“Harley Quinn: Birds of Prey” delights with manic chaotic energy and the role Margot Robbie’s career.
Based upon characters from DC Comics, the film brings anti-heroes to the forefront in the wacky side of Gotham City.
Harley Quinn (Robbie) is recovering from a break-up with her ex-boyfriend, The Joker, and ready to make a name for herself. Quinn goes in search of Ronan Sionis/Black Mask’s (Ewan McGregor) beloved diamond that is in the hands of a pickpocket.
However, Quinn is not the only one as a tough cop, Sionis’ singer and a crossbow-wielding assassin are in search of the diamond as well.
Director Cathy Yan brings a vibrancy and fantastic visual eye when it comes to the feel of the world and action set pieces.
Robbie is perfect as Quinn, evoking a demented heartbroken character with a heart of gold and penchant for killing.Sergio Berrueta
Two standouts involve a slow-motion laden jail cell fight and a madcap neon battle in a funhouse that is the true centerpiece of the film.
Cinematographer Matthew Libatique combines his efforts with Yan’s eye to create a candy-coated grit to the world of Gotham.
There is an impressive use of lighting and angles that allow the film to become a comic brought to life in front of the audience’s eyes.
Robbie is perfect as Quinn, evoking a demented heartbroken character with a heart of gold and penchant for killing.
McGregor also comes out of the gate in a villainous role smooth transitions from over the top ham moments to absolute menace. Jurnee Smollet-Bell also has a fantastic take on the comic character Black Canary.
However, the tone of the film does feel scatterbrain.
It wants to be a campy cartoon that comes to life, but also retain its gritty violence established in 2017’s “Suicide Squad”.
It wants to have its cake and eat it too which may be a detriment to some who want a film more grounded in reality.
Cassandra Cain, played by Ellen Jay Basco, also feels more like a walking plot device rather than an actual character of actual substance. Mary Elizabeth Winstead as Huntress is also underutilized despite playing a major part in the plot.
“Birds of Prey” is a great time at the movie despite the lack of box office returns, but it’s a step in the right direction for the DC Extended Universe.
The film is rated R for its strong violence and language throughout, and some sexual and drug material.