Ready Player One: Can A Girl Get Some Respect?

I've been dwelling on my view of Ready Player One since I saw it in theaters. I cried when I left the theater, impassioned by my own memories and nostalgia. I felt cause to celebrate the gaming community aspects of the film because, as a lifelong gamer, I completely connected with the intention of the heartfelt relationships the characters built in their virtual world. Witnessing the bond and friendships between the gamers that have never met hit me right in the feels.

To Spielberg’s credit, the movie was action packed, entertaining as hell and full of stunning digital creations and effects. But the effects of the source material could not be undone, and the female character problem remains unresolved. Ready Player One, based on the 2011 Ernest Cline novel of the same name, at surface level is a love letter to pop culture and gaming centered around a boy named Wade Watts. But upon closer inspection, it reveals itself to have female characters that are instruments of the protagonist at worst or shallow at best. 

Source: Warner Bros via Wikia

Source: Warner Bros via Wikia

5.  F'Nale Zandor is one of the antagonists in the film. F’nale works for IOI and seems to be in charge of doing the dirty work for her boss, Nolan Sorrento. She exists solely for him to achieve power and complete control over the Oasis. Nolan has her do the dirty work because he's trash. She willingly agrees and actually hunts Wade and his friends in the real world. Chaotic evil? Yes. But even bad girls deserve to be treated with respect! 

4. Wade Watt’s Aunt Alice is blown up for the sake of character development. Like comic book superheroes, Wade’s parents are dead, so his aunt takes him in. Alice seems to have a very trope-y history of dating abusive men. In the film she is in a relationship with a man who abuses her and Wade. In an attempt to destroy Wade Nolan Sorrento blows up the stacks where his Aunt lives. POOF! BOOM! BANG! RIP Wades Aunt; you deserved better.

Source: Warner Bros via Insider

Source: Warner Bros via Insider

3. Aech is Parzivel’s best friend in the Oasis. In the Oasis, her character is male and she often reminds Parzivel that you can’t trust people in the Oasis. People hide their real identities for a multitude of reasons. She ends up saving Wade time and time again in both artificial and actual reality. Aech is clearly the wiser, more skeptical of the two, a capable engineer, mechanic and warrior. She possesses  a self-awareness that Wade does not. So much more could have been done with this character, but instead she was used as just another rung on the ladder to Wade’s goal of being the savior of the Oasis. The fact that the story also “hid” her identity from us robbed us of an opportunity to actually get to know her.

Photo: Jaap Buitendijk/Warner Bros via Vulture

2. Artemis is a famous egg hunter (Gunter) in the Oasis. She’s smart, she's quick and she’s powerful. She seems to be doing fine on her own until the story begins, at which point she becomes completely dependent on Wade’s help every step of the way. The film even seems to go out of its way to show her get a clue completely wrong, which leads to a risky fight and chase. Wade becomes obsessed with her in a MPDG-crush fantasy world way, still treating the Egg hunt like a game. By the end of the movie she’s revealed herself entirely to Wade in a pretty bland “I have typical motivations” type way and let’s Wade do the heavy lifting.

1. Kira - the “key to it all.” James Halliday the Oasis creator had a one true love, her name was Kira. We find out that Kira is the trophy, she is the unifying key to hunting down the hidden easter eggs and winning the Oasis. James was always in love with Kira and because of his extreme anxiety, insecurities and light incel (involuntary celibate) nature he failed to kiss her when he had the chance. Since he failed at love, it’s only... obvious…? that he would make her the center of his Easter Egg hunt. Ya know, a puzzle for everyone else to overcome, belitted to a kiss not taken. We don't know anything about her aside from a few men’s perspectives. Maybe if he chose to shoot his shot the Oasis wouldn't exist? If he had would this movie still exist??

There is already so much in nerd and geek culture that excludes the female perspective. Ready Player One is a beautiful spectacle of nostalgia that, unfortunately, refuses to include women in that narrative as anything more than pawns.

Have you seen Ready Player One? Tell us what you think in the comments.
 

The Oceans 8 Trailer is Finally Here

And it looks damn good.

