Carl delves into Margot Robbie‘s impact on the DC Universe and discovers the rightful queen of the DCEU!
Love it or hate it (I’m really indifferent to it), the big-screen version of ‘Suicide Squad‘ left the audience with many feelings as they left the theatre. Mainly, they were negative ones. Whether it be Ben Affleck’s cameo as Batman/ Bruce Wayne, Will Smith phoning it in as Deadshot, the lacklustre proceedings of the film, Cara Delevingne’s ‘attempt’ at acting or Jared Leto‘s appalling version of ‘The Joker’, you can argue why the film didn’t sit too well with the DC fans. However, there was a shining light to come out of all that darkness. A beacon that the film barely deserved. A performance that not only encapsulated the character perfectly but was the highlight of the entire film.
I’m talking about Margot Robbie, of course. When she first appeared onscreen as Harley Quinn, the audience was in raptures. Why? Because Margot Robbie GOT it. She looked at the character and then played her to pitch-perfect perfection. Ms Robbie has a history of giving fantastic and in some movies, Oscar-worthy performances. But here, she excelled herself. I sat in the movie theatre and watched her every move, every mannerism and every expression she gave as Harley, ready to find fault. I found none. Not a single flaw. This is how Harley should be played on screen. I enjoyed the character when she first made her debut in the classic Batman The Animated Series TV show. This again, was an almost perfect version of the character, one that the audience could either find irritating or fall in love with. As I watched ‘Suicide Squad‘, I got the feeling that the film was a letdown on so many levels. The extended director’s cut on Blu-ray did save some of the film from total disaster but not enough to save it from being forgettable. That honour was down to Margot Robbie.
The Australian actress did her research on the character and managed to perfect her every movement and quirk. The vocals she gave her were and still are, amazing. THIS was how we envisioned Harley to be in reality. Charming, funny and totally psychopathic! What the film did manage to do right was in a blink and you’ll miss it flash on the screen where we saw Harley in her classic Harlequin outfit. All red and black from head to toe and wielding her huge wooden mallet in her hands, it was like a comic book fan’s dreams come to life right there on the screen. And when she uttered the immortal line ‘Mistah J’, I could have punched the air in delight. It was perfect.
Margot Robbie is returning to the role from February 7th in ‘Birds Of Prey: And The Fantabulous Emancipation Of One Harley Quinn‘. I, For one cannot wait to sit in a theatre and to watch the character blast across the screen again. From the trailers I’ve seen so far, the visuals are fantastic. They look like they should, just like in a comic book. Lots of neon and so forth and such like. Ok, so many people, including my brother Phil and my niece, Victoria are not impressed with her apparently snorting cocaine. That’s to be expected. My counter-argument to that is, this is a comic book movie for adults. The character has been let off her leash and is being allowed to run riot. The Batman comic book versions of her and obviously the TV animated version of Harley haven’t really allowed her to be like this. But in her own comic books and certainly in the novel based on ‘Mad Love‘, she isn’t such a comedic sidekick to the Joker. She’s a victim of sexual, physical and mental abuse. It’s this what sends her mostly on her downward spiral to become who she is today. The Joker does play a large part in her downfall but Dr Harleen Quinzell was already on the edge before she met him. Already, someone who wasn’t afraid to stand her ground and to fight for what she believed in, she became a puppet involuntarily. That’s why I’m happy with this more adult take on her.
Much has been made of Patty Jenkins and how herself and Gal Gadot changed the face of female characters in the DC universe with the quite astonishingly brilliant and enjoyable ‘Wonder Woman‘ film. To a certain extent, Harley Quinn and the ‘Birds Of Prey‘ film owe them a huge debt of gratitude for allowing audiences to finally accept a female-led superhero/action film. But where before, It could be claimed that Ms Gadot was the queen of the DC Universe, I truly believe the queen is in reality, a tortured, damaged young woman who’s very much of this world. Harley Quinn is the real queen of the DC Universe and by association, Margot Robbie is the queen of it all.
Long may she reign!
Birds of Prey hits cinemas from February 7th.
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Carl Roberts is a Senior Staff Writer and Books and Literature Correspondent for Future of the Force. Aside from being our horror genre aficionado, he is also passionate about Star Wars, Marvel, DC, and the Indiana Jones movies. Follow him on Twitter @CarlRoberts2 where he uses the force frequently!