Birds of Prey (and the Fantabulous Emancipation of One Harley Quinn)

About halfway through Birds of Prey I turned to my dad who was sitting next to me in the theater and told him "This is a better Guy Ritchie movie than the last Guy Ritchie movie." Birds of Prey (and the Fantabulous Emancipation of One Harley Quinn) is a surprisingly entertaining comic book crime caper, surprising because its spiritual predecessor, Suicide Squad, was one of the worst movies of 2016. A loud and obnoxious dumpster fire of a movie, thankfully where Suicide Squad was bogged down by a messy script, vague stakes, and a lack of focus, Birds of Prey shines with a sharp screenplay, a strong supporting cast featuring Mary Elizabeth Winstead, Rosie Perez, Jurnee Smollett-Bell. Still this is a showcase for an especially fantastic lead performance from Margot Robbie. She's genuinely affecting as the emotionally unstable, mildly psychotic woman moving on from a toxic and abusive relationship. Ewan McGregor is also both funny and terrifying as the ruthless crime boss who she ends up in the crosshairs of. I think it’s important to note this film was written by a woman (Christina Hodson) and directed by one as well (Cathy Yan). I think their female perspective benefitted the material greatly and helped distinguish it from so many other comic book films. Support more women filmmakers in 2020, please!

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