Ocean's 8, part of the Ocean's movie series stars Sandra Bullock, Cate Blanchett, Rihanna, Mindy Kaling, Awkwafina, Sarah Paulson, Helen Bonham Carter, and Anne Hathaway. The star-studded, woman-led cast are following in "impossible heist" footsteps of its predecessors, Ocean's 11, 12 and 13

High end robbery seems to be in the Ocean bloodline. Debbie Ocean, Danny Ocean's sister in crime wants to pull of the most outrageous and impossible heist, robbing the Met Gala of $132 million worth of goodies. That's $16.5 million for each of Debbie Ocean's 8. cha-ching! 

Ocean's 8, part of the Ocean's movie series stars Sandra Bullock, Cate Blanchett, Rihanna, Mindy Kaling, Awkwafina, Sarah Paulson, Helen Bonham Carter, and Anne Hathaway. The star-studded, woman-led cast are following in "impossible heist" footsteps of its predecessors, Ocean's 11, 12 and 13

Queen of The Lab: Disney’s Newest Princess is a Black Teen Genius

Source: Marvel via The Source Drum

Source: Marvel via The Source Drum

On February 16, 2018 Marvel Studios, now owned by Disney Studios, introduced viewers to the world of Wakanda. Black Panther is the first Marvel Cinematic Universe movie that was directed by an African American male, Ryan Coogler, and also feature a majority Black cast. The movie features an amazing cast of strong black men and women, one of whom stole the show every time she appeared on screen. Princess Shuri is the younger sister of the films protagonist T’Challa, the alter ego of the hero Black Panther.

When we're first introduced to Shuri in the film, she comes across as the cute little sister meant to be the comic relief with her bubbly personality and the fact that she isn’t afraid to pick on her Kingly older brother. Shuri could have easily faded into the background as a secondary character until it was revealed that she is the brains behind the throne, having created all the technological advancements for the country of Wakanda. Her accolades include building all of her brothers suits, weapons and designing a safer system for harvesting vibranium, Wakanda’s most precious resource and one of the sources of conflict for the film. In a film full of #BlackGirlMagic, Shuri quickly becomes a favorite character.

As the movie progresses she takes a pivotal role in many of her brother’s conflicts without ever having to leave her lab. Princess Shuri designed a system that allows her to control varying modes of transportation, including a car and several different planes. While maintaining the different technologies that have been left in her hands, Shuri also found the time to develop a badass set of panther shaped hand cannons for herself.

Source: Marvel Studios via Popsugar

Source: Marvel Studios via Popsugar

Disney’s most recent princesses have been straying away from what we could describe as “ the traditional princess mold” into diverse and incredibly talented women. Shuri picked up that torch and ran with it, becoming a standout character that made us fall in love with black women in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math). Young girls of all ages were able to see a Princess that used science and technology to help save her country.  Hopefully seeing Shuri will encourage young women, especially black women to show an interest in STEM. In the last few years programs have been introduced across the country to encourage more young women to pursue careers in STEM.

Black Girls Code is one such program. Founded in April of 2011, the program's focus is to provide young women in underserved areas with the opportunity to experience introductory computer programming classes. They offer different events across the country, allowing girls as young as eight to learn a new skill. For more information about the program visit Bblackgirlscode.com.

Deadpool 2 Trailer is Finally Here...with the X-Force

My body is ready. Is yours?

With the the Deadpool 2 trailer release on March 22, we can see that the second Deadpool will live up to the hype and will not fall into the dreaded "great film, sucky sequel" box. In the trailer, we see a few familiar superhero faces and a few new superhero faces.

Heroes of Deadpool 2

Domino: Domino has a varied history within the Marvel Comics Universe. She is the result of a top-secret government program that sought to create the perfect weapon through breeding. Her abilities include a telekinetic ability to create a "probability force field", granting her incredibly good luck and, her opponents, really bad luck, obviously. She's also an outstanding marksman. She's being played by Zazzie Beats (Atlanta, Easy). 

Negasonic Teenage Warhead: While a trainee in the first Deadpool, in the sequel, she's stepped up her game and has moved up to next level X-Men. NTW is a telepathic pupil of Emma Frost who can emit and detonate atomic bursts from her body and has the "coolest name ever". Brianna Hildebrand will be reprising her role as the punk teen.

Bedlam: A mutant with a troubled childhood who was eventually taken in by Professor Charles Xavier.  He has the ability to sense the electromagnetic energy of objects and can manipulate that energy. He can also generate electromagnetic pulses. Bedlam will be played by Terry Crews.

