Birds of Prey: And the Fantabulous Emancipation of One Harley Quinn (2020)

I’m not a big comic book fan, and though both my husband and best friend are really into them, I haven’t really succumbed to the comic book fascination that’s taken over the film industry these last ten years (despite liking some of the Marvel and DC movies over the years)…  until this one, that is. It’s a comic book movie that has more to do with, say, 2011’s underrated “Sucker Punch” than anything previously seen in the onscreen DC universe (at least I think so, I haven’t seen 2016’s “Suicide Squad” because Jared Leto is The Worst™). Margot Robbie owns the screen here in every single shot she’s in – she’s like a candy-colored neon light with a foul mouth that brings chaos and sardonic black humor everywhere she goes, and she’s surrounded by a first-rate cast that includes veterans like Ewan McGregor (as the flamboyant villain Roman Sionis), Rosie Perez (as alcoholic cop Renee Montoya), and Mary Elizabeth Winstead (as the badass Huntress), among others. Every scene feels like a runaway train in the most engaging, thrilling way imaginable, and the oversized climax is some of the most fun I’ve had with a big movie in a long time (plus it recalls the climax of 1992’s “Batman Returns,” which was my favorite comic book movie until now). It’s a shame that mainstream audiences neglected this excellent piece of popcorn entertainment but hopefully streaming will bring it new life, because it deserves it.

Rating: ★★★★ (out of 5)

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