Movie review: Birds Of Prey is chaotic, fresh
It has been a mixed week for Birds Of Prey.
Great reviews - above 80 per cent for both audience and critics on Rotten Tomatoes - have not translated into stellar box office.
A global opening haul of US$81 million clawed back what the film cost to make, but in Hollywood terms, that is not enough.
It has also led to a plan to rename the film from Birds of Prey (and the Fantabulous Emancipation of One Harley Quinn) to the more obvious Harley Quinn: Birds Of Prey.
All of which is a shame, because this is one of the freshest takes on a superhero-related film in some time. You can read my first take on the film here.
(Yes, I know there was an Oscar-winning film about the Joker. You can see what I thought of that here)
Birds Of Prey is fun, funny and packed with action.
For the crybabies worried a female-led film would be too woke, relax.
Margot Robbie has used her Oscar-nominated clout to assemble a spin-off for the DC Comics favourite that runs by its own rules.
It packs in as much as an NC16 certificate will allow with choice profanity-bombs and all.
And then there is the violence.
The visual crunches will make you wince and wince again.
Cathy Yan takes a leaf from action hits such as the John Wick franchise (Yan consulted with Wick director Chad Stahelski) and Indonesia's The Raid films.
During the extraordinary fights and stunts, the camera barely looks away, delivering the best action seen in a superhero film for a long time, bringing a real crunch to proceedings.
This action mixed with the bright colours and bizarre sets invokes memories of the 1960s Batman TV show - albeit much more brutal.
Outside of Robbie - this is of course Harley's film from top to toe - the other actresses still make their mark, to the extent that more from them would not have been amiss.
Ewan McGregor is obviously having fun in the role, even if the cartoonish nastiness tips in a very disturbing scene.
Birds Of Prey is a glitter-flecked, nihilistic pack of fun.
Those films about boys in capes could learn a lot from this.
FILM: Birds Of Prey
STARRING: Margot Robbie, Rosie Perez, Ewan McGregor, Mary Elizabeth Winstead, Jurnee SmollettBell, Ella Jay Basco
DIRECTOR: Cathy Yan
THE SKINNY: Harley Quinn (Robbie) breaks up with the Joker, losing the protection that he provided and discovering most of the Gotham underworld is after her. At the same time, a diamond linked to a fortune is being chased after, bringing her into contact with bitter cop Renee Montoya (Perez), teen pickpocket Cassandra Cain (Basco), Dinah Lance/Black Canary (SmollettBell) and Huntress (Winstead). Looking to cause them all harm is vain villain Roman Sionis or Black Mask (McGregor).