Mystery Mutant: In the trailer, we see Shiori Kutsuna wielding an electrified lasso, which some have speculated to be in line with her being Surge. However, her electric purple hair and costume resemble more of a Psylocke feel. While Psylocke used an electrified katana in X-Men: Sword of the Braddocks. It is quite possible that Kutsuna could be playing Psylocke if the lasso she's wielding was somehow electrified by Bedlam, which would likely make for a really, badass scene. Anything is possible.

Of course, you can't have heroes and no villains. Josh Brolin will be playing Cable. Cable seems to be searching for a mutant kid who could possibly cause massive destruction. The kid seems to have some sort of ability that revolves around fire. Of course that means the kid has to die. Well, not on Deadpool's and X-Force's watch! 

What we do know from the trailer is that Deadpool 2 is going to be beyond dope. Comment below who you think Shuori Kutsuna is playing in the film! And as soon as we have confirmation, we'll let you know! As always, don't forget to comment, like and share!

Amy Poehler to Direct Netflix Original Movie

Are you ready to finally get a Poehler-directed film?

Parks & Recreation star and Saturday Night Live Alum is slated to star in and direct a Netflix original movie titled Wine Country featuring former SNL cast members Tina Fey, Maya Rudolph, Rachel Dratch, Paula Pell and Ana Gasteyer. This will be Amy Poehler’s feature film directorial debut. Poehler previously directed episodes of Broad City and executive produced  three episodes of Parks and Rec.

The screenplay, co-written by costar Emily Spivey (writer for SNL for ten years) and  Liz Cackowski centers around a group of friends on a weekend adventure in Napa Valley to celebrate a 50th birthday.

Five Times Padme Amidala SLAYED in Star Wars

From princess of Theeb to queen of Naboo, Padme Amidala slayed intergalactic fashion in the Star Wars franchise.

We can all agree at this point that Padme Amidala didn’t get the justice she deserved. Natalie Portman patiently portrayed our lovely queen and the prequels squandered what she could have been. Paired with terrible writing and tired tropes, Portman and, therefore, Padme, did only the best she could with what she had, still capturing our hearts and imaginations.

This weekend Twitter was abuzz with reflections on the killer fashion that the prequels gave us. And no doubt, Queen Amidala gave us some of the most stunning costume designs in Episodes I-III. Here are some of the best fashion moments by our beloved Queen Amidala.

5. The Senate Address - Attack of the Clones

This gown exudes power. The deep royal blue, and stunning golds are royal af. Full of  Elizabethan vibes, from the head piece to the golden details on this dress. This is definitely an outfit of a queen. Tied together with an ornate necklace, consider this look SLAYED!

4. Handmaiden in Disguise - The Phantom Menace

In Episode One, our queen was in danger of being assassinated, not only by terrible writing but also by the lousiest assassin in the galaxy. Toxic masculinity for the win. While Amidala’s character was shortchanged at the expense of a Sith Lord, she disguised herself as a handmaiden. Even as a handmaiden, her regalness shone through. She was flawless through and through and she absolutely killed her casual look. Tatooine wasn't ready for her!

3. HER OWN Funeral - Revenge of the Sith

Padme died of a broken heart, which is ridiculous. So let's just check this one off our list because even in death our Queen was fierce! While clutching the japor snippet necklace that  Anakin made for her when he was a child, Padme was laid to rest as silvery-white flowers adorned her hair and wearing a long royal blue gown. WE DID NOT DESERVE YOU!

2. Dinner With Anakin - Attack of the Clones

This dress is everything! Padme gave us a Raven “Nevermore” vibe from top to bottom: feather-detailed shrug which can be removed to expose her shoulders, fingerless evening gloves--the form fitting style is just perfection! With her hair tied back and a silver headpiece she is absolutely stunning. No wonder Anakin risked it all to save her.

1. Meadow Picnic - Attack of the Clones

This outfit is often overlooked and forgotten about. The detail is amazing, from the floral bits on her corset, to the ribbon in her hair, both perhaps in dark foreshadow of her funeral garb. Her hair buns, a light foreshadow of Leia, her future daughter. The scene’s colors warm her complexion and give her a natural, healthy glow.

The wardrobe production for Natalie Portman in the prequels was killin' it. What were your favorite Queen Amidala looks? Join the conversation and add your favorite looks below!

