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“Birds of Prey” exploded across movie theatre screens this past weekend, and like the protagonist, it didn’t hold any punches. 

Harley Quinn, returning after the mess of the 2016 film “Suicide Squad,” doesn’t have any traditional superhuman abilities, but she’s incredibly smart, just ask her PhD. She’s light on her feet, a great fighter and full of “dumb luck,” as she claims.  

This movie had so much style in everything that it did from the fun visuals that flashed across the screen when a new character was introduced, something that “Suicide Squad” also did, and one of the only things I enjoyed about that film, to the camera work and the amazing soundtrack. 

The animated introduction was also a nice touch and really got the audience into the vibes of the movie. Harley’s narrative throughout the film, where she often speaks directly to the audience, was a fun add-in as well, as she rewinds to explain certain scenes.  

“Birds of Prey” doesn’t hide the fact that Harley has kind of lost her mind throughout her following the Joker, as the “Diamonds Are a Girl’s Best Friend” sequence exhibits. And it doesn’t try to convince the viewers that Harley is a hero at all, but the film does highlight the best of her character. 

She’s likable, dangerous, incredibly unhinged and, as her glitter and smoke bombs show, stylish. Her casual violence is strange to see from the protagonist of a film, but it is true to her character’s essence—after all, as she reminds the audience, she’s the one we should all be afraid of. 

Overall, the entire cast was amazing. Chris Messina and Ewan McGregor made a great supervillain duo, Messina especially gave her chills several times throughout his performance. Margot Robbie’s return to Harley in this film is a far cry from her portrayal in “Suicide Squad” in the best ways possible. 

Her over-the-top, dramatic performance embodies the character of Harley Quinn as she goes through a breakup with the Joker and struggles to stand on her own after so many years relying on another. 

The plot centers around a group of characters positioned against the Roman Sionis, the Black Mask, as he tries to capture a young girl, Cassandra Cain, in order to obtain a large diamond. Unknown to him, Cassandra finds herself surrounded by a group of women willing to protect and fight for her, each for their own reasons. 

The breakout characters for me were Dinah Lance (Black Canary) and Helena Bertinelli (Huntress.) Usually, if too much time is taken away from the main action to explain another character’s backstory and plot, I can become impatient to get back to the main storyline. But with these two characters, every time they were on screen, I was left wanting more. 

Especially with the Huntress, whose blunt, hilariously awkward character brought a layer of charm and fumbling sweetness to their rag-tag group. 

The climax scene, set in a carnival funhouse, was so much fun as the cast finally came together for the fight sequence. They fought so in-sync, as they each worked to protect Cass, against a pop-soundtrack and flashing colors. 

The film finished with a satisfying end and the potential for sequels, which I can definitely get behind. Personally, I’ve never enjoyed a comic book movie more. From the beginning to the end, I was laughing out loud and grinning. 

Ultimately, this movie showed everyone, the characters and the audience, that Harley Quinn is more than able to stand on her own without the Joker—and she can do it in roller skates. 

The views expressed are those of the writer and not necessarily those of The Torch.

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