Birds of Prey takes place after Harley Quinn (Margot Robbie) and the Joker have broken up. With a hit now on her head, she is wanted by Black Mask (Ewan McGregor), but ends up working with Black Canary (Jurnee Smollet-Bell), Huntress (Mary Elizabeth Winstead), and Renee Montoya (Rosie Perez) to protect a little girl named Cassandra Cain (Ella Jay Basco) from this rising villain.
I did quite enjoy the members of the Birds of Prey, but since we are barely introduced to all of these women in this film, they just scratched the surface with their characters. This is actually more of a Harley Quinn movie that feature the origin of the Birds of Prey.
What really surprised me about this film was the action, which was really quite impressive. Not only are there a lot of action sequences, but they all have a slightly different feel to them. For example, one of the action set-pieces only involves Harley so it’s more colorful and a bit silly, while the ending team-up fighting sequence is pretty brutal. Though there was one action scene that did not work for me because it utilizes way too much slo-mo.
Margot Robbie once again proves that she is perfect in this role. Of course, many already loved her as Harley because she was the best part of (Oscar winning) Suicide Squad. Here, she gets to play more with the utter wackiness of Harley. And I quite enjoyed her arc on finding out who she is without the Joker.
Ewan McGregor as Black Mask is given a great amount of screen time as the villain in the film, but though he isn’t a one-note character, he’s still under served as an antagonist. His character just boils down to a spoiled, rich man who thinks he own Gotham. You can tell though that McGregor is having a fun time here though.
As I said before with the Birds of Prey members, there isn’t a whole lot too them. I would say I liked Black Canary the most out of the three since she had the most to do. But Huntress and Renee Montoya showed promise, I wouldn’t mind seeing their characters show up again in the future. Cassandra Cain’s story line was tiresome, mainly because she is in possession of the film’s MacGuffin, but I did enjoy her bonding with Harley and I’m a sucker for a cute kid.
Something that really turned me off the film was the constant narration. This also led to a jumping timeline that I felt was unnecessary. The timeline wasn’t confusing, but because it was all over the place, I couldn’t really get into the film until the halfway point. Similarly, the narration is very tiresome and I enjoyed the film more when Harley no longer had to introduce the audience to new characters or situations.
Overall, Birds of Prey is a fun time. It’s colorful and violent, but some of the stylistic choices and story beats just didn’t work for me. However, if you are a fan of Margot Robbie’s Harley Quinn, then I think you’ll have a good time with this movie.
I give Birds of Prey a B-