The Fantabulous Emancipation of One Harley Quinn, OR Birds of Prey, created by Christina Hodson, based on characters from DC Comics: a Film Review


Joker has (finally) broken up with Harley Quinn for good…four years after the defeat of Enchantress.  He tossed her out on the streets of Gotham and didn’t look back.  As Harley begins to rebuild her life without her beloved Puddin’ she starts to see that she doesn’t need him anymore.

After getting drunk at a club owned by one of Gotham’s crime lords, things kind of take a downhill turn for Harley.  She is almost abducted at the club, narrowly being saved by the burlesque singer from the club, Dinah Lance.  Deciding that she is completely done with the Joker, Harley drives a tanker into Ace Chemicals to officially announce their breakup.

Meanwhile, Dinah is recruited by Roman Sionjs, the club owner, to retrieve a diamond embedded with the account numbers to another crime family after seeing her break up Harley Quinn’s abduction.  When she and Roman’s right-hand man get the diamond in hand they never expect it to get stolen by a local pick-pocket.

As a group of mercenaries and other people Harley has wronged are after her including Sionjs’ men, Harley realizes she is about to end up in the middle of a territorial feud… and its not just the people who hate her who are going to be an issue.  When the police, a new “crossbow killer”, the criminal underground, and Sionjs’ men all show up to come after the little pickpocket things are going to get pretty messy.  And Harley (as well as her new “team”) better figure out what to do and FAST.

General Information:

-Genre: Superhero/Supervillains, Girl Power, Origin Story

-Creator: Christina Hodson, based on characters from DC Comics

-Length: 109 minutes

-Rating: R (for mild sex and nudity, severe violence and gore, severe profanity, moderate drug and alcohol use, moderate frightening and intense scenes)

-Where to Watch: HBO Max (with subscription), DVD, Blu-Ray, or look for it at your local library

-Main Cast: Margot Robbie, Mary Elizabeth Winstead, Jurnee Smollett-Bell, Rozie Perez, Chris Messina, Ella Jay Basco, Ali Wong, Ewan McGregor

-Page of Reference in RP1: DC Comics is mentioned throughout the book

Review (contains spoilers):

I absolutely love this film for so many reasons.  Between the fact that the movie focuses so much on Harley Quinn coming into her own and the storyline not focusing on her ass (I’m looking at you Suicide Squad), this is an incredible movie..

The film is such a beautiful piece of cinematography.  The director did an incredible job with so many things.  From the egg sandwich being filmed like a love interest to the fact that she helps out a punk kid (even if its just to save herself at first) this really shows a big difference to the sexed-up version of Harley we see in Suicide Squad.

The women in this movie are strong.  They speak their mind, fight for themselves, and aren’t always the quiet flowers that we see in a lot of other films. They are loud and at times obnoxious, slightly vulgar and don’t shy away from their trauma.  And that is very appealing.  Women being themselves.  Not being overly sexualized and made up to be some sort of fantasy caricature of what women actually are.

However, as wonderful as all of these things are this movie should NOT have had its name changed to Birds of Prey.  While the movie is the origin story for the newest redition of the Birds it is not about them.  It is not a Birds of Prey story or film.  They just happen to be in it. 

It truly is the fantabulous emancipation of one Harley Quinn.


Rating: 5 out of 5.

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