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Birds of Prey Movie Review - Loads of Kickbutt Action!

Harley Quinn takes revenge and gains an apprentice.

Reviewed by on Feb 07, 2020
Rating: 3 Star Rating

Kidzworld saw Birds of Prey and the Fantabulous Emancipation of One Harley Quinn. It’s full of female-centered, over-the-top action, revenge taking and introduces a new DC hero film squad. Check our movie review!

Warning! This film is rated R for strong violence and language throughout, and some sexual and drug material.

Harley needs a new life after JokerHarley needs a new life after JokerCourtesy of Warner Bros. Entertainment Inc

In Birds of Prey and the Fantabulous Emancipation of One Harley Quinn, Harley (Margot Robbie), continuing her character from Suicide Squad, narrates the story of her life after the Joker kicks her to the curb. Once it gets out that she is no longer the Joker’s girl, everyone she ever injured wants her dead. She befriends a young pickpocket named Cass (Ella Jay Basco) who steals a diamond from Gotham's most nefariously narcissistic villain, Roman Sionis/Black Mask (Ewan McGregor) who gives Harley 24 hours to regain it for him. With every lowlife in the city looking for them, Harley and Cass have to team up with Huntress (Mary Elizabeth Winstead), Black Canary (Jurnee Smollett-Bell) and detective Montoya (Rosie Perez) to take Roman down.

The women bond together to fight RomanThe women bond together to fight RomanCourtesy of Warner Bros. Entertainment Inc

On Her Own

After summing up her background for us (over animation) Harley Quinn tells us that after Joker kicked her out she moved into a flat above a Chinese restaurant owned by pal Doc and adopted a hyena she named Bruce (after Batman’s alter ego).  She kicks butt in a roller derby and, drunk at a club, breaks the legs of the driver for sadistic gangster Roman Sionis whose thugs drag her outside but club singer Dinah (aka Black Canary) saves her since Harley is too wasted to fight for herself. Noticing her skills, Roman appoints Dinah to replace his driver. Harley goes home and later blows up Ace chemicals where she pledged her love to Joker.

Harley goes overboard at the roller derbyHarley goes overboard at the roller derbyCourtesy of Warner Bros. Entertainment Inc

The Cops and the Kid

Meanwhile, Renee Montoya, a police detective in the GCPD, stands in the ruins of Ace Chemicals and determines that because Joker and Harley have broken up, Harley will now be easy to arrest. Cassandra Cain, a young orphan, pickpockets from Roman’s right-hand-man Zsasz (Chris Messina) stealing a diamond which has information about mob bank accounts carved on it.

Roman and Zsasz are a deadly pairRoman and Zsasz are a deadly pairCourtesy of Warner Bros. Entertainment Inc

Cass is subsequently arrested and, out of desperation, swallows the diamond. Montoya also believes the only remaining member of a mob family Helena Bertinelli (Huntress) has been killing mobsters who killed her family. Her bosses ignore Montoya. She is suspended from the force.

Desperate, Cass will swallow the diamondDesperate, Cass will swallow the diamondCourtesy of Warner Bros. Entertainment Inc

Harley and the Diamond

Roman has his goons grab Harley and he will kill her unless she gets the diamond back for him overnight. She learns that Cass has it and busts up the police station by shooting colorful bean bags and glitter bombs at cops until she finds the girl.

Harley busts Cass out of jailHarley busts Cass out of jailCourtesy of Warner Bros. Entertainment Inc

Cass keeps trying to get away from Harley. Montoya tries to recruit Dinah as her snitch but the singer’s mom was killed while a police informant and she refuses. Roman has put out a lucrative offer for bringing him Cassandra so every thug in town in looking for her. When Cass tells Harley she swallowed the diamond, Harley buys tons of laxatives hoping they will work. She takes Cass to her place to hide until they do. Harley teaches the girl how to be a top notch criminal. They bond.

