Not only has Harley Quinn escaped the shackles of Suicide Squad to go wild in her own romp, she’s also split with the Joker. This isn’t going to go well… or is it?
It’s fair to say that the former Ms Harleen Quinzel (Margot Robbie) isn’t taking the break-up with Mr. J particularly well. She sets about hitting the town – and many of its denizens – before sending Ace Chemicals, the scene of her transition into Harley Quinn, sky high. However, our anti-heroine soon has to accept the fact that now, without the protection of Joker, she’s a marked woman. Basically, she’s pissed a lot of people off in her time.
Chief amongst these is nightclub proprietor Roman Sionis, aka Black Mask (Ewan McGregor), who required a new driver after a dose of Harley enthusiasm rendered his last one somewhat legless. But there’s more to the involvement with Sionis, as Harley takes a young pickpocket Cassandra Cain (Ella Jay Basco) under her wing as she has something that the guy desperately wants, and will do pretty much anything to get.
Add an underappreciated cop in Renee Montoya (Rosie Perez), a skilled wielder of bow and arro- erm, crossbow in Helena Bertinelli (Mary Elizabeth Winstead), and a singer with a killer voice in Dinah Lance/Black Canary (Jurnee Smollett-Bell) who team with Harley and Cassandra and you have the recipe for Birds of Prey – both the movie and the superheroine collective.
We’re busting to say it, BoP is an absolutely wild and super-fun trip. Visually arresting from the production design to the graphics to the achingly hot action sequences, it tears a page or two from 1960s TV Batman then mixes them up with modern sensibilities. Other than McGregor gleefully (and most wonderfully) chewing the scenery at every opportunity though, it doesn’t descend into the same depths of camp.
Without the restraints of the ensemble piece Suicide Squad, Margot Robbie absolutely shines as the ratbag star of the show. Her glee is infectious, yet there’s a heart to her performance that has you totally on her side, no matter what insane trick she next pulls out of her handbag.
Birds of Prey: And the Fantabulous Emancipation of One Harley Quinn can be as silly as its full title at times, and is all the better for it. Combine that with the aforementioned genuinely inventive action scenes, abundant wit, a kick-butt soundtrack and a girl power explosion that would have the Spice Girls grinning from ear to ear and this is easily the most resolutely FUN comic book movie since Deadpool.
In cinemas: February 6, 2020
Starring: Margot Robbie, Mary Elizabeth Winstead, Rosie Perez
Directed by: Cathy Yan