Starring: Margot Robbie, Rosie Perez, Mary Elizabeth Winstead
Written by Christina Hodson, Directed by Cathy Yan
I love a good story and going to the movies allows me to hear and see a lot of them. Sometimes though I don’t want to be moved emotionally or be captivated by grand images on the screen, instead sometimes I just want to turn my brain down and be simply entertained. There is a “fast” moving franchise that is currently on its 9th entry that has started to do that for me, where reality has been thrown out the window and we are left with just plain fun. With comic book movies I have come to expect darkness or some epic storyline, but we have yet to get that chaotic fever-dream of one yet, but that is about to change.
Everyone has been through a heartbreak and how we each take it is as different as the colors of the rainbow. Harley Quinn (Margot Robbie) has split from Mr. J. and she is acting pretty normal, that is of course if normal equals crazy. While she is on the outs for good with Joker, she decides to tell the world about their breakup which leads to her no longer being protected by the Clown Prince of Crime. Once that news is out, everyone else is out as well, out to get Harley. So when an up and coming baddie named Roman Sionis (Ewan McGregor) looks to have her beat, instead a deal is made that saves her life. All Harley has to do is retrieve a teenage girl who has taken a diamond that Roman wants. Along the way she must avoid a cop named Renee Montoya (Rosie Perez) who is hot on her trail and a mysterious assassin with a cross-bow (Mary Elizabeth Winstead), who seems to have an agenda. Throw in a singer at Roman’s club named Black Canary (Jurnee Smollett-Bell) into the mix and you have a whole lot of bad-ass women to deal with, something Gotham City is not quite ready for.
Not really being a fan of the last movie to feature Harley Quinn (though she was the best part of Suicide Squad) I didn’t really know how I was going to feel after I got to see Birds of Prey aka: Birds of Prey: And The Fantabulous Emancipation of One Harley Quinn. Something tells me that they should have kept that crazy description, because this film turns out to be just as wild a ride as the former title promises. Writer Christina Hodson who recently proved you can make a good Transformers movie with Bumblebee shows this time you can let your hair down and go bat-shit in the comic book movie world. Add her violent symphony of a story to the wonderful direction of Cathy Yan and you have a movie that just hits what it aims for and everything else around it on so many levels. Robbie proves she was meant to play this part, but it was McGregor letting his crazy flag fly high that surpised me the most. It wasn’t just those two though, this cast is just simply great and you add the perfect needle drops and you got movie bliss.
This is just another recent example of DC Entertainment finally letting character dictate story. They are now getting closer to competing with Marvel Studios by keeping these comic book characters separate and instead telling interesting stories catered to the sensibilities of these silly sounding names and goofy costumed heroes and villains. They are giving us entertaining cinema. This was just what I needed to shake off the January dumps, so kick off your shoes and let Harley Quinn show you how to get through a breakup.