Zechs is the lord and master of The Toy Shed, Moment of the Week, and Durnkin Reveewz. He's also the official whuppin boy at the Outhouse. So he'll get stuck seeing stuff that no mere mortal should ever see. If there's any greater quality to Zechs, it's that he's an avid fan of comic book characters and would defend them to the bitter end against the companies that use them wrongly. He's also brutally honest. Zechs walks the lonely path in Chicagoland area.

 


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