Hey gang, Valkor. This past weekend saw the release of one Harley Quinn: Birds of Prey. And while I loathed Suicide Squad, I loved me some Margot Robbie and her version of Joker’s side squeeze. Afterward, there had been talks of a Harley Quinn solo film, but I never thought the film would merge with Gotham’s female triple threat. Welp, it happened, and the film has been met with positive reviews. But what does your friendly neighbor-critic Val think? Let’s find out!
Harley Quinn: Birds of Prey centers on Harley Quinn, fresh from her breakup with The Joker, she’s now trying her best to show she can make it on her own. However, she gets mixed up in a hunt for a precious diamond, stolen by a little girl named Cassandra Cain (Ella Jay Basco), who pick-pocketed it from Victor Zsasz (Chris Messina). Now, Zsasz works for a crime lord named Roman Sionis AKA Black Mask (Ewan McGregor–Angels and Demons), who puts out a 500k reward to whoever can bring the kid in, even though Harley all but staked her own life that she can do the job. Harley was able to spring Cassandra from Gotham PD of all places. But the hit is out and much of Gotham City’s scum are out looking for them. Thankfully, the duo is not alone as Dinah Lance AKA Black Canary (Jurnee Smollett-Bell), The Huntress (Mary Elizabeth Winstead), and GCPD’s own Renee Montoya (Rosie Perez) join the mix. In the end, Black Mask meets his demise, the girls get away with the diamond, and Huntress, Black Canary, and Montoya form a new team minus Harley Quinn.
When Harley Quinn: Birds of Prey initially released, it was called “Birds of Prey: And the Fantabulous Emancipation of One Harley Quinn”. Now, I can see the need for a name change, but given the content of the film, Warner Bros. Should have called it “Harley Quinn”, since that’s who the movie is about. Granted Huntress and Black Canary get their moment to shine, but it’s not enough to warrant the Birds of Prey title. The whole thing plays out more like a team-up than anything else. And, this is just my opinion, but the Birds of Prey are nothing without Oracle. In the end, there’s enough to love about Harley’s “solo” outing, but there’s plenty I didn’t like. And I’ll tell you all about it in the TOV Breakdown.
Harley Quinn: Birds of Prey was way more fun than I had expected. It’s the right kind of story with just the right amount of action to make this film a blast to watch. It’s loaded with crazy visuals, cool music, tons of laughs, and plenty of explosions that when combined, it forms a highly entertaining experience. If you don’t know the character of Harley Quinn or even the Birds of Prey, then you better hit the wiki because the film brushes by most characters back story. A lot of what you’ll learn is in passing conversations, such as Dinah Lance having her mother’s powers - powers that we don’t see until the film’s climax. There are some slow parts strewn about, but nothing I found too annoying or will cause you to fidget in your seat. Finally, as far as the acting goes, Margot Robbie gave us a taste of Harley Quinn in Suicide Squad. But in this film, she goes all out and then some to outrageous levels. She kind of reminds me of Deadpool without the whole “breaking the fourth wall”. And then it makes me think those two should be in a film together. Then there’s my second favorite, Ewan McGregor’s Black Mask. Dude totally hams it up! And I freaking loved every minute he’s on screen! In the end, Harley Quinn: Birds of Prey is the comic book film I never thought I’d love. And yet I did. It was an awesome experience one I can’t wait to repeat. And now I need more Harley in my life, which thankfully I can fill that void by watching the animated series over on the DC Universe streaming service. I’m not sure if the film will get a sequel, but I think it does, then I’m all over it!
So, the film isn’t exactly perfect as I have a few gripes. My first issue is with Cassandra Cain; I guess the film leaves things open to her become Batgirl in a future film, but I ain’t with it. I just think it’s a waste of an awesome character. I mean she could have been given any name other than Cassandra Cain and that would have been fine. But the comic book geek in me highly objects to the casting choice. Also, I don’t approve of Rosie Perez’s Renee Montoya as I wasn’t feeling her version of the character. But my biggest gripe with the film stems from the name “Birds of Prey”. They could have just called this Harley Quinn, making it her solo outing with an appearance by Huntress and Black Canary, using THIS FILM as the jump-off to an official Birds of Prey movie. That would have made much more sense. And yet, they cobble it all together, with Harley being the only standout. Finally, just a small gripe, I think the film could have used more Joker. Not too much, just in the beginning when Harley is starting on her own. Granted, Jared Leto’s version of Joker isn’t a fan favorite; still, I’d have liked for him to have a presence.
Harley Quinn: Birds of Prey is making the theatrical rounds, and anyone who considers themselves a comic book fan would do themselves a disservice not seeing this film. Hell, anyone looking for some crazy adult fun, that’s audio and visually impressive and is a whole mess of fun should check this one out. So, out of TOV 5 stars, I’m giving Harley Quinn: Birds of Prey a 4.