Oh where do I even START with Birds of Prey?? It’s been almost a full 24 hours since I sat down to see this movie and I’m still wondering how to piece together what I think of this film. At one point, I didn’t think I’d ever be sitting down to watch any kind of follow-up to Suicide Squad (2016), but here I am having done it, and I loved it!
Well, first let’s start with the obvious: Birds of Prey is a fantastic film. I walked out of the theater feeling highly satisfied with the experience. This is the kind of comic book movie that I love, the kind that features the misfits and crazier characters that can be found in these types of films. And Birds of Prey certainly isn’t lacking there: for those who haven’t heard, the story follows a certain Harley Quinn as she embarks on a new life of independence after unceremoniously breaking up with the Joker. There’s just one tiny little hiccup in this plan: now that she’s single, most of Gotham wants Harley dead. And that’s just the beginning of the story, it gets crazier from there.
You can practically feel the tug between male and female in this movie, with Roman Sionis (and his downright creepy henchman) serving as the epitome of everything that is wrong with the male patriarchy, while Harley and the other Birds of Prey show all the ways things can be awesome when you turn awesome and badass women loose on the world.
The casting for this film is spot-on:
Margot Robbie is the perfect cinematic Harley Quinn (though I will always have a special place in my heart for Arleen Sorkin, the animated Harley from Batman: TAS), and watching her interact with the other “Birds of Prey” is a lot of fun.
Jurnee Smollett- Bell is AMAZING as Dinah Lance (aka Black Canary). Aside from Harley herself, Dinah is absolutely my favorite character in the film, please give her her own movie because I would sit down to watch it. (minor spoiler: the moment where we get to see Black Canary’s power is as awesome as you think it will be).
Mary Elizabeth Winstead is a good Huntress, though I almost wasn’t a fan of how she played the character (I have a special place in my heart for Huntress). Though, having had time to think about it, I get why the film does what it did with the character. I will say it might not be what you expect, so keep an open mind when she’s introduced.
Rosie Perez and Ella Jay Basco are a lot of fun to watch as Renee Montoya and Cassandra Cain respectively. With Perez, you really feel Montoya’s frustration as all of these road blocks are placed in front of her. And Basco is just phenomenal. Give her more roles as Cassandra Cain and I will come see the films that include her.
I would dearly love to watch a movie starring all of these ladies again. I don’t even care what the story is about, I just want to see all of them together again.
And then there’s Ewan McGregor as Roman Sionis. Outside of the awesome Birds of Prey, his performance is one of the biggest highlights of the film. He’s terrifying, he’s funny, and my God he’s PERFECT for this movie.
With all of that said, I should add that Birds of Prey is not a perfect movie. It does take a while to get going, and the film’s storyline is a little problematic at times. However, once things really get going, oh man do they ever get going. From the third act onward I was riveted to the screen. The climax of this film was everything I wanted and more. Please, please, please, PLEASE give me more of this in future DC films and I will be a very happy movie-blogger indeed.
I also can’t review this film without giving Daniel Pemberton’s soundtrack a mention. He’s quickly become one of my favorite film composers and this film features all the reasons why I love his work. The music is quirky and perfectly suited to this madcap story, and it includes a number of song selections that perfectly speak to the themes of man vs woman. Hopefully I’ll be able to get my hands on the soundtrack at some point for a more proper review.
What I’m trying to say is that you really should go see Birds of Prey. It’s a little messy in a few places but the latter half of the film is immensely satisfying and more than makes up for any faults in my opinion.
Let me know what you think about Birds of Prey in the comments below and have a great day!
Soundtrack Review: Birds of Prey (And the Fantabulous Emancipation of One Harley Quinn) (2020)
Thoughts on Suicide Squad (2016)
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