As I continue my quest watching the DC Comics’ animated movies, I stumbled across one of the films that may be the worst entry in the DC universe. Batman and Harley Quinn is an awkward film that I’m surprised got greenlit to be made. Bruce Timm, one of the showrunners on the amazing Batman: The Animated Series, wrote the story to this movie and produced it. I’m shocked at how this movie turned out. It’s a bland attempt at comedy that over sexualizes Harley Quinn.
The movie is animated similarly to the animated series. It’s similar via the backgrounds that the movie uses. In the animated series, the night sky would sometimes be colored brown or red. Batman and Harley Quinn features a consistent red sky throughout the movie. The design of the buildings and the structures in this film draw inspiration from the animated series. The structures show how huge Gotham is while taking in a gothic architectural design. As for the characters, they’re not in the same vein. The characters are drawn in the ways of modern day Warner Brothers animation. Some of the background characters had the same animation style as Scooby Doo cartoons. None of it fit together. It didn’t look right.
The characters in this movie are a mess. Batman is out of character in some scenes such as one scene where he laughs at a bad fart gag with Harley Quinn. Harley Quinn is over sexualized as there’s a camera shot of her in her underwear with the camera zoomed in on her butt. That’s not the worst part. Harley Quinn and Nightwing have an awkward romantic scene together where Nightwing is tied up on Harley’s bed. The film plays it off as a comedic gag. It comes off as gross and unfunny.
There’s nothing exhilarating about the plot. Batman and Robin team up with Harley Quinn to stop Poison Ivy and Floronic Man from turning the earth into a forest. The filmmakers had the chance to turn this into a serious movie about eco-terrorism. Nope. The movie tries to be a comedy with awkward jokes that feel aged. The only interesting beat in the film is that Harley is trying to live a normal life in the first act of the movie. That’s an interesting concept to build upon.
I give this movie a 1 out of 5. Bruce Timm can do better.