For those who are not familiar with Harley Quinn and her origin story, Birds of Prey does a good job of catching up the audience fast. The film begins with a cartoon sequence walking the audience through Harley Quinn, poor devilish child who was shipped to live with nuns, turned things around by earning her PhD, then fell in love with her psych case (The Joker).
Birds of Prey picks up after a breakup with The Joker, and Margot Robbie reprises her role as Harley Quinn (seen in 2016’s Suicide Squad) – now heartbroken and possibly more unstable than before. Within the first fifteen minutes two things are clear- she’s an absolute nightmare, and I’m obsessed with her. She takes the breakup rough (a bad hair cut, drinking to oblivion, causing massive explosions, just to name a few). However, throughout the film she brings home her mentality that “behind every successful man is a bad*** broad.”
The film is very comic book like. It pauses mid frame, and in big font explains who are the people seeking out Harley Quinn for revenge. Harley Quinn also narrates the film, giving the audience a peak at her delusional but hilarious thoughts. In typical bad guy-good guy fashion, the plot of the movie stems from offshore bank accounts, stolen jewelry, and many sudden murders. Harley Quinn is fun with her guns that shoot confetti, mustard, etc. The secondary cast is interesting, but it seems like the film had to rush through character development so their backstories feel hollow.
My husband who is a DC fan shares, “I enjoy that they go into some Batman and Gotham. The choreography is really great!” The fight scenes were both great choreography-wise but also woman-wise. At one point, Harley asks her accomplice if she needs to borrow a hair tie. Later, Harley does an outfit change which the rest of her crew comments on. These little moments and details that add more realness to a female character go a long way. As a whole, the film is not very unique. However, Margot Robbie really breathes a life into Harley Quinn that is something special.
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Genre: Action, Adventure, Crime
Run Time: 1 hours and 49 minutes
Directors: Cathy Yan
Actors: Margot Robbie, Rosie Perez, Mary Elizabeth Winstead
Rating: Rated R for strong violence and language throughout, and some sexual and drug material
Fun Fact: Margot Robbie pitched the idea of Birds of Prey to DC and Warner Bros. as a female-led superhero action movie and they agreed with her vision. “I think there’s a perception that a PG female-led action film is kind of considered a chick flick,” says Robbie, which is why we’re going to see an R-rated version of the story.