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

Birds of Prey (and the Fantabulous Emancipation of One Harley Quinn)

The DC Extended Universe got off to a rocky start with a bunch of lackluster films. One of those films was Suicide Squad, a film that’s was critically panned but it also gave us Margot Robbie as Harley Quinn. It’s a perfect no-brainer kind of casting choice. Now, we get to see her again in Birds of Prey (And The Fantabulous Emancipation of One Harley Quinn). But does Birds of Prey continue the recent streak of good DCEU films or does is it a repeat of Suicide Squad?

Thankfully, Birds of Prey is a crazy fun film complete with Raid-style action scenes, wacky humor, a killer soundtrack, and crazy characters. This is a film that delivers everything that you want in a fun comic book film.

Birds of Prey (And the Fantabulous Emancipation of One Harley Quinn) follows Harley Quinn as she goes through Gotham City after her breakup with Joker. Along the way, she crosses paths with Black Canary, Huntress, Cassandra Cain, Renee Montoya, Roman Sionis, and Victor Zsasz. Before they know it, all of their paths converge into one giant collision course.

Birds of Prey (and the Fantabulous Emancipation of One Harley Quinn) - Rosie Perez, Mary Elizabeth Winstead, Margot Robbie, Ella Jay Basco, and Jurnee Smollett-Bell

Although Birds of Prey is listed as the main title, the group isn’t the focus of the film. This is a Harley Quinn film through and through. If you think about it though, it makes total sense. Harley Quinn is a big draw and the Birds of Prey aren’t (unless you know comics). As a result, Harley Quinn is the main attraction which in turn introduces the Birds of Prey to audiences. It’s a win-win for all parties involved.

Not only is Harley the main character but she’s also is the narrator of the film too. As you can imagine, a psychotic person like Harley will have her thoughts go all over the place. So it’s not a total shocker that the storytelling aspect of the film goes all over the place too.

It’s disjointed in the way as it introduces the main cast of characters. Imagine going on a long trip and you make multiple sudden stops along the way to see the “Seven Magic Mountains” to post on the Gram. It’s cool to see but is it necessary to get there in a random part of your drive? That’s kind of what this film is like. It goes back and forth between telling the story and telling the backstories of the main characters.

Now, if you look at the story and piece it together, the story is pretty standard. The way it intertwines everyone’s storyline together has done time and time again. Despite all of these issues though, the film is still a hell of an entertaining film.

Birds of Prey (and the Fantabulous Emancipation of One Harley Quinn) - Chris Messina and Ewan McGregor

First of all, the action is spectacular. Director Cathy Yan takes inspiration from The Raid through the grace and brutality of its action choreography. At the same time, the film is just so hilarious—it’s reminiscent of Deadpool due to the randomness of Harley. So expect to see gags thrown in the film a lot. From slapstick to one-liners, the film has it all. It doesn’t hit all the jokes but it doesn’t have to. The randomness of Harley is what makes the flat jokes fit in with the tone of the film.

The film wouldn’t be as fun as it is without the crazy performances by everyone in the cast. This is especially true for both Margot Robbie and Ewan McGregor. Margot Robbie had a blast playing Harley. You can tell that she’s giving 110% as she’s going off the rails in the film. Also, Ewan McGregor hams it up big time as Black Mask. Because of his over-the-top performance, he’s able to mask (no pun intended) his thinly written character.

But the biggest standout is Mary Elizabeth Winstead as Huntress. Despite her short screentime, Winstead steals the show. In a way, her character’s depiction is a parody of the brooding anti-heroes like Punisher. But all of the Birds of Prey are worth the price of admission. Their chemistry is easy to see—especially in that climactic battle.

Overall, Birds of Prey (And the Fantabulous Emancipation of One Harley Quinn) is an insanely wild and crazy fun ride. There are definite issues with the film but you know what? You’ll be having too much of a good time to care. The action, the humor, and the wacky characters all add up to one of the most entertaining films the DCEU has ever put out there.

Rating: 4/5 atoms

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