Photo via DC Films under Creative Commons License
Harley Quinn: Birds of Prey released to significantly positive reviews online. At first, I was shocked about the film’s Rotten Tomato score being an eighty-two percent when the reviews initially released. (It is now sitting at a seventy-nine percent.) However, I was mainly shocked by the positivity because the trailers did not look pleasing. For instance, the first trailer didn’t really go into detail with the plot of the film. Also, most people weren’t looking forward to Harley Quinn was the fact that Suicide Squad bombed critically.
Most critics believe that Harley was the only great thing to come out of that movie. Suicide Squad released in 2016, the film is sitting at a twenty-seven percent on Rotten Tomatoes. So, when this was first announced, the media wasn’t too happy. They thought it would be a follow-up to the Suicide Squad which most people thought that was unnecessary. I thought that way myself, but when I saw the reviews my enthusiasm for the film went up. But, after watching the flick, I can say that it didn’t live up to my expectations at all.
After the events of Suicide Squad, Harley Quinn has broken up with the Joker. Most people in Gotham find that as a way to get back at her, for all that she has done. Meanwhile, Harley Quinn crosses paths with Roman Sionis, as he puts a huge target on Quinn’s back. Quinn must forcefully help Sionis get something valuable that a sneaky girl named Cassandra Cain stole. Things start to get better for Quinn, as she teams up with the Birds of Prey: Huntress, Black Canary, and Renee Montoya to stop Roman, and his master plan.
Although I didn’t like Birds of Prey, I thought Margot Robbie’s performance as Harley Quinn was stellar. She felt like a comic-accurate version of Harley Quinn. She was comedic and portrayed as very over-the-top. She’s really loony and hyper, and she makes Birds of Prey feel semi-entertaining. She was the best part of this entire film, just like the Suicide Squad.
Although I had a fun time with her character, the writers make us believe she’s “perfect”. She always wins every fight she’s up against, and that feels really abnormal. She easily got over her break up with the Joker, but to me, that feels like poor writing. Characters should be able to cope with difficulties, not just instantly forget about them or always win. It’s understandable that they went for that approach because it fits in with Harley Quinn’s quick, crazy, jubilant personality; I just had a hard time adjusting to that throughout the film.
Roman Sionis (played by Ewan McGregor) feels really out of place. Overall McGregor’s performance is top-notch, and he makes an evil but somehow charismatic villain. McGregor always puts on a great show, but his character feels incredibly misunderstood. I understand he’s the villain, but most of the males in this film also feel incompetent. That’s one of my main problems with this film. Not only that, but the Birds of Prey are extremely bland characters. The only Birds of Prey character I thought was interesting was Renee Montoya.
Birds of Prey is somewhat entertaining but difficult to follow. Harley Quinn is the narrator throughout the film, but she’s a really confusing narrator to follow. She jumps around way too much within the past and the future, and as a movie-goer I felt frustrated. It seemed to be ripping-off another superhero-flick, Deadpool.
This movie also doesn’t really bring anything new to the table. It’s reminiscent to one of those Ocean’s 11 films. The Birds of Prey feel so misplaced, because the film focuses on Harley’s storytelling and the plot. In fact Harley Quinn barely narrates Huntress’ story until the end, and that feels completely rushed and not thought out. Black Canary feels very dull, as she works for Roman Sionis in the beginning in the movie. How can you even call this a Birds of Prey film, if they don’t meet up until the end?
Most importantly, Harley Quinn: Birds of Prey is a direct insult to masculinity. In Birds of Prey all of the men are somewhat antagonistic. Not all men are evil in the real world. In fact most of the people Harley Quinn fought or killed in the movie were men. Even though I though Sionis was an evil, but charming villain; he also felt really stupid. I’m not sure if that was supposed to be one of his character traits. Even his henchman, Victor Zsasz felt dull. Birds of Prey should’ve been more character oriented than story driven, as it suffers from a weak plot. In conclusion, you should wait for Harley Quinn: Birds of Prey to arrive on DVD/Blu-Ray. It’s not worth your movie ticket, unless you’re a die-hard comic book movie fan. I rate this movie 2.5 out of 5 stars due to its confusing plot.
Birds of Prey has an R rating for, “strong violence and language throughout, and some sexual and drug material.”