In yet another movie where the team forms out of circumstance, we have female-powered and action-driven "Birds of Prey: And the Fantabulous Emancipation of One Harley Quinn," directed by Cathy Yan and starring Margot Robbie in another magnificent portrayal of the titular character.
While we may not know what became of the rest of the Suicide Squad, as they were last seen in David Ayer's 2016 version of the film, we do know that in this new film Harley Quinn is out and living her life to the fullest. She is all about her new life, her new apartment, her heartbreak with Joker, her new friends in roller derby, a new pet hyena named Bruce, her heartbreak over Joker, the fabulous voices in her head which are nothing new, and did I mention her heartbreak over Joker?
Yes, this film opens up on the relationship status of Harley and her former lover, the Clown Prince of Crime and Harlequin of Hate, the Joker. The two are separated and Harley has a new adventure on her plate involving an inscribed diamond, the hunt for the girl who snatched it, and plenty of threats from people who are after the madwoman.
The film's action is a force to be reckoned with. Harley uses whatever she can find to bring down her enemies and if there's no blunt object around, which in anyone's case is a good thing, she's not blind to strategy and can outwit her way into getting what she needs. Oh, and you never want to see Harley with a bat (but don't worry, you will in this movie!) There are plenty of sequences to entice any action fan, though all but one felt necessary because of what I consider to be an ineffective slow-motion sequence against random thugs.
Harley is joined by badass heroines in this film through additions of Black Canary, Huntress, and Renee Montoya, portrayed by Jurnee Smollett-Bell, Mary Elizabeth Winstead, and Rosie Perez respectively. The hard-hitting punches from Montoya land almost as deep as her words and I'm excited to see her added to the series.
Black Canary is a common enemy of mine in DC Comics fighting game "Injustice," but still earned my respect in hearing her killer voice. Huntress was the final member spotlighted in "Birds of Prey" but had more stakes in the story, not to mention an awesome character weapon. If you ever get a chance at owning a crossbow, get one (legally) and sip wine (legally) as the royal bowman you have just become!
The story flows with narration from Harley recounting this story. It succeeds at painting the wildly fun and exciting adventure we're on with her, even taking a moment to adore breakfast sandwiches, change on the street, and facts or commentary on characters we've just met.
It's in the nature of superhero comics to sometimes place its heroes in front of some ridiculous instances or villains, yet in movies creators rarely take that approach as it may come across cheesy.
Here, the voice of Harley bridges those areas and the effort benefited the experience. She breaks continuity from time to time to introduce characters that may or may not get old depending on the type of viewer.
Additional characters included Ewan McGregor as Roman Sionis (villain alias Black Mask) and Chris Messina as Victor Zsasz, with Ella Jay Basco playing Cassandra Cain. The primary villain Roman, along with seemingly co-pilot Victor are almost menacing but don't have more than two scenes that would showcase their villainy.
Victor is more so because of his practice of physically, and bloodily, marking his body after he takes a life, while Roman teeters on hilariously insane to OK this must be the main bad guy. As Cassandra, Basco is greatly suited for the way in over her head role as a pickpocket who stole from the wrong pair of pants.
As she is thrown into this chase it's a pleasure when she and Harley have moments for conversation.
Like a bat to the face, the next Harley Quinn movie is here and it's packing a strong fist with its entertainment value. I can't wait to see it again and I hope you do too!
Afterward, if you have thoughts on the film or thoughts about why you decided not to see it, connect with me on Twitter @JSYKnowa and let's talk!
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