I really dug “Birds of Prey (And the Fantabulous Emancipation of One Harley Quinn)” because it is unlike any movie I’ve seen before. There are the conventional-minded and flashy action scenes that accompany most superhero characters, but this is a violent, R-rated, naughty-joke, potty-mouthed comic book tour de force made for women over 25. It’s a boisterous good time for feminists and girl nerds everywhere.
The film is told from the twisted and deliciously sarcastic point of view of Harley Quinn (Margot Robbie), ex-girlfriend of the Joker. When the evil Roman Sionis (Ewan McGregor) puts out a hit on a young petty thief (Ella Jay Basco), the most nefarious villains turn Gotham City upside down looking for her. When Harley crosses paths with Huntress (Mary Elizabeth Winstead), Black Canary (Jurnee Smollett-Bell), and cop Renee Montoya (Rosie Perez), the women learn they have no choice but to team up in order to take Sionis down once and for all.
The heartbeat of the film lies in Robbie’s iconic character interpretation of Harley Quinn. She is terrific in making her naughty character with a mean streak easy to love. Harley isn’t exactly a woman you want to emulate, but it sure would be fun to hang out and be friends with her.
All of the supporting performances here really are first-rate too. McGregor chews scenery with audacious glee, and his villain is truly terrifying. With the addition of a diverse, kick-ass female supporting cast playing equally bad-ass superheros, the film takes a multicultural feminist slant that thankfully doesn’t seem forced by committee.
“Birds of Prey” is the type of scrappy mayhem that gives a sparkle of excitement to the mostly bland and boring DCEU. It’s colorful and chaotic, reckless and energetic, and I am surprised that I enjoyed this movie as much as I did. This is a really, really fun spectacle that could bring new fans to the genre.