Movie Review by Cindy Summers
Birds of Prey (And the Fantabulous Emancipation of One Harley Quinn)
In “Birds of Prey (And the Fantabulous Emancipation of One Harley Quinn)” Harley Quinn is targeted by sadistic nightclub owner Roman Sionis and teams up with the Huntress, Black Canary and Det. Renee Montoya to protect young pickpocket Cass and take down Sionis. Released by Warner Bros. Pictures, Directed Cathy Yan, Written by Christina Hodson and Starring Margot Robbie as Harley Quinn.
Having just broken up with the Joker, Harley Quinn (Margot Robbie) finds her independence but also finds herself targeted by everyone who she wronged, sadistic nightclub owner Roman Sionis/Black Mask (Ewan McGregor) being at the top of the list. Sionis eventually captures Harley, who negotiates her release by promising to find a stolen diamond young pickpocket Cassandra “Cass” Cain (Ella Jay Basco) took from Zsasz, Sionis’ face-carving right-hand-man. Unfortunately, Cass had just been picked up by police and was in jail, so Harley grabbed a sling full of glitter and color filled bean bags for her shotgun, and broke Cass out of jail using her ninja-like fighting skills.
Cass decided the safest place to keep the diamond was to swallow it, which created quite a predicament for Harley, who decided the best option was to get some laxative and duct tape Cass to a toilet. To make things more challenging, Sionis put a $500,000 bounty out on Cass, which had Harley fighting every bad guy in the city to protect Cass, though she eventually reverted back to her bad self and made a deal with Sionis to hand over Cass.
Dinah Lance/Black Canary (Jurnee Smollett-Bell), who originally worked in Sionis’ club as a singer but was basically forced to become his driver, warned Detective Renee Montoya (Rose Perez) that Harley planned to turn Cass over to Sionis at an abandon amusement park. Montoya headed to the park to rescue Cass, joined by the Huntress looking to recover her family’s diamond. Sionis hired an army of thugs who gathered at the park and seemed the odds were against them, but together Harley, the Huntress, Black Canary and Det. Montoya battled the bad guys, little Cass being the one to kill Sionis with a surprise grenade.
Following all that excitement, Montoya decided to leave the police force and join the Huntress and Black Canary as vigilantes known as the “Birds of Prey” while Harley pursued her own private eye business with Cass as her sidekick.
Harley’s charm and wit keeps viewers rooting for her every step of the way, displaying incredible fighting skills with stunts that seem almost superhuman while using very creative and often explosive methods to overcome endless obstacles in this fast paced, action packed film. Margot Robbie, who was a also producer, colorfully embodies the spirit of Harley Quinn while also having a deliberate focus on a message of freeing women from male oppression, whether it be Harley living the Joker’s life, Det. Renee Montoya constantly being undermined by male coworkers taking credit for her work, the Black Canary being dominated by her sadistic employer Sionis, or the Huntress’ family being senselessly murdered by a ruthless mob boss, all had a back story involving evolving in the movie to a “no more” mentality.
R (for strong violence and language throughout, and some sexual and drug material)