The infamous Harley Quinn returns to the big screen for mayhem, madness and some fun in Birds of Prey (and the Fantabulous Emancipation of One Harley Quinn).
After splitting with the Joker, Harley Quinn (Margot Robbie) joins forces with a group of strong and bad ass women to take down Gotham’s crime lord, Black Mask (Ewan McGregor).
Harley Quinn has always been a problematic character. Between her sexualized costumes, toxic relationship with the Joker and onscreen objectification, she was never my favorite.
However, I was drawn to seeing Margot Robbie reprise the role in a format where the character stood on her own — a Harley without the Joker. In Birds of Prey, Harley grows to own her strength and independence, becoming her own woman.
And honestly how can you not love Robbie in this role? She the brings humor, wit and charisma to the character. You cannot help but adore her.
Harley is backed by a cast of diverse, powerful women, who are all broken and imperfect but shine through with their strength and resilience. They are so bad ass together — like a kick ass sorority drinking margaritas and throwing grenades. Honestly, the final act fight scene set to Heart’s “Barracuda” was just the icing on the cake to watching these women shine together.
Speaking of shine, Bird of Prey features another stand out performance by Ewan McGregor, who is probably the strongest DCEU villain we have had since Heath Ledger’s Joker. He’s zainy. He’s terrifying. He’s impeccably dressed and unforgettable. Honestly, what can’t McGregor do?
Although the film boasts strong performances, the film is a bit clunky and jumbled to get through. The odd sequencing does match the madness of Harley, so I guess it works. It just took me a bit to get into.
But at the end of the day, Bird of Prey soars from the ashes of the garbage pile that was Suicide Squad and is a glitter bomb to the patriarchy. For this, I say fly on.
Final Thoughts: Bird of Prey isn’t perfect but hell is it a fun feminist thrill.