Review: Batman and Harley Quinn

Awful. Flat out awful. The 2nd Batman animation from director Sam Liu, who ruined The Killing Joke in 2016, shows no signs or understanding of the Batman mythology as he inserts flagrant sexism, fart jokes, gratuitous overt misogyny and toxic masculinity with the intent of playing it all for laughs. 

Seriously, what is going on down at Warner/DC Animation these days? They seem to think that, because Deadpool and Suicide Squad made a basquillion at the box office, that gives license to just act like geeky horny teenagers and ruin stable characters. As last year’s disastrous misinterpretation of revered graphic novel The Killing Joke proved, by adding a pointless sex scene and thinly veiled homophobic characterisations, nothing is sacred and going for the cheap shot is par for the course.

When Poison Ivy (complete with over-accentuated cleavage and hourglass figure) and Jason Woodrow team up to create a new virus that will turn the human race into half animal half plant, the caped crusader and Nightwing decide to track down Harley Quinn to help find them.

Harley has left her criminal days behind her and spends her time as a waitress in a seedy diner getting ogled and groped by the clientele. When initial contact is made with Nightwing, a derogatory sexual liaison occurs before Quinn reluctantly joins him and Batman to stop the impending disaster.

What is supposed to be a comical detective story follows where the unlikely trio wind up at gas station because Quinn has diarrhoea, then at some weird out of the way dive bar for criminals, before a ridiculous showdown in a swamp. On the flipside, Poison Ivy mind controls a scientist by continually pashing him to keep him under her hypnosis. And, of course, it all resolves as you’d expect.

Batman and Harley Quinn is just plain ugly. The grotesque sexism right from the outset, a reference to sadomasochism and ‘nocturnal activities’ within the first 3 minutes, Harley’s continual sexualisation throughout (you literally see her ass get grabbed 5 minutes in and its not long before she gets undressed and bends over in her underwear before boinking Nightwing) before demoralising her with fart jokes is just horrendous.

The sheer repugnant treatment of the female characters (all 2 of them in this) as big breasted, led-by-men, egotists is a categorical disaster and mark of shame for the Warner Bros/DC animation wing and this whole sorry affair begs the question: Who is this actually for?


No Stars.