Birds of Prey review
DC does it right
Another decade, another flurry of comic book films. Kicking off the new batch is the new DC film Birds of Prey. A spin-off of the Oscar-winning film (Best Makeup and Hairstyling) Suicide Squad, Birds of Prey takes the groundwork laid out by Suicide Squad, tears it up, lays out it’s own groundwork and tells anyone that disagrees to jog on. Honestly, this film was a lot of fun and makes for a welcome addition to the DC extended universe (DCEU for short).
Margot Robbie once again nails the character of Harley Quinn, who, alongside Wonder Woman, is more or less the most interesting part of the DCEU at this point, because who cares what Superman and Batman are up to? All they do is brood about the place anyway. Yes, Harley Quinn certainly makes strides in Birds of Prey, being a Deadpool-esqe anti-hero with solid foundation for character growth. Spoilers, her and the Joker break-up and now she has to make it out on her own, a task that ends up having some surprising emotional depth to it storytelling-wise (at least for a comic book movie).
“What kind of emotional depth?” I supposedly hear you ask. Well, the empowering kind. Harley’s story is framed within the idea that she needs someone, that she needs to be a sidekick of sorts. However, the ability to make it on her own is something that helps her to understand that she can do things all her own, in her own way, and own it while she does it. This aspect of her character really helps link her to the audience because, well, imagine you’re going through a break-up. After the initial heartache is done, you think to yourself; “Wait a second. What am I doing? I got this!” and then throw in your earbuds and listen to “Good as Hell” by Lizzo or whatever the youth is into these days.
The general point I’m trying to get across though is that Birds of Prey offers the viewer a chance to join Harley on her own journey of self discovery and, assuming you’ve somewhat been through the above, relate to it every step of the way. That aside, the rest of the cast do equally as wonderful work. Mary Elisabeth Winstead owns it as the socially awkward yet revenge-fuelled Huntress, Jurnee Smollett-Bell almost steals the spotlight from Margot as Black Canary and Ewan McGregor is a surprisingly ruthless villain as Black Mask. All of these characters and more really sell the show.
It’s a shame that this film is getting a low box office draw because it really is quite good, boasting a Rotten Tomatoes score of 80 per cent. Personally, I blame the superhero fatigue bug, or at least that’s what I would blame if I weren’t so sure that the next Marvel film is going to make bank. I certainly hope it’s not because it’s an all-female team, that would be a very silly and childish reason not to see a superhero film. Well, one way or another, I hope the numbers pick up.