The other day I finally got around to watching Suicide Squad and loved it, especially Harley Quinn, so it was hardly surprising that she got her own spin-off. But how would the shift of focus to Quinn pay off in the follow-up movie, Birds of Prey and the Fantabulous Emancipation of One Harley Quinn?
Beware the woman scorned, or so they say, and that’s definitely the case with Harley Quinn. Having been dumped (emancipated) by the Joker, Birds of Prey begins with Quinn sending a spectacularly fiery reply to him. Trouble is it also lets the world know she is single and no longer under his protection. Cue the myriad of bad guys she’s upset along the way, and some high voltage action sequences.
As she takes care of business Quinn encounters young pickpocket Cassandra Cain (Ella Jay Basco) who’s stolen more than she bargained for in a world-changing diamond. The pair soon realise the benefits of combining to defeat the posies after them both.
Included in the pose is evil crime lord Black Mask (Ewan McGregor) who is frightening good at channelling a sleezy, slightly unhinged, ego-driven nightclub owner. At one point he delivers a powerfully unnerving #MeToo inspired scene. You could feel the audience hold their breaths wondering whether the movie was about to take a very dark turn.
Watching on inside the club is unimpressed Black Mask employee Dinah Lance/Black Canary (Jurnee Smollett-Bell).
Naturally all this action doesn’t go unnoticed by the law, and we have Renee Montoya (Rosie Perez) who is racing to find Harley, until she receives a call from Dinah Lance about the diamond.
Also in the mix is Helena Bertinelli/Huntress (Mary Elizabeth Winstead) the last member of the Bertinelli dynasty left standing after the slaughter of her family, and the rightful owner of the diamond.
What follows is a mashup of action scenarios set to a blistering sound track. The action includes a unique take on the obligatory car chase, and a fairground fight scene reminiscent of the glass room in the latest John Wick movie.
The movie move backwards and forwards quite a lot, which does make it hard to keep up at some points. However, the ending is well worth the clunkiness.
Margot Robbie is a delight as Quinn, and answers the question, what would happen if the Joker was female? It would be interesting to see Robbie’s Harley and Joaquin Phoenix’s Joker together.
Birds of Prey is Spice Girls go to the gym, learn martial arts and seek revenge. I look forward to the next installment.
PS stay for the end of the credits.
For more information go to Event Cinema