The new DC comic book movie Birds of Prey is receiving a hugely positive response from film critics after early screenings.
Margot Robbie is being singled out for praise for her “fantabulous” performance as lead character Harley Quinn, banishing the memory of the trashing received by Suicide Squad — in which she first appeared.
The film is the latest attempt by DC to move clear of the extended universe model, delivering another R-rated movie with an eye on the box office and critical success of Joker.
Read more: How Trainspotting inspired Birds of Prey
In the director’s chair is Cathy Yan, making her blockbuster debut after indie success Dead Pigs, and the script was written by Christina Hodson, who penned Bumblebee.
Critics have embraced the story thus far, making connections with John Wick, Deadpool and even The Raid 2.
It wasn’t all plain sailing for the movie though, with a couple of reviews noting that Birds of Prey isn’t quite as slick a package as some other comic book stories.
The story picks up Harley Quinn after a split from the Joker and sees her joining forces with other super-powered women to save a young girl from a crime lord portrayed by Ewan McGregor.
The rest of the supporting cast includes Mary Elizabeth Winstead as Huntress, Jurnee Smollett-Bell as Black Canary, Ella Jay Basco as Cassandra Cain and Rosie Perez as Renee Montoya.
In the wake of Shazam and Joker, this is the latest DC-inspired movie to largely steer clear of inter-connectivity with the wider universe, though all of the films feature nods to the rest of the franchise.
Wonder Woman 1984 is due to arrive later this year for DC, with the currently filming The Batman, starring Robert Pattinson, and James Gunn’s The Suicide Squad coming in 2021.
Robbie first pitched DC the idea for Birds of Prey as far back as 2015 and fought for a female director to have the chance to helm the movie.
Birds of Prey will be released in UK cinemas on 7 February.
A pop-up roller disco is currently in place in London to promote the release of the movie.