This is the latest standalone entry in whatever is going on within the DC Universe these days and it centers almost entirely on Harley Quinn (Margot Robbie). The wild lady is back, and absolutely shining as she nails the comedic bits while also bringing a balance of messed up sorrow as well. The general narrative follows Harley after her break-up with the Joker, and that is the catalyst for the events in this film.
She’s no longer untouchable, and that makes a wide variety of criminals very happy as they don’t like her. This includes the completely insane, and delightful Roman Sionis (Ewan McGregor). The guy has some serious problems, and is growing an empire with his close pal Victor Zsasz (Chris Messina) who is also just great. If you’re a fan of these smaller regular people type characters from DC, this is perfect. There’s no over the top powerful folks, and just a truly messed up bunch going at it.
This is violent, focused on comedic moments and wild to purely enjoy. The narrative is straight forward, while having some flashback elements to set up an interesting squad. That of course is essential since this is the Birds of Prey, despite being centrally targeted on the star Harley. It definitely does work for this one, and it’s just a lot of fun. Every scene is filled with action, or some sort of strange scene and that keeps the pacing going smooth.
This is a really interestingly shot film, in that it embraces all of the colors throughout so many scenes. The police station portion being a great example, smoke and chaos. Nothing is off limits as it’s always vibrant, shedding that dark grim look at the DC Universe has been known for over the years. This is great, a fantastic direction and one that’s actually exciting to see.
Harley is always rocking some over the top thing, and they don’t shy away from including some little iconic touches as well. This feels very grounded, and still over the top which works well. It’s very comedic in nature, provides countless laughs throughout and they seem to have found a right balance. It’s almost like Marvel style comedy, but for adults and she somewhat channeled a Deadpool like style with this one.
The fight scenes were beautifully choreographed and this had so many stand out moments. I also really liked the rest of the squad, despite them being somewhat set aside. Huntress (Mary Elizabeth Winstead) was super awkward in the best of ways for that character, and Black Canary (Jurnee Smollett-Bell) was great in emulating that character. Again, their main villains were just fantastic and McGregor nails the twisted attitude of that madman.
Birds of Prey And the Fantabulous Emancipation of One Harley Quinn really does deliver a great time, that’s fun and full of laughs throughout. They don’t hold back on the violence, or the action and were never afraid to go a little over the top. This was well shot, with distinct scenes and many stand out moments.
They have a great squad here, and it’s only slightly a shame that it takes so long for everyone to get connected. This is very much Harley Quinn’s story, and sort of a fresh start for the character moving forward. Past that, a great direction for the DC Universe to continue doing these standalone stories with their wealth of characters.
This was highly entertaining, it embraced the insanity and darkness perfectly while not being some ugly grim tale. I do feel that the narrative perhaps could have been setup a bit better though for the most part it’s a smooth ride throughout. It doesn’t ever come across as dragging, which each character having a number of easy to spotlight scenes. It’s just a lot of fun to take in.
Birds of Prey Review at Theater with Standard Viewing
Screening Provided by Warner Brothers