Birds of Prey (and the Fantabulous Emancipation of One Harley Quinn) ★★★★

Admittedly pretty simplistic in its approach to its characters and themes, but this is the first DCEU installment where I could tell the creative team behind it had a real grasp on what they were setting out to achieve. It’s evident throughout that Cathy Yan, Christina Hodson and co. had a vision they were confident in. Also boasts consistently strong action (kudos to Chad Stahelski for helping with the choreography) and given the somewhat more comedic tone of the marketing, I was surprised by how gritty the film was, even more so by the near-perfect tonal balance between grit and camp.

As a whole, it’s a very fun yet well crafted film that knows what it is and doesn’t try to be anything it’s not, and one of the rare instances of genuine creativity within this genre. Also boasts a committed cast, with Robbie (one of her better performances) and Winstead (who is unquestionably the MVP) being the highlights. It’s unmistakably a theme park film, but it’s a *great* theme park film. Basically the fun, colorful carnival ride that THOR: RAGNAROK (which now looks *even worse* from a visual standpoint when this exists) wanted to be and failed to be.

Might just be the DCEU’s first legitimate winner in my opinion (really hope this one holds up for me over time).

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