Harley and Cass bond at Harley's placeHarley and Cass bond at Harley's placeCourtesy of Warner Bros. Entertainment Inc

On the Run and Showdown

Harley’s apartment is fire bombed and she sadly discovers that her old pal Doc sold her out. Realizing that nobody trusts anyone, she calls Roman to tell him she has Cass and can have her if he will call off his goons. He says to bring Cass to an abandoned amusement park where Montoya tries to take Harley in and Harley throws her out a window.

Detective Montoya figures out the caseDetective Montoya figures out the caseCourtesy of Warner Bros. Entertainment Inc

Canary/Dinah darts Harley and grabs Cass trying to protect her. Huntress enters and shoots a deadly arrow into Zsasz. Cass gets a loose gun and threatens to shoot everybody. Huntress is done. With Zsasz dead, she has avenged her family. Montoya comes back and reminds her that Roman owns the mob so she isn’t really through.

Huntress joins the squadHuntress joins the squadCourtesy of Warner Bros. Entertainment Inc

Working Together?

When Roman in his mask arrives with every thug for hire in town, the girls decide they need to work together to survive. Using Harley’s old chest of weapons, they arm up. A huge fight between the kick-butt women and Roman’s thugs follows. Canary finally has to use her mythical loud, seismic scream to down many of them but Roman gets away with Cass in his car.

Dinah/Black Canary sings at Roman's clubDinah/Black Canary sings at Roman's clubCourtesy of Warner Bros. Entertainment Inc

Huntress and Harley team up for a wild car chase. Can the Birds of Prey rescue Cass and get rid of Roman once and for all? Will they work together in future and what about Harley and Cass…do they have a future as a duo?

The ladies team up at the amusement parkThe ladies team up at the amusement parkCourtesy of Warner Bros. Entertainment Inc

In a post-credits audio scene, Harley is about to reveal to the audience a secret about Batman but is cut off.

Wrapping Up

Birds of Prey and the Fantabulous Emancipation of One Harley Quinn gets a slow start as the new characters’ origin stories are explored but the film rocket kicks into high gear in time for feisty fun.  There are likeable, sometimes funny characters you can root for led by Harley herself, the punk tough, loose cannon feminist who turns fellow solo vigilantes into a motley crew.

Harley shares a twizzler with pet hyena BruceHarley shares a twizzler with pet hyena BruceCourtesy of Warner Bros. Entertainment Inc

There is almost non-stop fight action. It is very acrobatic and sometimes creative but a little less would go a long way. I would have liked to see more time spent on the future Birds of Prey plus Harley and Cassandra getting to know one another a bit better. Ewan McGregor is successful as a sadistic, full-of-himself crime kingpin with a side-kick henchman who likes to peel off victims’ faces (we don’t see this).

Roman is The Black MaskRoman is The Black MaskCourtesy of Warner Bros. Entertainment Inc

The music in the movie is fun, mostly making use of old rock hits that have a female driven lyric and a great beat.

Harley and Black Canary share common disappointmentHarley and Black Canary share common disappointmentCourtesy of Warner Bros. Entertainment Inc

The movie is pretty rough not only with the fight action violence but these ladies constantly just spout out whatever is on their minds including profanity. The film really is NOT for younger kids. I left willing to see more action with the “Birds” and certainly with Harley whose half-mad, cheeky bravado is contagious especially as played by the excellent Margot Robbie. She can certainly kick butt and it’s charming that Harley often gets out of a fight on a little dumb luck. She and her new apprentice Cass would make a nice future duo….a trio if you add Harley’s pet hyena Bruce. We can go a strong three stars for older action and comic book teen fans but younger kids should stay home.

Birds of Prey Movie Rating: 3

Birds of Prey Movie PosterCourtesy of Warner Bros. Entertainment Inc

See Birds of Prey in theaters now.

Are you a Harley Quinn Fan?

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By: Lynn Barker