As y’all know, I get emotional at certain things. I can usually see it coming. I didn’t expect any tears during Birds Of Prey And The Fantabulous Emancipation Of One Harley Quinn, and they came in one moment. My heart skipped a beat and I burst right into tears when Dinah Lance (Jurnee Smollet-Bell) finally let loose and we got a Canary Cry on the big screen.
That made me cry.
Anyway, on to the rest of the movie. It is an incredible triumph. It’s joyously funny, in a great silly way. Feminist without pandering or neutering itself. (Turns out just by centering women and making your villain a misogynist you can make a pretty feminist film even without posturing. Who knew? Oh, every woman ever, that’s right.)
Trying to explain the movie is beside the point for me, here, but it underperformed this weekend so GO SEE IT. Anyway, more thoughts, it’s framed around Harley Quinn trying to figure out what her life is going to look like post Joker. At first, she’s keeping the breakup on the DL, as she knows she’s crossed a lot of people in her career. But she finally snaps and blows up ACE Chemical (and then there’s a whole thing with a Bacon Egg And Cheese sandwich) and all hell breaks loose.
Harley finds herself in the crosshairs of Roman Sionus, AKA Black Mask, played deliciously by Ewan McGregor. Roman employs Dinah Lance AKA Black Canary (Jurnee Smollet-Bell, perfect) as a singer and enforcer, and Victor Szasz (Chris Messina) is his right hand man. She’s also being pursued by Detective Renee Montoya (Rosie Perez) They’re all looking for young pick pocket Cassandra Caine (Ella Jay Basco) who’s gotten her hands on the priceless Bertenelli Diamond, which holds the key to the vast fortune of an executed mob family.
Gotham’s underworld is also being cleansed by a mysterious Cross Bow Killer, who prefers Huntress, thank you. (Mary Elizabeth Winstead) and in the end, in order to survive, all the women band together to protect Cass.
There’s hijinks galore in between, fantastic action, plenty of swears. (The R rating is entirely for the use of the F word and some real bone crunching violence. It’s great) The movie is a brightly colored fever dream in places and totally perfect. Margot Robbie is a dream, the rest of the cast follows suits. (I have to admit hearing Rosie Perez’s actual Brooklyn accent next to Robbie’s exaggerated Quinn voice is hilarious.)
Seriously, this movie is so special. I’m thrilled with how DC movies have turned around in the past year. Aquaman was so fun! Shazam was miraculous, Joker uhhh, well Joaquin won an Oscar! And Birds Of Prey is so much fun. This gets me super psyched for Wonder Woman 1984, and also, as I realized Black Widow.
All the super hero movies I’m looking forward to this year are about women. That’s incredible, given that a few years ago, no one even knew if Wonder Woman was going to ever happen.