Cathy Yan (director)
1h 49 mins (length)
06 February 2020 (released)
07 February 2020
Margot Robbie's Harley Quinn was one of the standout characters in 2016's Suicide Squad, and now, she's starring in her own movie.
Birds of Prey (and the Fantabulous Emancipation of One Harley Quinn), to give the film its full title, opens with Quinn mourning the end of her relationship with the Joker. Being in a relationship with the Gotham City supervillain gave Quinn immunity, so now it's open season and she has a target on her back. Many people she has wronged are coming for her, including crime lord Roman Sionis/Black Mask (Ewan McGregor) and his right-hand man Victor Zsasz (a peroxide blonde Chris Messina).
In exchange for her life, she offers to find Cassandra Cain (Ella Jay Basco), a young pickpocket in possession of their precious diamond. However, she ultimately decides to team up with Helena Bertinelli/Huntress (Mary Elizabeth Winstead), who has her own connection the diamond, Dinah Lance/Black Canary (Jurnee Smollett-Bell), who sings in Sionis's club, and detective Renee Montoya (Rosie Perez), who has been investigating the criminal for a while, to take down the evil duo and save the girl.
Birds of Prey is light, entertaining and like a breath of fresh air, with fun visual flourishes, snappy character backgrounds, and an amazing soundtrack.
The stunt choreography is absolutely terrific and there are some very creative fight scenes, such as a long sequence inside the Gotham City Police Department. The decision to go for a more adult rating was wise but it isn't super violent. There is mostly just a lot of swearing and wince-inducing bone-crunching, with the exception of one nasty and bloody moment.
Robbie is the star of the show, without a doubt. She looks like she enjoys playing Quinn and she's a delight to watch. Her voiceovers, facial expressions, quirks, and overall look were brilliant.
The film is less of an ensemble piece than it is believed to be. It is mostly just Harley with some extra help towards the end, which is a shame, because the movie really excels when the women, who were separate for most of the film, all come together as a team for the terrific finale.
Birds of Prey takes a while to get going because it jumps around in time and the style takes some getting used to. The tone remains uneven throughout, as Robbie's scenes are very funny, light-hearted and over the top, while the others are more straight and serious.
With excellent stunts, a strong cast and a quirky style, Birds of Prey is the most fun and refreshing flick from DC Comics so far.