Will Jac Schaeffer Do Marvel's "Black Widow" Justice?

If TiMER is any indication of Jac Schneider's abilities, then Black Widow is in serious trouble.

If Wonder Woman's success is any indication, the world is ready for more women-led superhero films. WW broke records and barriers, becoming the first successful, woman-led superhero film. WW is something we've been asking for for years but film industry execs didn't think that a woman-led superhero film could bring in the big bucks. Boy were they wrong! Now, that Hollywood has gotten the message, Black Widow has gotten the green light. But there's cause for worry.

Jac Schaeffer is rumored to have been selected to pen Black Widow's solo film debut. But who the heck is Jac Schaeffer? What has she done? Why is she the right woman for the job?

Schaeffer made her screenwriting debut in 2009 film TiMER, an unconventional romantic comedy about timer implants being able to predict and countdown to the day the wearer will meet their soulmate, provided their soulmate also has the timer implant. The humor was a bit dry. I struggled to sit through the entire film, but I had to. I was hoping against all hope that the film would turn into something magical. It didn't. Granted, the film wasn't horrible. It was just not very memorable, exciting or funny-not entertaining.

Schaeffer also wrote The Shower, a Black List script (film and television scripts that were not selected for production, so a group of professionals offer to do readings of the script). The Shower is about a baby shower that is abruptly interrupted by a meteor shower that turns all of the men into blood-thirsty zombies. It's not a film premise I'd get excited about. It sounds like a film I'd maybe check out if it were on network television and I couldn't find anything to watch. The celebrities who read for The Shower raved about its unexpected and fresh writing. Maybe that says something. But the humor was just flat or nonexistent. Not even the talented Anne Hathaway reading could spruce it up. Schaeffer also wrote Frozen's Olaf's Adventures. Kids like Frozen, so there's that.

This isn't looking all that great for Black Widow and she deserves better. Now is not the time to take a gamble on one of the most anticipated female superhero characters--someone fans been dying to see in a solo film since her first film appearance in Iron Man 2. What about about Ryan Coogler? Everything he's written has been beyond beautiful, especially Black Panther. How about Nicole Perlman who wrote Guardians of the Galaxy? Or Jane Goldman who wrote Kick-Ass and Kingsman: The Secret Service

#Girlboss 8 Woman-led Films To Motivate You to Kick Ass

When I'm feeling down and need motivation, watching action films starring women who kick was always boosts my mood. There's just something empowering and motivating seeing other women in control and, honestly, beating the shit out of people. It's illegal for me take a samurai sword and chop someone's head off or unload a full clip into someone who broke my heart. So why not cheer on women who can? Films with intelligent, strong, badass women saving the day, exacting revenge or executing a damn near flawless heist, inspire me to get off my ass, take control and make something happen.

Kill Bill Vol. 1 and Kill Bill Vol. 2

 
 

Kill Bill was an instant cult classic. That seems to happen to a lot of Quentin Tarantino's films. Tarantino said he wrote this film specifically for Uma Thurman after working together on Pulp Fiction. Kill Bill is a duo of hack 'em, slash 'em revenge films that gets women in action all the way right. Not to mention, the perfect soundtrack to accompany each fight scene.

The Long Kiss Goodnight

 
 
 
skillz.com
 

The Long Kiss Goodnight is in my top 10 favorite movies of all time. ALL TIME. Geena Davis plays a woman who has had amnesia several years. She's a wife, mother, school teacher and pillar of her community. She's also a former covert operative. Remember the rapper Charlie Baltimore? She took her rap alias from the insanely badass Charlene "Charlie" Baltimore of this film. 

Point of No return

 
 

Point of No Return is an American remake of La Femme Nikita (honorable mention). Maggie (Bridget Fonda) was a junkie accused of murdering a cop and forced to train to become an assassin. Sadly, too many people haven't seen this film, so I won't give away spoilers. I'll just say, watch it. Bridget Fonda comes from the legendary Fonda acting family (her father is Henry Fonda and her aunt is Jane Fonda). I'm sure the pressure was on, but she looked as if she didn't even break a sweat! After seeing this film, I was hoping to see her in more action roles because she was good!  

Underworld series

 
 

Vampires, werewolves and a badass vampire heroine killing them all. Do you need more convincing? 

