Review: Birds of Prey (And the Fantabulous Emancipation of One Harley Quinn)

Not the only dames in Gotham looking for emancipation.

Notorious Harley Quinn (Margot Robbie) got dumped by The Joker and when she impulsively broadcasts that message all over Gotham, she realizes very quickly that many people want to kill her now that Joker doesn't have her back. Mainly Roman Sionis (Ewan McGregor) but not before he agrees to let her track down a priceless diamond that was stolen by a pick pocket, Cassandra (Ella Jay Basco) Roman's singer/driver, Dinah Lance (Jurnee Smollett-Bell) a jaded police officer, Renee Montoya (Rosie Perez) and the mysterious Huntress (Mary Elizabeth Winstead) also get in on the action and these women find themselves having to work together to defeat a common enemy.

After the colossal mess that was Suicide Squad, It's nice to see its one shining star in Harley Quinn gets another go at the big screen. Yes, Quinn is not part of the original Birds of Prey. And yes, she does take over this movie, but that doesn't mean the rest of the women are constantly pushed to the back. In fact, each gets a fair amount of screen time. 

Birds of Prey is here to embraces its campiness and show powerful women kicking ass, and I'm here for it. I appreciate director Cathy Yan's lens, especially during some of the more uncomfortable scenes with Sionis. A lesser director could've done some seriously exploitative things here but she films it in a way that gets its point across without that extra baggage. The fight choreography is extraordinary. Especially during the final battle which takes place in a fun house.

Margot is amazing again as Harley, as are the rest of the cast. Smollett-Bell as Black Canary was my favorite of the bunch, she's bad ass and vulnerable and seeing the Canary scream was a great moment. Ewan McGregor you can tell was having so much fun with this.

Birds of Prey had all the cards stacked against it because of Suicide Squad and everyone involved came out swinging. Now, Birds of Prey is one of DCEU's best films. 

Recommended: Yes

Grade: B

Memorable Quote: "It's a cross bow, it's not a bow and arrow I'm not fucking 12." - Huntress (Mary Elizabeth Winstead)

Comments

  1. Yes! Love this review. I'm gutted that we live in a world where Suicide Squad is hailed a huge success and Birds of Prey a financial disaster. I can only hope word of mouth pushes up the box office numbers!

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  2. I saw some moron today, you can guess the gender, argue that they were toning down the rating with that undressing in the club scene. Didn't even occur to him that this isn't example of r rating just that they were avoiding male gaze. How can they be so fucking clueless is beyond me

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    Replies
    1. Because the rating is always about boobs and by the fact that there are several "fucks" thrown in and someone literally getting blown up.

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  3. I do want to see this though I'm not fond of the idea of changing the film's title to just Harley Quinn all because of money. That's just wrong as I want to give the film a chance on its own merits.

    Reading from your Twitter scroll, anyone who refuses or doesn't want to read subtitles can go fuck themselves. I respect Bong's decision to not allow any dubbing and he's right. It would've ruined the film.

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    Replies
    1. I disagree, they should've called it Harley Quinn and the Birds of Prey from the beginning. Harley was always going to be what sold this film, and calling it Birds of Prey apparently is too confusing for regular movie goers.

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  4. I'm trying to muster up an interest in seeing this one. For some reason it just doesn't appeal to me even though I like Harley Quinn in Suicide Squad. Maybe when it's out on streaming I'll check it out. I'm glad it's got a female director and that explains the 'female gaze' treatment... I could see it being really sleazy if handled by a cheesy B-movie male director.

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    1. Yes it would. It's really fun you should definitely see it if you have the time.

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  5. Nice review! This is definitely one of the DCEU's best movies. It was a blast to see a comic book movie with a real personality, and not somebody climbing into a fridge for no reason or bringing a gun to a children's hospital.

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  6. YESSSSSSSSSSS. I just finally posted my own review and it seems you and I are on the same page. Soooo much fun and just badass all around, I will never understand why people didn't give this one a chance.

    BLACK CANARY= MVP

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