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The Bird Is the Word

Birds of Prey is useful junk.

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Margot Robbie was a hot property coming off her appearances in Bombshell and Once Upon a Time… In Hollywood. Her new one, Birds of Prey, should cool her down quite a bit.

Birds of Prey is trash. The DC Entertainment comic-book spinoff from the Joker franchise – featuring Robbie as Harley Quinn, hyperactive leader of a pack of avenging women warriors – is not just another ultra-violent fantasy. It’s a truly mean-spirited piece of work, a nasty ordeal for anyone who cares about characters and why they do what they do. But that doesn’t mean it’s completely worthless.

In their skirmishes against evil crime lord Roman “Black Mask” Sionis (Ewan McGregor), Harley and her squad of riot girls – Black Canary (Jurnee Smollett-Bell), Cassandra Cain (Ella Jay Basco), The Huntress (Mary Elizabeth Winstead), and fired policewoman Renee Montoya (Rosie Perez) – ramshackle a cop shop and generally reduce Gotham City to rubble. In doing so, they illustrate Mao Zedong’s dictum that revolution is not a dinner party -- thus preparing stateside movie audiences for the 2020 election season. Congratulations to director Cathy Yan and writer Christina Hodson for their public-spiritedness.

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