BIRDS OF PREY: AND THE FANTABULOUS EMANCIPATION OF ONE HARLEY QUINN (2020)

Birds-of-Prey-Rated-R

Directed By: Cathy Yan
Written By: Christina Hodson
Cinematography: Matthew Libatique
Editor: Jay Cassidy & Evan Schiff 


Cast: Margot Robie, Rosie Perez, Ewan McGregor, Chris Messina, Jurnee Smolett-Bell, Mary Elizabeth Winstead, Ella Joy Basco, Ali Wong, Daniel Bernhardt, Steven Williams 


After splitting with the Joker, Harley Quinn joins superheroes Black Canary, Huntress and Renee Montoya to save a young girl from an evil crime lord.

The film lives exactly up to it’s title. As this movie is essentially about a break-up and how after one you can find yourself depressed and trying to find yourself or your true self again and how sometimes it isn’t easy to do on your own. You need friends or at least a kind of support system around you. To kind of remind you to bring out your talents and build up your confidence and even your trust. Even if at first it doesn’t seem that way. Finding yourself after a breakup with the help of others and true friends to truly help find your independence and who you are again learning to live once off life support.

This film is purely from the female standpoint as we never see or hear the joker not are any of his sentiments or emotions shared. As one of the more disturbing aspects of the romance between the joker and Harley Quinn is that people see it as romantic even though it is a more toxic and abusive relationship if you ever really look at it and examine it Was just expecting it to be better.

The film is ok but there are times where it tries to hit you over the head that this is female empowerment and look at these women who have been put down gain respect and reputation. We get it if it didn’t have that kind of reminder every few scenes it would just be a good action or superhero movie.

Though Margot Robbie is the genuine star of this movie and shockingly has acrobatic skills. All the actresses make their characters memorable and iconic In Their own way. Even if they cross paths. It only really come together in the third act. They each feel like they could be a hero of their own film only here it seems more they need each other to succeed.

Ewan Mcgregor’s villain is over the top and more foolish and almost campy as he is supremely selfish and emotional. His henchman seems even more so though more in look than demeanor as when the henchmen speaks it then feels more like dress up.

The film is fun yet also constantly reminds you that it is a comic book world and quite frank the only town Gotham city has seemed warm and inviting to a degree. As it is usually sunny and feels more like a metropolis rather then in the usually dc Batman films which seem So cold this film opens up the DC world again to seem more fun and humorous and even though this film is very violent and action packed. It still never reaches that level of being quite as strong or memorable as marvel films. Which might be because marvel’s nature is to try to connect and lead one film To another where as these DC films you wonder if they take place in the same universe or different dimensions. As Gotham city here is presented a little more brightly and colorful then the usual dark and gloomy.

The film seems to want to showcase it’s R rating with plenty of cursing and a certain level of extreme yet cartoonish to a point violence. Even as it at times shows the aftermath and consequences of this violence.

Maybe it’s Expectation that is the problem as it feels like this film tries to be many things for many different audiences. As it seems now most superhero films or comic book films must have a deeper subtext to them And be meaningful In Some way instead of just being a fun adventure. This film seems to try to have it all while also being a pop art spectacle that after awhile feels frivolous to a degree. As it is silly when it needs to take itself seriously and takes itself seriously when it should be silly.

As even in the comics it’s ridiculous but makes sense in their worlds. So even though Harley Quinn isn’t part of the birds of prey. In her own comic book she is rarely serious but always silly and violent. So as the film goes along maybe it’s supposed to be like her unstable and switching tones. After all either way this is more a movie to entertain and give a little something extra

One of the more disappointing aspects is what is expected of superheroes and villains these days. Where when they make it to the big screen they feel more commodified and commercialized for a general audience. Where they lose their originality and what made them special to a select audience In the first place. As they lose a kind of purity.

Grade: C+

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