Ok, so you might be wondering why I have backtracked to today’s movie. Well, this kind of goes along with my quest to review The Star Wars Holiday Special on it’s anniversary. I bought a lot of movies in order to review the special on that exact date but once I achieved that goal, I had a problem with several movies that I had pre-ordered. Now I could have just kept them at my house and held off on watching them, but that temptation would have been too much for me. So, I decided to remove the temptation and as soon as the movies came in, I would take them to my friends’ house and have them hold onto them for me. After I reviewed the special, I got the movies back, which honestly weren’t that many, and am now handling those reviews. So this is one of those movies that I heard about and thought it sounded like a pretty funny idea. The fact that it is one of DC’s animated movies didn’t hurt matters either. So lets see the trouble that occurs in today’s movie, Batman And Harley Quinn.
The plot: Poison Ivy and Jason Woodrue, the Floronic Man, break into S.T.A.R. Labs and steal the information regarding Dr. Alec Holland’s work in bio-regeneration. When Batman and Nightwing arrive and discover what the two criminals had taken, they decide to split up. Batman heads to A.R.G.U.S. to find out information about a recently kidnapped scientist, Professor Harold Goldblum, and learns he had been working on biological warfare weapons. Meanwhile, Nightwing tries to find Harley Quinn, to see if she knows where Poison Ivy might be hiding out. He eventually finds her working at a super-hero themed restaurant, posing as herself, and follows her back to her place, where Harley call him out for following her. Nightwing tries asking her where Poison Ivy might be hiding but Harley refuses to help, as she has gone straight since she was paroled and wants nothing to do with the “costume” crowd anymore. When Nightwing taunts her about working as a waitress, Harley gets angry and attacks him and the two end up fighting in an alley, with Harley ending up being the victor when she secretly injects Nightwing with a mild dose of Joker Venom and knocks him unconscious while he is incapacitated by it. When Nightwing comes too, he finds himself tied to Harley’s bed while she talks to herself over what she should do with him. Noticing he has regained consciousness, Harley shows him the stack of rejection letters she received when she applied to work at psychiatric institutes, as well as offers for more R-rated type of work, and Nightwing feels guilty for his comments. Harley goes to change but when she notices Nightwing reaction to her body, she decides to seduce him, offering to help him in return. Meanwhile, Batman is searching Goldblum’s home and discovers a leaf from Woodrue and confirms that they are behind his kidnapping. He attempts to contact Nightwing but gets no response so he goes looking for him and finds Nightwing and Harley, both fully dressed, fooling around on her bed. After quietly admonishing Nightwing for his actions, Batman meets Harley at the Batmobile and refuses to meet Harley’s demands, saying she will help them because the lives of everyone on the planet are at stake. Harley starts to direct them to where Ivy might be heading but quickly makes them stop the car, as she spots her former boyfriend and chases after him and starts to beat him up for standing her up at the senior prom before Batman pulls her off of him. Back in the Batmobile, Harley directs them to a bar frequented by villainous henchmen and seeks out one of Ivy’s regular henchmen. After getting the information from him, they go to leave but find their way blocked by the other henchmen, who want payback on Batman and Robin, so the trio are forced to fight their way out. At their lair, Ivy and Woodrue have Goldblum test the formula on a rat but when it fails, Goldblum theorizes that they need to use the water and biological matter from the same swamp where Holland became Swamp Thing to make the serum work. Batman, Nightwing, and Harley show up and Ivy is shocked to see Harley working with the two heroes. Nightwing battles with Ivy while Batman tried to deal with Woodrue but they are unable to subdue the two villains. When a fire breaks out and separates them, Woodrue grabs the research notes and chemicals, then kills Goldblum as he starts to come out of Ivy’s pheremone control. Ivy is hesitant to leave Harley in the fire but Woodrue grabs her and drags her out of the building as portions of the roof collapse. Once outside, Woodrue hands Ivy part of a tuber he grabbed from Swamp Thing’s corpse when he had briefly died, and tells her to eat it, which connects the two to The Green and allows them to travel to the Louisiana swamp. Batman and Nightwing manage to free themselves and find Harley comforting the mortally wounded Goldblum. Batman gives Goldblum a sedative to ease his pain and Goldblum tells them where Ivy and Woodrue are heading before he dies. After getting some medical attention, Batman summons the Batwing and prepares to head to Louisiana with Nightwing, thanking Harley for her help. When she argues that she should go with them, Batman tells her he can’t trust her and she starts crying, saying she won’t survive a plant apocalypse, and Nightwing says they should bring her as a contingency plan. They reach Louisiana and head into the swamp, accompanied by some soldiers but the soldiers end up being attacked and killed by some of Ivy and Woodrue’s plant guards. Harley tricks Batman and Nightwing into springing one of Ivy’s traps and when Ivy and Woodrue arrive to see what is happening, Harley attempts to talk Ivy out of going through with her plan. When Ivy refuses to stop, Harley throws a weed killer pellet at the tree holding Batman and Nightwing, freeing them, and the two heroes immediately start attacking Woodrue. Ivy, feeling betrayed, begins attacking Harley and the two friends start fighting until Ivy uses her control over plants to trap Harley. When Harley learns that Ivy hasn’t tested the formula yet, she pull out her ultimate weapon; taking off her cowl and wiping off her makeup before she gives Ivy the sad, puppy dog eyes and then crying, causing Ivy to start crying and hug her friend. Woodrue overpowers Batman and Nightwing and approaches Harley and Ivy using a plant to attack them. Ivy stops the plant but Woodrue knocks her out, then shoves Harley aside as he grabs the formula and approaches the swamp. Suddenly, Swamp Thing emerges from the swamp and chastises Woodrue, saying this is not the way to fix the problem but he will not interfere. Woodrue starts laughing, thinking he has won, while Batman, Nightwing, and Harley feel dejected at Swamp Thing’s refusal to help. Suddenly, Harley reminds them that Woodrue is basically a plant and asks if either of them has a match; prompting Batman and Nightwing to smile and kiss her on the cheek as Batman lights a match and throws it towards Woodrue, setting him on fire and causing him to run burning through the swamp. Some time later, Harley is shown to be helping people overcome their fears and insecurities by having them run through an obstacle course as part of a reality game show.
As much as it pains me to say, this was a little bit of a letdown of a movie. The voice acting was great, with Kevin Conroy and Loren Lester doing a good job reprising their roles of Batman and Nightwing/Dick Grayson from 92’s Batman: The Animated Series. Melissa Rauch did a good job as Harley Quinn and the interplay between her and the other characters was pretty funny. The basic story was pretty good but there was a lot of mixtures of adult and sophomoric humor aspects that honestly felt weird. I know that a lot of the recent animated movies have taken on a more adult aspect in times so the whole Harley seduction thing, while a little weird, wasn’t that bad but the 2-3 minute fart joke was just stupid and really didn’t need to be there. I will say that the throwback to the classic 60’s Batman show, including the henchman taunting Batman by doing the Batusi, was very funny. The animation was pretty good, kind of bringing a nostalgic style to the movie as it was a little different from some of the more recent movies. It feels like a little bit of a step down from their recent work, but it’s still not a bad movie to watch.
Rating: 3 1/2 out of 5