"Reel Reviews: ‘Birds of Prey’ well-worth debut at No.1 in box offices" by: Jessica Shepard

   “Bird of Prey” features a different look at Harley Quinn – the Joker’s longtime on again, off again girlfriend/accomplice.
   Birds also serves as an offshoot sort of sequel to 2016’s “Suicide Squad” with a slightly deeper insight into Quinn’s character and background.
   And to be completely honest, I love every moment of it!
   Sure, the film is rated R for strong violence and language throughout, and some sexual and drug material, but it’s still No. 1 worldwide, runs at one hour and 49 minutes, and has made over $81 million.
   It was directed by Cathy Yan and written by Christina Hodson, and stars Margot Robbie, Mary Elizabeth Winstead, Jurnee Smollett-Bell, Rosie Perez, Chris Messina, Ella Jay Basco, Ali Wong, Dana Lee, Chris Messina, and Ewan McGregor.
   Harley Quinn (Robbie) narrates the events of her life leading up to when, sometime after the Enchantress’ defeat, the Joker breaks up with Harley, throwing her out on the streets of Gotham City.
   She is taken in by Doc (Lee), the elderly owner of a Chinese restaurant.
   Recovering from her abusive relationship, Harley cuts her hair, adopts a spotted hyena (whom she names after Bruce Wayne), takes up roller derby, and blows up the Ace Chemicals plant where she pledged herself to the Joker.
   At a nightclub owned by gangster Roman Sionis (McGregor), Harley cripples Roman’s driver and meets burlesque singer Dinah Lance (Smollett-Bell).
   Dinah later rescues an intoxicated Harley from an attempted abduction.
   Impressed by Dinah’s skills, Roman appoints her as his new driver.
   Gotham City Police Department Detective Renee Montoya (Perez) investigates a series of mob killings carried out by a crossbow-wielding vigilante.
   Finding Harley’s necklace at the scene of the Ace Chemicals explosion, Montoya notes that Harley is in danger without the Joker’s protection.
   She approaches Dinah about being an informant on Roman for them, but Dinah rejects the offer.
   Roman sends Dinah and Victor Zsasz (Messina), a serial killer who is the sadistic right-hand-man of Sionis, to retrieve a diamond embedded with the account numbers to the fortune of the Bertinelli crime family that was massacred years ago.
   Young pickpocket Cassandra Cain (Basco) steals the diamond from Zsasz, but is arrested and swallows the diamond.
   Harley, fleeing from Montoya and several other people she has wronged, is captured by Roman’s men.
   Zsasz informs Roman that Cassandra has the diamond, and Dinah warns Montoya about Cass.
   As Roman prepares to have Harley killed, she offers to recover the diamond for him. Roman agrees but also places a bounty on Cass.
   Breaking into the GCPD with a variety of non-lethal grenade launcher rounds, Harley frees Cassandra and the pair escape to the evidence warehouse.
   Upon an ambush by goons seeking Cass’ bounty, Harley unintentionally inhales impounded cocaine and kills them.
   Of course, in true Harley style, her fighting style features plenty of acrobatics and street-brawling, nearly no-holds barred sort of motions.
   And really, it only gets better from there – or worse if you’re a bad guy.
   Either way, it’s a fairly violent work of art that I loved every moment of from beginning to end.

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