6 Thoughts on Birds of Prey
Sadly, it seems that Birds of Prey and the Fantabulous Emancipation of One Harley Quinn is not doing very well at the box office. Which is a damn shame, because I really enjoyed this movie! It’s a rock n’rolling good time of color, energy, bone-crunches and girl power!
Movie Rating: 8/10 – Very Good.
Birds of Prey is in a really weird place. DC has long since abandoned their dreams of a DC Cinematic Universe, but Margot Robbie was so good as Harley Quinn in Suicide Squad that they’re not ready to give her up. So what do you do? You forge ahead with Birds of Prey and hope for the best! And for me, they did a great job! Birds of Prey is a wildly entertaining film that makes great use of Margot Robbie’s Harley Quinn. It also makes great use of the R-rating, delivering an action movie that specializes in being as hard-hitting as possible. It adds an extra level of fun to an already entertaining film.
Join me after the jump for my full set of thoughts and reviews of Birds of Prey and the Fantabulous Emancipation of One Harley Quinn.
Oh no, wait, Warner Bros. has since changed the name to just Harley Quinn: Birds of Prey in the hopes of having a better second weekend. So let’s go with that!
6. I really enjoyed the movie
Birds of Prey was really fun and entertaining. If I could gripe anything, I would say that there wasn’t a single moment or scene that was really memorable or really stuck out. There wasn’t an underlying theme that elevated the movie, like Shazam with its story about family. Instead, Birds of Prey was just one rollicking good time after another, with a lot of energy and a whole lot of punch! This was an R-rated movie about women that never used the R-rating to overly sexualize them. Instead, the rating went to bone-crunching fights that really, really had a lot of fun with the hits. And that definitely stood out of the film. The fight scenes were well choreographed and used to maximum effect.
I wouldn’t say the comedy was all that funny. The movie had its moments, but it was no Deadpool. But the generally positive and energetic atmosphere really worked for me, and worked for the film. There was just an overall sense of enjoyment and energy through Birds of Prey, which was easily carried by it’s excellent cast.
5. Margot Robbie is a gem
Robbie is great as Harley Quinn! I kind of feel bad that she’s stuck playing the messy Harley from Suicide Squad, wherein she clearly would love to expand it into a larger, more general Harley. The Harley Quinn cartoon is amazing and is a great use of the character. And it’s clear that Robbie is trying to break away from the whole “Jared Leto Joker” version of the character. I wish her luck going forward!
In Birds of Prey, she’s lively, she’s emotional, she’s got a great fashion sense, she’s a great fighter and she’s an all-around quality character. She owns the role and I couldn’t be happier with her performance.
I do feel kind of bad that, in the same weekend, Birds of Prey did not do well at the box office and then she didn’t win an Oscar…She even went on Hot Ones for this thing!
Also, one last, quick note, I feel like they could have done a better job with Harley’s wardrobe. I’m not saying she should have gone back to her classic costume, but even the Suicide Squad look became iconic in its own right. Harley’s outfits in Birds of Prey were a little too insane and/or non-unique and I don’t think any of them are going to make for a good Halloween costume. Wardrobe could have done a better, more memorable job with Harley’s outfits.
4. I enjoyed most of the other character development
I also really liked pretty much everybody else in the cast. Ewan McGregor was fun as the dangerous and flamboyant Black Mask, serving as a perfectly fine villain for the whole piece. Rosie Perez did just fine as Renee Montoya, even if she was a fair bit older than everyone else. I thought Mary Elizabeth Winstead was great as a socially awkward version of the Huntress. Jurnee Smollett-Bell worked very well as the straight woman Black Canary. I also really enjoyed the Ali Wong cameo! If there was one weak link, maybe I’d say it was Ella Jay Basco as Cassandra Cain…but she did good, too. This was a really good cast, and when they finally did get to work together, I think they did well. I would gladly see them all come back for a sequel.
Again, if I had one gripe, I think the script faltered just a little bit in trying hard to give these other characters quickie character traits. Twice they mention that Montoya only talks in 1980s cop lingo…but I never actually saw that happen in the movie. That seemed forced. And while I loved Huntress’ social awkwardness, part of me feels like that was also tacked on. She could have used more time to flesh that out, though what we did get was really fun for the character!
3. Honestly, I could go for a Huntress spin-off
I really liked this movie’s take on Huntress. She’s never been a character I cared much about, and none of her other various adaptations — be they animated or Arrowverse — have made much of an impression. But Mary Elizabeth Winstead doing this funny, socially awkward Huntress was a good bit! I love the idea that she just never learned social graces or how to interact with other women/people after spending her life being raised by assassins. It’s a fun character trait, and when it does get a chance to shine, it truly does. So perhaps a Huntress spin-off movie would be a good direction for DC to take this property. I doubt Huntress is ever going to get her own movie any other way.
Speaking of female DC characters…
2. Absolutely bring on Poison Ivy
This needs to happen yesterday. I’m dying for it to happen in the new Harley Quinn cartoon! I need Warner Bros. and DC to stop being so damn afraid and just make Harley and Ivy a romantic couple already! Do it on the big screen! Make it loud and proud to the world! It’s time for DC to stop being babies about this and make Harley and Ivy a couple to be proud of, a couple to celebrate! And it needs to happen on the big screen!
If a big screen return of Harley Quinn is even possible…
1. Harley Quinn is dead. Long live Harley Quinn
The old DCEU is dead. I wouldn’t be surprised if Wonder Woman 84 and Aquaman 2 go out of their way to avoid even referencing that old world. But this version of Harley Quinn is so connected to that version’s toxic Joker that I’m not entirely sure how a sequel could separate her. Those weird face tattoos were a constant, unwelcome reminder of where the character started. Somehow, some way, a Birds of Prey 2 would need to really break Harley free from her past versions and strike out as even more new and unique. I’m confident it could happen.
Though I’m not as confident of even getting a sequel. Here’s hoping the movie has legs when going up against the rest of the upcoming February movies!
Get it? Legs? Because Sonic the Hedgehog comes out this week!