Margot Robbie is back once again as Harley Quinn, but unlike Suicide Squad she doesn’t have the likes of Will Smith or Jared Leto’s Joker to back her up. Not that she needs them because Birds of Prey and the Fantabulous Emancipation of One Harley Quinn stands on its own as a violent and vibrant comic book movie.
Why do I think this movie succeeds where Suicide Squad was mostly mediocre at best? Well, this time around, Robbie is surrounded by a lot of support from a dynamic cast, an electric energy, and a wickedly dark sense of humor.
Robbie reintroduces us to her psychotic Harley Quinn and this time, she and the Joker have cut ties, a fact that the screenplay loves to rub in our face. I’m betting Joaquin Phoenix had something to do with that. Just a thought.
Like any good girl, Harley decides to move on like a pro by continuing her life of crime. However that comes as a price because now all of Gotham City wants her head on a platter for her making criminals’ life a living hell.
While she’s narrowly dodging death at every angle, Harley reluctantly takes a young girl (Ella Jay Basco) under her wing after she steals from a gangster. Again, Harley does the right thing by teaching her the tricks of the trade.
Ewan McGregor is Roman Sionis, a.k.a. Black Mask, the flamboyant gangster whom the girl stole from and now he not only wants a piece of her, but Harley as well. McGregor is clearly hamming it up with his performance and nearly all of his scenes work.
Harley has to call in outside help in the form of some female vigilantes (Mary Elizabeth Winstead, Jurnee Smollett Bell) as well as a disgraced Gotham detective (Rosie Perez) in order to take Roman down. These women in action are sort of like a cross between Charlie’s Angels and Kill Bill.
Birds of Prey doesn’t really offer anything new to the comic book genre, but what it lacks in originality, it makes up for in spirit and energy. Robbie is also clearly having fun with the script, penned by Christina Hodson and director Cathy Yan is much more interested in making these women about more than eye candy and giving these characters a sense of girl power.
The action scenes are explosive and exciting to watch as Harley and her motley crew zip through Gotham like supermodels on steriods.
R-rated comic book movies are proving to be a force to be reckoned with and after Deadpool, Logan, and Joker, Birds of Prey may be one of the most audacious so far.
It has action, humor, colorful characters, and it’s under the helm of filmmakers who want to see the material, well, fly straight.
(Rated R for strong violence and language throughout, and some sexual and drug material.)