"Harley Quinn reporting for duty sir." - Harley Quinn.
Last night was quite a fun one as my girlfriend, myself and a friend of ours took in the one time only showing of the latest DC Animated Film Batman and Harley Quinn. This was a special event between DC and Fathom Events before the film was released digitally today, and will get its actual home video release on August 29 later this month.
Before reading further everyone should know something, this movie is NOT for small children, this has adult language and implied adult themes in it, and therefore should only be viewed by age-appropriate persons.
That being said, this really was a fun animated feature, it felt like a bit of a throwback to the days when Batman the Animated Series was king of superhero cartoons (while still competing with Spider-Man and the X-Men and Superman cartoons). Seeing the movie on the big screen, there was a sense of nostalgia that made me think of what it must have been like when Batman: Mask of the Phantasm hit theaters in 1993. With Bruce Timm returning to co-write the script alongside Jim Krieg, this is something Batman fans, Harley Quinn fans and fans of DC's animated properties will all enjoy.
It's plot (without giving too much away) involves Batman and Nightwing having to team up with the Joker's former partner and girlfriend, the one and only Harley Quinn, to stop Poison Ivy and Jason Woodrue (the Floronic Man) from unleashing chaos on the world. Nothing further is going to be said, no spoilers here.
In one corner, voicing the teams heroes is the return of stars Kevin Conroy and Loren Lester as Batman and Nightwing, with The Big Bang Theory star Melissa Rauch stepping into the role of Harley Quinn. Conroy and Lester do a superb job as they have in the past. To have them step back into their two most memorable roles, its sort of a trip down memory lane, back to the days of Saturday morning cartoons and sugar cereal. It's almost like it hasn't been years since they teamed up to voice the Dynamic Duo. As for Melissa Rauch taking on the role of one of DC's most famous and quite honestly now iconic leading ladies, its different and downright awesome. This Harley is independent, she doesn't need her 'Mista J', but she's also the same firecracker spunky Harley fans have come to love over the years. On top of that, Harley doesn't take any sort of nonsense from Batman, she doesn't let the Dark Knight push her around when it comes to helping to stop Ivy and Woodrue. Rauch's banter as Harley to Conroy and Lester's Batman and Nightwing will have fans laughing themselves silly, and there's an added surprise in store in a certain scene that no one will even remotely see coming.
And in the other corner, stepping up to the plate to voice the villains of this story, is Paget Brewster as Poison Ivy and Kevin Michael Richardson as Jason Woodrue aka. The Floronic Man. Both of them kill it in their roles, Paget's Poison Ivy is dead on, exuding the same contempt for all humanity and willing to do whatever it takes to make the world safe for nature again. And her dialogue with Melissa Rauch's Harley is awesome, classic Harley and Ivy material all the way. Richardson's Jason Woodrue, now he is one bad plant man. For DC fan's who know of Woodrue and what he's capable of, the ruthless anger he has towards "meat" for poisoning the Earth will be felt through and through.
Summing it up, Batman and Harley Quinn was excellent, just excellent. To everyone who didn't get the chance to see it in theater's last night, now you can see it on your screen's digitally, or wait until August 29 to get the DVD or Blu-Ray. Either way, to Batman and Harley fans, it'll be a treat, a real treat to watch Gotham's hero team up with Harley Quinn in order to save the day. For this animated extravaganza, five out of five stars is what it gets, thanks to an astounding voice cast, great story and all in all a huge nostalgia wave to the glory days of Bruce Timm's masterpiece work.