I think I speak for the masses here that the only thing positive about 2016’s abysmal “Suicide Squad” was Margot Robbie’s portrayal of Harley Quinn. Since then, fans have been asking for more of the deranged clown to appear on screen. The people of Warner Bros. listened and gave us a movie with the longest title ever, “Birds Of Prey And The Fantabulous Emancipation Of One Harley Quinn”.
Even if the title states that it is a “Birds Of Prey” movie, it really isn’t. Instead, it focuses on Harley Quinn after she and Joker (presumably Jared Leto?) broke up and the repercussions that come because of that. You see, Harley Quinn has always been granted full immunity when she was with Joker but now that they are no more, literally everyone in Gotham wants to kill her for the wrong that she has done, including Roman Sionis (Ewan McGregor) aka Black Mask.
The Birds Of Prey element comes in time with Harley Quinn’s personal errand deal with Black Mask where we are introduced to Renee Montoya (Rosie Perez), Dinah Lance / Black Canary (Jurnee Smollett-Bell), and Helena Bertinelli / Huntress (Mary Winstead) who all have an issue with Black Mask.
Once again, Robbie shines as Harley Quinn only this time, it looked like she has more free range to make things her own as there are a lot of standout moments be it in an action sequence, her comedic timing, or an emotional speech on how she is coping with her breakup. McGregor too looked to have lots of fun in his character by playing an eccentric evil mastermind although being on the side of cartoony at certain times.
But “fun” was the keyword of this movie. While we are used to seeing goody two shoed superheroes team up to fight crime by now, it is refreshing to see a bunch of naughty villains and anti-heroes get together to stop a bigger bad guy for once. From the action scenes that took place in a fun house, back and forth dialogues with a whole lot of curse words, and a view into the villainous side of Gotham City, these were what “Birds Of Prey” succeeded on that “Suicide Squad” failed horribly.
While Harley Quinn is the obvious star in “Birds Of Prey”, it would be nice to see the other core members of the team to get their time to shine. Huntress, especially, seemed like she has an interesting backstory that was never really delved deeper other than a quick montage to get to where she is now. Besides, it’s called “Birds Of Prey”, not “The Harley Quinn Show”. And if I’m allowed to go nerd on you, Harley Quinn was never a Birds Of Prey team member in the comics.
As a standalone movie, “Birds Of Prey” worked pretty well with the material that they have and as a DCEU movie, it was definitely one of the better ones in rank. It is a given that Robbie is the main highlight as our favourite clown doll but maybe give more of that spotlight to other team members in (hopefully) the sequel.