Note: This movie’s cool stylized credit sequence is much in the vein of the classic Pink Panther movies, I guess they were trying to set the tone for to the wackiness ahead, but what follows is often far from wacky and instead is simply crude and lame.
The film’s plot is about as thin and nonsensical as possible and barley takes up much of it's 74 minute running time, what Bruce Timm instead decides to focus on are the road trip antics of Harley Quinn (Melissa Rauch) as she is forced to team-up with Batman (Kevin Conroy) and Nightwing (Loren Lester) to save the world. The movie opens with Poison Ivy (Paget Brewster) and the Floronic Man (Kevin Michael Richardson) breaking into Star Labs to steal files pertaining to a formula created by scientist Alec Holland, who comic book fans will recognize as the man who became the elemental known as Swamp Thing, as they hope to use it to turn all of humanity into plant-people. They believe this is the only way to stop mankind from destroying the planet. Batman figures that the best way to find Ivy and stop her diabolical plot is to locate her old BFF Harley Quinn, and so Nightwing is sent out to track down Joker’s old girlfriend. After endlessly canvasing the city by just showing random people a picture of Harley (did he learn nothing about being a detective from Batman?) Nightwing discovers that she is now working at a superhero themed restaurant called Superbabes that has a solid Hooter’s objectification of woman vibe to it.
You stay classy, Bruce Timm.Nightwing follows/stalks Harley back to her digs and soon finds himself in a knock down drag out fight with a very bitter Harley Quinn, and this led to me asking, “When exactly did Harley Quin become a master of hand-to-hand combat?” Now I don’t have an issue with them turning Harley Quinn into a bit of a badass but to see her actually win a fight with a dude who was trained by friggin Batman is patently ridiculous, and I don’t care that she technically won because she injected him with Joker venom because that fight still lasted way too long for it to be even remotely plausible. Of course that whole sequence was really just a set-up so we could get to a scene with Nightwing being tied to Harley’s bed, apparently she got all hot and bothered by his superhero cuteness and decides to have sex with him, with a little light bondage being a bonus I guess.
Harley informs Nightwing,“You don’t meet a lot of likely prospects at Superbabes.”Bruce Timm even brings up the actually real book “Seduction of the Innocent” by American psychiatrist Fredric Wertham, which was key in bringing about the comic book censorship/purge in the1950s, as something that Harley had read back in her college days, and because of that she states “I didn’t think you and Batman liked girls” but because she spots Nightwing’s erection she realizes that the author was clearly wrong. It’s at this point one starts to wonder if we are watching a DC produced Batman movie or someone’s fanfiction. Batman eventually shows up, but not before stopping off at Argus where he blackmails one of the agents for information, and then the three of them hit the road to track down Ivy.
Note: Batman actually threatens to out the agent’s sexual fetish if he won't spill government secrets, thus proving that this particular Batman is a complete asshat.
What follows next is not something one expects to find in a Batman movie, and that would be an extended fart joke. Turns out the food at Superbabes is not the best and Harley really needs to use a restroom, but Batman refuses to pull over so she repeatedly farts in the backseat of the Batmobile. *sigh*
Batman responds, “It’s not so bad…it smells like discipline.”I love Kevin Conroy, and he is still one of the best of all the incarnations of Batman, but he really should have refused to deliver that line. In fact he should have passed on the part entirely because it pretty much pisses on the legacy he helped create during the shows original run. Also this movie should not have been called Batman and Harley Quinn as it’s more about Nightwing and Harley with Batman solely there to play the stick-in-the-mud straight man to those two.
In fact Batman is so bad at his job in this movie it boggles the mind; the World’s Greatest Detective resorts to the aforementioned blackmail to get information he needs to track down the villains but when he eventually does encounter the Floronic Man, a guy made of planet matter and who is an exile from an interdimensional world, he fails to pack anything useful in his utility belt to combat him. Instead in both of his encounters with the Floronic Man it’s mostly Batman trying to punch the super villain in the face. Don't forget this is a man/creature who is mostly plant matter and who has plant controlling powers, not someone you'd assume was particularly vulnerable to a fist to the face. Did he forgot to pack the Bat-Weed-Be-Gone in his utility belt? Batman deserves to get his ass handed to him here. To add insult to injury there is a throw away gag at the end of the movie that reveals how our heroes eventually defeat the Floronic Man that is such an insult to Batman that Bruce Timm should have been sent to the corner for a time-out.