The Reel Review
Margot Robbie reprises her DC comic book anti-hero Harley Quinn in this R-rated sequel to 2016’s PG-13-rated Suicide Squad, which has the Joker’s now newly-single ex-girlfriend joining a group of female superhero “sisters doing it for themselves,” to save a young girl from Gotham city’s narcissist crime lord, Black Mask (Ewan McGregor).
Despite a dizzying array of time jumps, the needlessly overcomplicated story from Christina Hodson (Bumblebee) does finally come together in a somewhat cool, female empowering finale. But getting there is one painfully tedious process, thanks to director Cathy Yan’s never-ending barrage of lame, corny jokes, insipid dialogue and gratuitous violence. If you are fan of non-stop, heavily choreographed fight scenes, then this is the action film of your dreams. (Seriously, there are so many you will lose count.) If you are not, you will be absolutely bored to tears for a significant portion of this dull film.
Despite this mediocre mess of a script, Robbie puts on a valiant one-woman show, boosted by solid performances from Jurnee Smollett-Bell (Friday Night Lights) and Mary Elizabeth Winstead. But for an R-rated film, watching Harley literally shoot bean bags, paint and glitter out of her assault rifle is nothing short of one big WTF. Hurray, we now have proof that men don’t have the market cornered in making lame superhero films.
• Birds of Prey is rumored to be the second of a “Harley Quinn Trilogy,” with the third movie to be Gotham City Sirens.
• Cathy Yan is the first Asian woman to direct a superhero movie.
• Ewan McGregor was cast as Black Mask after Sam Rockwell passed on the role, although Rockwell was considered the archetype for the casting.