Birds Of Prey: Margot Robbie’s Vanity Project

Birds of Prey is a superhero film based on the DC characters of the same name directed by Cathy Yan. It serves as sequel to Suicide Squad and is set in the DC Universe. The plot of this film is that following her break-up from the Joker, Harley Quinn (Margot Robbie), set out to find out who she is and live her own life, she then gets targeted by a local drug lord and gets mixed up with a wide assortment of characters.

Why did you do this DC? You were on such a streak recently, but then this film came out; which may be the weakest film in the DCEU, but hey I like Batman Vs Superman and Suicide Squad so what do I know.

My issues with this film are on a fundamental level, firstly this isn’t a Birds of Prey film, it’s a Harley Quinn film that is using that name. Huntress (Mary Elizabeth Winstead), Black Canary (Jurnee Smollett-Bell) and Renee Montoya (Rosie Perez) are in the film for maybe 30 minutes in total and are shockingly underused. This film is all about Harley Quinn and it isn’t afraid to show it. Adding to that Cassandra Cain (Ella Jay Basco), a future Bat-girl is also in this film and she may be played by one of the most annoying child actors ever; but that is low hanging fruit, so I won’t rag on it too much.

This film is clearly heavily inspired by the New 52 run on Harley Quinn, which I loved, it has a lot of tonal similarities, but where the comic works the film doesn’t. I don’t know if it is issues in translating it over, but it just seems like it is trying to hard. The random asides, musical and otherwise and the jumping around in time for no real reason, reek to me of them trying too hard to make it edgy and random. Robbie is clearly doing her best Deadpool impression as well. I think the fact that this film doesn’t have Poison Ivy in it, to act as a new love interest for Harley is one hell of a missed opportunity.

The thing I dislike the most about this film is its message which is as aggressive as a punch to the throat. We have two incredibly on the nose scenes in this film, we have on scene where Harley is almost taken advantage of, why include this in your Harley Quinn superhero film as it just sticks out? As well as another scene of Black Canary singing ‘it’s a man’s world’ and it is like I get it film I get your point can you please stop ramming it down my throat it is off putting; showing once again that Hollywood doesn’t understand the meaning of subtly. Moreover, later in the film we have a scene where Black Mask (Ewan McGregor), forces a woman to strip, which once again feels out of place and he hasn’t shown any behaviour before that suggests he would do that kind of evil deed rather than just having her killed. All of these scenes are incredibly jarring and take you out of the experience and make it feel as though you’re being lectured to.

To conclude no wonder this film underperformed it tries too hard, misses a huge character opportunity and has as much subtly as a brick to the face.

Pros.

The Birds of Prey barring Harley are cool, it’s a shame they are barely developed.

Cons.

Robbie is trying to be Deadpool see the police evidence locker cocaine scene to see what I mean, it’s obvious.

Cassandra Cain is ridiculously annoying every time she is on screen.

The constant lectures.

The over the top randomness of it all.

1/5.

Reviewed by Luke

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