– Review by Daryll Benjamin –
Writer: Bruce Timm
Director: Sam Liu
Kevin Conroy: Batman Melissa Rauch: Harley Quinn
Paget Brewster: Poison Ivy Loren Lester: Nightwing
Kevin Michael Richardson: Floronic Man
John DiMaggio: Sarge Steel/Swamp Thing
Bruce Timm: Booster Gold
Batman and Harley Quinn is out now on Digital HD. All other formats, which include Ultra HD Blu-Ray, Blu-ray Deluxe Giftset, Blu-ray Combo Pack and DVD will be released on August 29th. Note: The Blu-ray Deluxe Giftset will include an exclusive Harley Quinn figurine.
Floronic Man and Poison Ivy have committed a rash of robberies and killings, but what captures the attention of Batman and Nightwing is the capture of a biochemist which indicates that there is a much more sinister game afoot. They need to stop Ivy immediately but she has dropped off the map, so who knows Ivy better than Harley Quinn? Madcap insanity ensues as the off-center Mistress of Mayhem teams with the Straight Laced Duo in an effort to save the world.
Now this is where this all gets complicated in terms of a review. I’ll be frank. I liked this offering from Bruce Timm a lot, but I will say that this is not for little kids. Similar to my feelings about The Dark Knight, Assault on Arkham Asylum, The Killing Joke & Justice League: Gods and Monsters, there are a lot of adult themes and sensual innuendos. Folks are going nuts over the steamy scene between Harley and Nightwing and yes, it is NOT for impressionable children. However, I’m not going to mince words here, from some of the folks ardently opposed to this scene, I have seen “shipping” and sensual comments about comic characters including these two before. SO what’s the problem? Is it that it is these two? That’s part of the hypocrisy I try to avoid. Nightwing has been depicted as a guy who gets around and it is a major reason that he has a popular fanbase. Harley is a character who has never hidden that she’s very sensual. So to me it felt like a natural, albeit, weird one-off pairing.
Now with that out of the way, the rest of the animated film is a pun laden offering that, like Return of the Caped Crusaders before it, has jokes that poke fun at various incarnations and themes of the Dynamic Duo over the years. At times it leads to uneven storytelling if you are staked heavily in the main plot, in fact it can be downright distracting. I found it to keep things moving quickly. This one will have fans of the Animated Series and Gail Simone’s Harley depictions debating for awhile as to how true-to-the character Timm got here without Paul Dini to counter-balance him. My highlight is the villains bar scene and everything that happened in there. That’s probably the most kid friendly part of the whole film if I can be honest. And like I said, I had fun watching this one top to bottom.
My Grade: B-