The Resident Evil Series

 
 

Zombie killing. Based on the popular game series, Resident Evil is nonstop action. Milla Jovovich does her own stunts. Oh, and killing zombies. Did I mention zombies?

 
vudu.com
 

Columbiana

 
 

Zoe Saldana is probably the queen of action films. Her background in ballet allows her fight scenes to look so fluid, real. Have you ever watched a fight scene as just thought "This looks horrible"? Never have I said that about a Zoe Saldana fight. And with Columbiana, she's the best. Saldana always opts to do her own stunts. My only problem with Columbiana is that there could have been more character development. 

Buffy the Vampire Slayer

 
 

The writing is extremely cheesy, but fun. That's what makes Buffy delightful. Sometimes you don't know what you can do until you have to do something, right? Granted, the television show that came from it wasn't as cheesy, but the campiness is what made Buffy "Buffy". Hooray for feel-good vampire killing!

Jackie Brown

 
 

When you've had enough, then you've had e-damn-nuff! Written specifically for the legendary Pam Grier, Jackie Brown is about an older woman whose tired of being caught up in other people's mess and she's ready to get out. This isn't the typical action film, but it's motivating nonetheless. Jackie is older and tired of the bull. One last score is all she needs. 

Tank Girl

 
 

She's eccentric, hilarious, loyal and dangerous. The film Tank Girl was based on the British comic debuting in the first issue of Deadline Magazine in 1988. It gives us a futuristic look at what can happen when corporations control the most basic of needs--water.

Which films do you turn to for a pick-me-up? We want to hear from you.

"Black Lightning" Got Me Hype **SPOILERS**

Black Lightning is more than just a show about a Black superhero.

When I saw the first trailer for Black Lightning, I was excited. Admittedly, I had a crush on Cress Williams ever since he played Scooter on Living Single (yeah, I'm showing my age). Not only does Cress do an amazing job as the title hero, Black Lightning aka Principal Jefferson Pierce, but Salim Akil's writing is on point and the entire cast epitomizes awesome.

Jefferson Pierce is part John Shaft, part, part Joe Clark and part Sgt. Murtaugh. He's suave, intelligent, and gives a damn about his community, looking after former and current students alike, but he's definitely "getting too old for this shit." Sensing a theme?

That's right. The metahuman superhero is older and wiser than his fellow DC heroes. He has a family. There's none of the usual "I'm a hero and therefore, must be alone to keep everyone I care about safe" going on here. He has kids. He has an ex-wife who he gave up Black Lightning for years ago. But now that Black Lightning is back, he's confronting a villain that is very familiar.

Tobias Whale, played by rapper/actor Marvin Jones III aka Krondon is Black Lightning's arch-nemesis. They've been enemies ever since Pierce was a teacher who stood up to him. Whale is a former politician who rose through the ranks of the criminal underground and took over. 

One of Whale's lieutenants, Lala was a student of Pierce's back in the day. Lala now leads The 100 Gang. Lala's young cousin, Will, meets Pierce's youngest daughter while at a club. Will, also a villain, has some business to square away with Lala, but that all goes sour and Black Lightning has to reemerge to rescue his daughter. When Whale finds out that Black Lightning has resurfaced, his obsession with the hero who almost stopped his business resurfaces. It's not just about business; it's definitely personal. Krondon's performance is scary good--reminiscent of the ruthless gangsters of the 70s, 80s and 90s.

And rightly so. Black Lightning was created in 1977 during the Blaxploitation film era that burst onto the scene when drugs were being pumped into Black communities and gangs began to sprout up like weeds being fed plant food. Black communities needed heroes like Shaft, Luke Cage (first comic appearance in 1972) and Black Lightning. Black Lightning, being the family man that he is, instilled his passion for helping onto his daughters Anissa and Jennifer. In the comics, they are also metahumans who go by Thunder (Anissa) and Lightning (Jennifer). The show is only two episodes into the season, but so far, Anissa has only just discovered that she has abilities. Jennifer hasn't. 

Source: Twitter

Source: Twitter

One recurring request from comics fans is that they get to see Static appear in the show. Creator Tony Isabella doesn't want Black Lightning and Static to be in the same show. And for very good reason. Both Black Lightning and Static are powerful heroes. Having them both on the same show would either relegate Static to a type of sidekick or Have Black Lightning taking on a mentor-type of role.

BUT Static Shock will be coming to life. That's right. Dabier, who plays Will in Black Lightning will be playing Static Shock in a standalone show in 2019.

