Cinephile № 845 “Birds of Prey (And the Fantabulous Emancipation of One Harley Quinn)

Nathan Box
2 min readSep 3, 2020

Recommendation: 2/5 Stars, SKIP

Plot: “After splitting with the Joker, Harley Quinn joins superheroes Black Canary, Huntress, and Renee Montoya to save a young girl from an evil crime lord.” -IMDB

Review: I really wanted to like “Birds of Prey.” I love Margot Robbie (Harley Quinn) and think she has a brilliant future in front of her in Hollywood. I longed for this female-focused comic-book movie to head in a new and exciting direction. I longed for something dark and playful. I wanted the story to be stronger than “The Suicide Squad.” Instead, we were treated to a film where the attempt to be edgy never feels authentic and the glamorous aspects of the film never feel properly placed. In the end, Warner Brothers’ attempt to create an anti-MCU fell short of my expectations.

Our story begins with Harley Quinn ending things with the Joker once and for all. As you can guess from the trailer, things are not going well, as Ms. Quinn finds the strength to stand on her own two feet. It is at this point the film makes its first mistake. It chooses to tell a non-linear story. From here on out, we bounce around from the breakup to a hunt for a rare diamond, to the formation of a bad-ass female super team. This approach to storytelling works for a lot of movies, but it does not land here.

By bouncing around, we fail to find a film with an emotional center. Instead, we are offered a story completely lacking deeper character development (the exact problem plaguing the “Justice League.” This will once again leave you disappointed. I think the characters in the DC Universe are just as robust as the Marvel Universe, but once again they are presented in a way that feels force-fed and unnatural.

Be good to each other,

Nathan

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