Birds of Prey, the eighth installment of the DC Extended Universe (DCEU) has landed, featuring an all-female ensemble of (anti)heroes.
Skip it or Watch it? Read on our review to find out.
Before anything else, you all should know the film’s complete title is actually “Birds of Prey (and the Fantabulous Emancipation of One Harley Quinn)”. Lengthy yes, but super cool, too! Don’t you think?
After a show-stealing first appearance as Harley Quinn in the forgettable 2016 film Suicide Squad, Academy nominated actress Margot Robbie returns as the psychiatrist turned girlfriend/right-hand woman of The Joker. And as expected, she wows again in Birds of Prey.
In BoP, we see Harley’s character in all her glory as she becomes completely untethered to Gotham’s Prince of Crime with the help of her newfound girl frenemies, Gotham City detective Renee Montoya (Rosie Perez), The Crossbow Killer, I mean Huntress 😁 (Mary Elizabeth Winstead), Black Canary (Jurnee Smollett-Bell), and Cassandra Cain played by 13-year old Korean-Filipina actress Ella Jay Basco.
The casting is as diverse as it gets with badass women (Charlie’s Angels, but on another level) from all races (and ages) each getting equal opportunities to shine in the film.
And of course, don’t count out Ewan McGregor’s portrayal of the villain Black Mask. He was clearly in-the-zone playing it. And boy, did he play it well. And so did Chris Messina’s spine-chilling impression of co-villain Victor Zsasz. Both antagonists fully embraced their roles for this.
Harley Quinn In Focus
Margot Robbie revealed that she had been pitching the Birds of Prey film since 2016 and her labor finally bore fruit after 4 long years. But it’s all worth the wait as we get to see a deeper and darker side of Harley Quinn.
Everyone in the cast is subtly given their own back story (loved the back stories, by the way) but it’s clear to see that Harley Quinn is the focus of the film. I particularly loved how Harley Quinn narrated her story (Deadpool-style) of how Joker basically stole credit for most of the duo’s crimes and now she is standing up for herself. And without Mr. J, everyone she wronged begins to come for her.
But in a seemingly fortunate turn of events, Quinn meets some crazy strong “Birds” to help her out, all women. Going through heartbreaks and finally helping each other conquer their demons and break free from a world run by useless men. This is certainly a fantabulous emancipation of not just Harley Quinn but the rest of the cast really.
Colorful Action, Passable Script
There is something lacking in the script, however, as sometimes, I feel like there is a lack of conversation in some of the characters during some scenes. But when they do exchange banters, the film transforms into a joyful cinematic experience that only happens in films with women as leads. And I enjoyed it. A lot. Black Canary with that little hair tie during an action sequence was both hilarious and realistic.
Harley Quinn’s bubbly personality is equally coupled with (some) hilarious lines and colorful action sequences. That explosion at the chemical factory was so pleasing to the eyes. Her police station “raid” was filled with colorful gunfire, it’s crazy good. But be warned, there are some serious violence depicted in the film which will be hard for some to watch.
The surprise standout to me, however, came with the 13-year old Korean-Filipina Ella Jay Basco, who held her own with her much established castmates. She was just impressive on this. Her returning for the sequel should be a no-brainer.
Skip or Watch?
Margot Robbie once again shines in her second stint as Harley (freaking) Quinn, the action scenes, much like the casting, are a perfect mixture of color and extravagance, the Birds of Prey heroes are genuine, and the movie is pretty good, overall. But it wasn’t as fun as I had hoped it would be although it’s not entirely the movie’s fault.
The Birds of Prey takes some time to take off but when they’re on flight, they can only soar higher.
Here is salida|etc’s rating for Birds of Prey (and the Fantabulous Emancipation of One Harley Quinn).
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