Does this mean that Static Shock will have gotten his superpowers from Black Lightning and not a chemical accident like in the comics? Will there be a funeral for Will where we learn that his name is full name is Virgil Ovid "Will" Hawkins? I mean, what teenage boy wants to walk around being called Virgil? Virgil doesn't exactly say "gangsta" or "thug life." Who knows!

I only know I'm excited for this show and can't wait to see more from DCU and Warner Bros. There's something almost nostalgic and feel-good about Black Lightning. We're rooting for the family man, the principal and the hero. We're rooting for the family to kick ass together. 

Black Lightning airs Tuesdays at 9 p.m. on the CW. Check your local listings for time zones.

Suicide Squad, BDSM and Removing the Abusive Component of J+H

To cheer myself up after a horrible day, I decided to re-watch Suicide Squad. 

Disclaimer: This piece is not condoning abusive relationships. Nor does this piece deny the manipulative aspects of the the Harley and Joker relationship. This piece merely points out the BDSM elements that were added to the Suicide Squad film's Harley and Joker relationship.

It's entertainment--not the best movie, but entertaining nonetheless. It's one of those movies that you can watch over and over, every time it comes on. We can debate about the sloppiness of the script and whether or not you like the actor choices for the characters another time. This insomnia-driven article is about the removal of one of the main variables of the Joker-Harley Quinn romance--the abuse.

Harley_25_02.png

Since Harley Quinn was introduced to Batman: The Animated Series, Harley Quinn and Joker's abusive relationship has been unavoidable. And while liking the characters individually, I've always detested their relationship. The comics depict Harley as a bit of a stalker where Joker berates and abuses her for his amusement, places blame on her or just beats her due to sheer annoyance. Hell, in one episode, Harley actually caught Batman for Joker and he beat her because she basically stole his thunder. I was so glad when she left Joker.

One of the things many die hard Harley-Joker fans do is romanticize the abusive relationship as this beautifully imperfect--twisted relationship based on abuse and there was nothing beautiful about it. I've heard so many Harley fans say, "They're just two twisted people who love each other. They get each other." And all I can ever do is roll my eyes at their ridiculousness. And those same people don't like the Suicide Squad version of the Harley-Joker relationship because "it isn't true to the comics because Joker looks like a 'lovesick puppy." That was the most widely used reference I heard "lovesick puppy". 

tumblr_o22mfn8TXe1ub4z3qo1_r3_540.jpg

In the Suicide Squad version, their relationship is depicted more as a Dom/sub relationship and is, thus, actually quite beautiful. Harleen Quinzel is a collared baby girl--Daddy's Lil' Monster--Daddy being Joker. She lives to please him and in this version, Joker lives to protect Harley. He shot a man  in the head for calling her a bitch! Yeah, yeah, yeah, he's Joker--he doesn't need an excuse to shoot anyone in the head, but still. Work with me, here. 

In BDSM the Dominant/submissive power exchange is about trust. The submissive freely surrenders power to her/his Dominant. The general consensus is that the submissive, while surrendering her/his Dominant, is still the one in control because that power was given freely and can be taken away by leaving the relationship or setting boundaries not to be crossed. In the film, Joker tells Harley, "Submission is power."

harley-quinn-vat.gif

In that scene, while most movie goers probably thought he was being his manipulative Joker-self, he seemed to be asking Harley to be his submissive. 

Joker: Would you die for me?
Quinn: Yes
Joker: That's too easy. Would you live for me?
Quinn: Yes
Joker: Careful. Do not say this oath thoughtlessly. Desire becomes surrender. Surrender becomes power. You want this?
Quinn: I do.

In the SS, through flashbacks, they show Joker's sadism and Harley as a willing, masochist participant. Their power dynamic, in the film is pretty decent in that they worship each other And while the introduction of this type of dynamic pissed off a LOT of die hard fans as not being true to the comics and their actual, abusive relationship, I, for one, was very grateful that David Ayer gave us a newer, better version of the Joker-Harley relationship. I'd rather see Harley be wanted, protected and needed as a sub as opposed being a punching bag and punchline for comic fodder. Harley Quinn is such a complex character who deserved so much more than being a sidekick who suffers abuse from a douchy boyfriend.

Intentional or not, this is, of course, how it appeared in the film.