Birds Of Prey And The Fantabulous Emancipation Of One Harley Quinn - This Movie Pretty Much Glitter Rocks
Dir: Cathy Yan
Starring Margot Robbie, Ewan McGregor, Mary Elizabeth Winstead, Rosie Perez, Jumee Smollett-Bell, Ella Jay Basco
Going in, the key thought was “Well, it can’t be as bad a Suicide Squad,” followed by an even more worrisome “Can it?”
The good news about Birds of Prey is – it certainly isn’t. It is instead an entertaining (if not always successful), day-glo and glitter-splattered entry into the DC world, anchored by a terrifically fun and engaging turn by Margot Robbie, reprising her standout performance from that original disaster of a supervillain flick.
Now dumped by BF Joker (a thankfully absent Jared Leto), the psychiatrist turned psycho Harley is now free and single – and in everyone’s sights. In a time-hopping tale, perfectly voice-over-ed by Quinn’s unreliable narrator, we pinball through her recent hours, from bar fights to chemical plant explosions, to her collisions with a group of other trodden down women – Winstead’s crossbow-wielding Huntress, Smollett-Bell’s Black Canary, and Perez’ cop – who always sounds like her dialogue has come straight out of a bad ‘80s cop movie (not just us – everyone says so.) Along the way, all the women have to deal with McGregor’s splendidly excessive nightclub owning bad guy, the Black Mask, and save some young girl (Basco) pickpocket who has inconveniently swallowed the diamond McGuffin.
Yan’s film (produced and overseen by Robbie) aims to be something of a pop art explosion, both visually and in terms of action. An there is plenty of action – if anything too much. There comes a point where you can only handle so many CGI-enhanced fight scenes, even if they are winningly populated with glitter guns, hordes of bizarrely masked adversaries, and psychedelic amusement parks. That said, for all its playfulness, Birds... displays a fair amount of welcome and inventive brutal bone crunching and a distinct fondness for salty language.
It’s clear however that from the beginning (even from the title alone) this is clearly Robbie’s film – the others are just day players – and she grab the opportunity with endearing gusto.
Whilst Suicide Squad was mostly painful to watch, this is simply a good deal of fun. Nothing (outside of Robbie) to get too excited about, but fun nonetheless.
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