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Batman and Harley Quinn (2017) Review

Latest installment in the series is a fun action adventure.

Batman and Harley Quinn is 2017 animated adventure film about Batman and Nightwing forced to team up with the Joker’s sometimes-girlfriend Harley Quinn to stop a global threat.

Talk about your mood swings. Last’s year controversial but well made The Killing Joke, a decidedly dark and ominous entry into the animated Batman canon that took its subject matter very seriously, is a far cry from what’s offered next, Batman and Harley Quinn, an often very funny, light-hearted romp and return to 60-esque cartoon form. Upbeat and jovial, it’s a nice twist and shows the Dark Knight doesn’t always have to be so moody.

No doubt still savoring the impact of Margot Robbie‘s turn as Quinn in the less-than-favored Suicide Squad, this new installment in the long-running series starts with Batman (voiced by the iconic Kevin Conroy) and Nightwing (Loren Lester) investigating a break in at a lab where they learn that Poison Ivy (Paget Brewster) and Floronic Man (Kevin Michael Richardson) are after some classified information with deadly attributes. Needing the help of former nemesis and Joker sidekick Harley Quinn (Melissa Rauch), released from prison and going straight, she kinda sorta joins the side of good in trying to foil Ivy’s plan to “save” the world.

Batman and Harley Quinn
Batman and Harley Quinn, 2017 © DC Entertainment

Written by series steady Bruce Timm and directed by Sam Liu, who has helmed several in the franchise, including The Killing Joke, Batman and Harley Quinn is an energetic entry to be sure and while it’s not advancing the animation from the tried and true flat style of those before, it is still a colorful and well-written story, even as it tends to dip into some uncomfortable waters, sometimes treating Quinn with a little less respect than she deserves. Upskirt and bum shot aplenty seem designed to appeal to the lowest class of fans, and a long gag involving farts seems sort of in-character but still below the line, yet otherwise, she’s the heart of the show, a troubled girl with loads of baggage, a smart mouth, and all kinds of funny. 

The series has always been skewed to younger audiences while layered in double entendres and sexual innuendoes, and with Quinn at the center, you can be sure there’s more than a fair share. The filmmakers embrace the raucous nature of the character mostly to great effect. The movie is lively and Rauch’s delivery has a lot of punch to it, with sass turned up to eleven. While the movie sort of abandons the real aggressive sociopathic nature she embodies, going for laughs instead, it works overall. Mixed with some good action and a decent story, Batman and Harley Quinn is sure to give fans of both a boost.

Batman and Harley Quinn (2017) Review

Movie description: Batman and Harley Quinn is 2017 animated adventure film about Batman and Nightwing forced to team up with the Joker's sometimes-girlfriend Harley Quinn to stop a global threat

Director(s): Sam Liu

Actor(s): Kevin Conroy, Melissa Rauch, Paget Brewster

Genre: Animation, Action

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  1. one two three August 18, 2017