Wednesday, August 16, 2017

Movie Review: Batman and Harley Quinn (DC Universe Original Movie)

The DC Universe Original Movies have been pretty hit or miss for me. Some of them, like Batman: Under the Red Hood or Justice League: New Frontier, have been absolutely brilliant. Others, such as Superman: Doomsday or Batman: Gotham Knight, have been painfully unwatchable. While the trailer for Batman and Harley Quinn didn't appear to be anything special, it was in the style of Batman: The Animated Series and had input from Bruce Timm, so I decided to give it a chance.

Batman and Harley Quinn is a 2017 DC Universe Original Movie. It was released theatrically for one night via Fathom Events and then released as Blu-ray, DVD, and Digital HD. It is rated PG-13 for language, sexual content, and violence and is appropriate for older teens and up.

The Good


Acting. The acting was really strong, especially Harley Quinn's character. She felt like a real person with real struggles and real motivations.

Humor. This movie had some pretty funny jokes that I hadn't heard in a Batman story before.

References. This film made a lot of references to previous versions of Batman, especially the 1966 Adam West version and, of course, Batman: The Animated Series. Some of the references, such as the visual sound effects, were pretty clever and went places I hadn't seen visual sound effects go. I also appreciated Catwoman's cat men lackeys.

The Bad


Thin Story.  This story was a simple bad guys get super weapon that will destroy the world and Batman stops them plot with nothing to make it stand out from any other story. There were no twists, surprises, or anything else standout to justify this film's existence.

Florian Man. I applaud DC for using lesser known villains, but other than the name, he was manaical thug number 10. He had no real personality or distinguishing characteristic.

Too Even Pacing. This movie suffered from poor pacing. The fight scenes and the slow scenes moved at the same pace making them all feel a little boring. It really needed variety and to pick up the pace during the action scenes so they were exciting instead of blah.

Lack of Color. Batman: The Animated Series was dark, but also very colorful with bold, high chroma hues which made it a wonder to behold and was a great contrast to the darker tone and stories. This film was very dull and grey. The dull colors only made the slow pace feel even slower and the dull story seem duller.

What I Would Like to Have Seen


I wish this had a better story that deserved to be a movie. It really felt like a machine had generated this movie based on a prescribed formula and past episodes. There was nothing original or notable in the plot.

Overall


Batman and Harley Quinn does an excellent job exploring Harley Quinn, her motivations, and her struggles and has some pretty funny jokes and cameos. Unfortunately, the story is very thin with clich├ęd villains and plots. I give it 3.5 out of 5 boxes of popcorn.

   


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