Harley Quinn series

Batman and Harley Quinn (2017)

Batman and Harley Quinn (2017)

(On TV, October 2019) I’m not much of a comic-book fan, but there is something about Batman’s cast of supporting characters that I find interesting and Harley Quinn is surely one of the best newish (1992) introductions to the menagerie. (I’m not a big fan of the Margot Robbie version of Harley Quinn, but that’s another discussion for another time.)  This animated movie Batman and Harley Quinn takes from the New Batman Adventures TV series in recycling the art style and personalities of the characters. Quinn being Quinn and Batman being Batman provides much of the fodder for the film’s admittedly lighter tone: Noticeably lighter and funnier than the previous Batman animated movies (a clear step up from the repellent The Killing Joke), Batman and Harley Quinn nails the tone of the character and how she sees the world. It’s surprisingly racier than what you’d expect from the series (including some naughtiness between Quinn and Nightwing), but it somehow works. The film is at its best in small character moments: the overall plot is a bit too sombre, and the film ends about two minutes too early for a satisfying denouement. But having Quinn expel gas in the Batmobile has its own particular charm. Batman and Harley Quinn is not a great movie in that it won’t do much for those not already at ease in the Batman universe. But it’s fun enough for those who are, and noticeably better as a lighthearted adventure than the ultra-grimness of some other animated Batman movies.