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ReelTalk Movie Reviews
Female Power at Its Worst
by James Colt Harrison

Birds of Prey and The Fantabulous Emancipation of One Harley Quinn is from the hand of director Cathy Yan. She is to blame for all the gratuitous mayhem and broken legs, allegedly a triumphant example of female power. Is this really what women want to see on the screen—that women are just as bad as men have been in movie history when it comes to maiming and killing other human beings? Do we really want our little girls to emulate this type of brutish behavior? For me, I much prefer watching talented director Greta Gerwig's beautifully made film Little Women. Now that movie shows what a creative woman can do with a good script.

As for screenwriter Christina Hodson, a little advice might be to learn a bit more of the English language instead of relying on “bad boy” four letter words. It is not creative, imaginative, or even intelligent to use 10,000 F-Bombs as dialogue. Words spewing out of the mouth of star Margot Robbie sound like they fell off a garbage truck and do not help the women’s cause.  No, I’m not a Puritan, but I do like to enjoy some intelligent dialogue between the actors in a movie. We get none of that in this disgustingly filthy film. Robbie, a once highly-touted actress, may be hard-pressed to be taken seriously after playing the Joker’s ex-girlfriend Harley Quinn. All moms of impressionable little girls will be horrified to hear her dialogue and will want to do a major soap washing of her tongue.

These DC Comics episodes always seem to have a convoluted plot line. That is, if you can figure them out. However, Robbie’s Harley seems bent on revenge against everybody and does her best to break legs, gouge eyes, and whack over the head of as many men as there are in Gotham City and knock them silly. That IS the plot. Of course, she’s upset about breaking up romantically with the Joker, another loser with bad teeth. So, she blows up a gasoline plant. It makes for exciting visuals, but it is not a good example to other crackpots who might have the same idea in real life.

The only positive things worth mentioning about Birds of Prey are: the production design by K.K. Barrett; costumes by Erin Benach; art direction by Kasra Farahani and Julien Pougnier; and set decoration by Jennifer Lukehart and Florencia Martin. Also, cinematographer Matthew Libatique did a splendid job capturing the dazzle of raw colors in the sets and costumes.

None of the movie makes too much sense, nor does it have to. Joker was my pick for the Worst Picture of 2019, and Birds of Prey is already my choice of Worst Picture of 2020 -- and it’s only February. Joker went on to make more than $1 BILLION at the box office and has received numerous awards, so what do I know?

(Released by Warner Bros./ DC Entertainment and rated “R” for strong violence and language throughout, and some sexual and drug material.)


                                                                                                                                                                               
 
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