A film that reminds us of Frank Miller’s Sin City, director Cathy Yan has created a world of women who are empowered but who have a great deal more fun than the women in Sin City.
Right from the beginning we know we are in for a treat when we see Harley Quinn’s ( Margot Robbie) biography quickly spelled out in effective animated characters and images. That sequence ends with a broken heart because the Joker has broken his relationship with Harley. She is devastated but she narrates the events of her life in a carefree light manner. Out on the street in Gotham City, recovering from the negative relationship she cuts her hair, adopts a hyena and takes up roller derby, and to top off her reactions to the separation she blows up the Ace Chemical Plant where she pledged herself to the Joker.
As part of her rebellion she breaks the legs of gangster Roman Sionis (Ewan MeGregor) driver it is the first of many crushing blows she and the other women who gather together during the film impose on the evil ones. Sionis is the main evil one through out the film and must face the Birds before the final scene.
Joining Quinn are: Helena Bertinelli / Huntress (Mary Elizabeth Winstead), Dinah Lance / Black Canary (Jurnee Smollett-Bell), Renee Montoya (Rosie Perez) and Cassandra Cain (Ella Jay Basco) each with a special gift in the battle against the oppressors they see in Gotham City.
The event of an egg sandwich that travels throughout the film is just one of the jokes that permeates the undisciplined characters and script which even though filled with violence is a fun romp. Even with interesting back up from the four other women Margo Robbie as expected steals the show. She dances free from one danger to another constantly smiling as though she knows more than anyone else in the story and she probably does. Director Yan frames her perfectly at times as a ditz with blond hair that looks like Mickey Mouse ears or the hair of a very young innocent girl. With all that free wheeling attitude we know from her biography that she has earned a PHD in psychology and perhaps all that appears to be hap-hazard in her life may be nicely planned.
For a film filled with violence little damage is shown, except for one cutting up. When Quinn shots with a shot gun killing her adversaries it’s not blood that flies it’s cut up colored paper that flies around the room. The Huntress on the other had who is seeing revenge for the death of her family uses a crossbow to take out bad guys and resents it being called a bow and arrow. Black Canary has the ability to produce sounds which disturb the atmosphere and blow everything around. Renee Montoya is a former cop who has been dismissed by a corrupt administration, she builds a case against Sionis. Cassandra Cain a young girl who has a contract placed on her head by Sionis after she pick the pocket of one of Soinis’ henchmen and unknowingly has taken a very valuable diamond, how she protects the diamond is interesting.
With all the violence the film remains fun to watch, each of the women have something to add and watching Margo Robbie prance around avoiding destruction and applying her simple philosophy and slight of hand make for a solid hit.
As one might expect the five women establish a team of vigilantes (The Birds of Prey) who we can expect to see in a sequel very soon.