Birds of Prey (2020) Review

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RATING: 2/5

[SPOILERS]

After a break-up with the Joker, Harley Quinn must prove herself that she can be capable of doing criminal actions on her own.

Harley Quinn’s first solo movie and the first R-rated film in the DCEU. It had the ingredients to be fun, though only in bursts.

Margot Robbie was still a great choice to play Quinn. She had that dangerous and psychotic yet cheerful personality. She delivered some of the best scenes in terms of the humor and action scenes. I liked her flips and acrobatic techniques to lay the pain on some henchmen.

The rest of the colorful cast/characters were mixed with me. Some of them I didn’t really much care for like Black Canary, Huntress, and the police detective. Though I will admit Huntress did have a couple scenes where I did laugh out loud. Particularly with her practicing her “menacing” intro. The pre-teen (Ella Jay Bosco) was kind of cool. She and Quinn did have some fun banter between them.

In terms of the villains, Black Mask (Ewan Mcgregor) was something. I don’t know his performance was cheesy and over-the-top but at the same time, it was kind of a joy to watch. Victor Zsasz was, there. Honestly I prefer the one from the “Gotham” TV series. Also both of their guy’s deaths were very anti-climatic.

The animated beginning caught me off-guard and I really liked it. It got me invested in what the rest of the movie will be like.

The whole visual style echoed similar vibes to “Suicide Squad.” That might seem like a questionable thing, but here, it worked. It worked a little more appropriately this time around.

The climax was very nice in terms of the setting and the action. Actually that whole carnival/fair location was cool. I wish they would have done a little more.

With all the bright colors and some nice action, I wasn’t totally on-board with rooting for the characters or feeling sympathy for them. I mean this was a movie that was a sequel to a subplot in the “Suicide Squad” that I didn’t care for in the first place. So watching this next chapter in Quinn’s life, I feel like I wanted to know more of what the previous chapter was like. Sure the film did give tidbits of it in the animated intro, but I wanted it to be expanded upon. Plus the whole rebirth process of Quinn in the movie wasn’t that special. Her relationship with the teen, Cain, followed in lines with the liar-reveal tropes.

Now the runtime was a breath of fresh air, not being over two hours. But much like “Justice League,” this might be one of those things that a longer runtime needed to be done. The actual “team” doesn’t happen until the climax. Therefore one doesn’t get that comradery or strong group relationship. It would have been better if they all got together earlier. Maybe then I would have cared.

The R-rating was a good move by Warner Brothers. It is cool to see the DCEU take risks as opposed to the safe route that Marvel does. However watching this movie in full, this could easily be turned into a PG-13 movie. If the violence was toned down and a large chunk of the dialogue was softened that is. There were a number of scenes in here that I could totally see not being rated R.

“Birds of Prey,”  has a great main lead, showcases a cool visual style, offers good humor, and delivers some nice action scenes. Though if one were looking for depth, one won’t get it here that’s for sure.

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