“Birds of Prey” proves to be a fun, surprisingly well-made ride

Madison Diemert
Editor in Chief

“Birds of Prey (and the Fantabulous Emancipation of One Harley Quinn)”, the highly anticipated spin-off of “Suicide Squad” released this Friday, opening with an estimated $33.3 million in the U.S. The film was estimated to make $45 million during its opening weekend, so it wasn’t far off from its goal.

But the lingering question remains. Why didn’t the film make its estimated revenue? 

The film is almost entirely what you would expect from a Harley Quinn movie— it’s colorful, wacky and dripping in Harley’s (Margot Robbie) fractured narration. And this is what makes the film so great. 

“Birds of Prey” is so Harley Quinn. It’s just what was needed – an entirely severed tie from Harley’s (ex) boyfriend Joker, who stole the limelight in her first feature film. 

And of course, it wouldn’t be “fantabulous” without some girl power. Along for the ride are Harley’s frenemies, Dinah Lance AKA Black Canary (Jurnee Smollett-Bell), Renee Montoya (Rosie Perez), and Helena Bertinelli AKA Cross Bow Killer AKA Huntress (Mary Elizabeth Winstead). These characters are Harley’s turning point from villian to anti-hero. 

Dinah Lance meets Harley during a night-out, Renee Montoya is a 1980s-esque cop who has had it out for Harley since day one and Helena Bertinelli makes her appearance near the end, vying for revenge.

But because these women are all wronged by the real villain of this story, Roman Sionis AKA Black Mask (Ewan McGregor) they band together to save a miscreant pick-pocketer, Cassandra Cain (Ella Jay Basco). This makes for a wholesome story and a feel-good ending— perfect for who Harley is: a girl who takes what she wants no matter the cost, but still has the heart to know what is truly right. 

The film still had its downfalls, like any other. The narration, as stated before, is a remarkable replica of “Deadpool”, as the titular character jumps back and forth between time frames, much like Harley. This one slid by me, though, as someone who is an adamant Harley Quinn fan and knows of her dip in the vat of toxic waste that turned her “mad.” 

Ella Jay Basco was also a bit of a downfall. From the incredible performances from Robbie, McGregor and the rest of the crew, hers earns a bronze medal. Her acting may also be an account of her being 13-years-old, but there has been a slew of child actors much more gifted than her. We’ll give her time, though, as she is promising and has a lifetime to improve. 

Overall, I would give this movie a 3.5 out of 5. It was a great movie for the Harley Quinn franchise, but it could have been improved. This is generally the case with all movies, though, so no hard feelings to one Harley Quinn.

Header photo courtesy of the Birds of Prey Facebook page.

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