Birds of Prey
:: ScreenShots ::
Critic’s Rating: 3.5/5
Hallelujah! Birds of Prey is not as great godawful as 2016’s Suicide Squad, which was a real DCEU barrel-scraper. But it’s not fantabulous, either, to name check its subtitle: The Fantabulous Emancipation of One Harley Quinn. (Guess Birds of Prey and a Just-OK Romp with One Hardworking Movie Star wouldn’t cut it on the billboards.) Not to knock said star, Margot Robbie — she was the one saving grace about David Ayer’s downer squad of male stars. Robbie had to cede the star spot to Will Smith at that time. No more. The Bombshell Oscar nominee is back as shrink-turned-psycho Harley Quinn, with her lipsticked kewpie-doll smile, batshit-crazy disregard for morality, and lethal way with a hammer. She’s a live wire, announcing in voiceover that Harley and the Joker are kaput as a couple. Jared Leto isn’t back to play the clown prince of crime. Apparently, no one thought to invite Joaquin Phoenix.
It’s time for Harley to emancipate herself from men, form a girl gang, and show that the sisters really can do it for themselves. Robbie, also a producer on the film, does the same thing behind the camera, with Christina Hodson replacing writer-director Ayer as screenwriter and Cathy Yan taking over as director. Timely notion. But the idea of chopping the script into fragments was old when Quentin Tarantino borrowed it for Pulp Fiction, and Hodson is no Tarantino when it comes to verbal fireworks; her humor is strictly Deadpool-lite. It’s great to see Yan move on from indies (Dead Pigs) to blockbuster-filmmaking, and she handles the action as well as most male directors who simply photograph guys beating up on each other. (Sometimes better.) But the creators never take action to a place where it could define character, and maybe raise the bar on the usual punch-stab-shoot mayhem.
Birds of Prey (and the Fantabulous Emancipation of One Harley Quinn), or simply Birds of Prey, is a 2020 American superhero film based on the DC Comics team Birds of Prey. It is the eighth film in the DC Extended Universe, and both a follow-up to and spin-off of Suicide Squad (2016). It was directed by Cathy Yan and written by Christina Hodson, and stars Margot Robbie, Mary Elizabeth Winstead, Jurnee Smollett-Bell, Rosie Perez, Chris Messina, Ella Jay Basco, Ali Wong, and Ewan McGregor. The film follows Harley Quinn as she joins forces with Helena Bertinelli, Dinah Lance, and Renee Montoya to save Cassandra Cain from Gotham City crime lord Black Mask.
|Cast overview, first billed only:|
|Margot Robbie||…||Harley Quinn|
|Rosie Perez||…||Renee Montoya|
|Mary Elizabeth Winstead||…||Helena Bertinelli / The Huntress|
|Jurnee Smollett-Bell||…||Dinah Lance / Black Canary|
|Ewan McGregor||…||Roman Sionis|
|Ella Jay Basco||…||Cassandra Cain|
|Chris Messina||…||Victor Zsasz|
|Ali Wong||…||Ellen Yee|
|David Ury||…||Sleazy Breeder|
|Sara Montez||…||Shallow Friend #1 / Kathrine|
|Isabel Pakzad||…||Shallow Friend #2|
|Daniel Bernhardt||…||Sionis’ Chauffeur|
|Kc Strubbe||…||Naïve Teammate|
|Jacky Shu||…||Skeptical Teammate|
|Paloma Rabinov||…||Bitchy Teammate|
Despite tons of hype and a slew of great reviews, Birds of Prey opened to the lower-than-predicted box office, so what happened with DC’s latest? After a rocky start and some serious headline-making business decisions, Warner Bros. finally got onto the steadier ground with their highly valuable DC Cinematic Universe. 2019 saw them reach new box office heights with the billion-dollar success of Aquaman, which they followed up with the family-friendly delight of Shazam! They exceeded all expectations with Joker, a film that not only became the highest-grossing R-rated movie of all time, but it also garnered more Oscar nominations than any other film of last year. 2020 sees them committing more to the DCEU but with less focus on stridently sticking to the expansion of an epic canon and more attention given to characters, changes in tone, and vibrant styling. The film that was meant to kick this all off was Birds of Prey (And The Fantabulous Emancipation of One Harley Quinn).