Birds of Prey: Harley Quinn

Directed by: Cathy Han
Written by: Christina Hodson
Starring: Margot Robbie, Ewan McGregor

If you’re tired of the super hero genre, there really isn’t anything in this movie for you (apart from Chris Messina.) If you aren’t, then you might actually like a lot of what this movie brings to the table.

We are following Harley Quinn in the immediate days following her breakup with the Joker. We’re touring the world and characters via her voice-over throughout the movie. We learn she basically has carte blanche to raise hell and cause mayhem because of who her boyfriend is. Now that it’s over, Gotham is looking for payback. At least, that’s what we’re supposed to believe. For all of the underworld, only 3 bad guys come calling. All others she basically just runs into randomly, lame.

McGregor is playing Black Mask. I don’t know. I guess if you followed Batman comics it would mean something. Both he and Robbie look like they are having blast. Black mask has a henchman, Victor Zsasz (gotta love a name that’s a palindrome) who is by far the best thing about this movie. He’s completely fucking bonkers. It’s the closest thing I have seen since Doug Hutchinson played Looney Bin Jim in Punisher: War Zone. Black Mask is looking for a diamond that will allow him to have the money to go with the power he’s managed to amass to take over Gotham. Once he has the money, he feels he will be unstoppable.

Joining the mayhem are the birds: Huntress, Black Canary, and cop Renee Montoya. They meet and kick ass much the way characters from a comic movie do. Interesting fight sequences in an amusement park fun-house and a “car” chase via motorcycle and roller skates. You see a bit of it in the trailer, so nothing abnormal. Opens up for sequels if they want as they all do. I didn’t stay to see if there was an end credits scene. I didn’t care.

Robbie and McGregor are enjoying themselves cashing paychecks. Messina was a huge surprise, just based on the roles I have seen him portray in the past. Mary Elizabeth Winstead as Huntress had some comedic moments/lines. Rosie Perez as Renee Montoya was good, but also felt too old. This role felt more like a 20 year vet rather with 20-25 years left of service. Perez is 55 and looks like retirement is closer than a chance for a department promotion. I hate saying that. They do a bit of exposition explaining how she’s been screwed over by the police force. Solving cases, getting none of the credit, and the people stealing the credit getting the promotions.

Ali Wong shows up. She does stand-up in real life.


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