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The below is from the latest edition. Enjoy!
Saturday afternoon, I decided to check out – shockingly enough – Birds of Prey (and the Fantabulous Emancipation of One Harley Quinn), or as I will call it for the rest of this section, Birds of Prey.
I know, as a comic nerd, that isn’t much of a surprise, but for the most part, the DC Comics movies since their relaunch behind Man of Steel had left me cold. And few left me colder than this movie’s direct prequel, the stunningly bad Suicide Squad.
That said, for as much as I disliked Suicide Squad, I felt the movie had a few good points, and one of those was the performance of Margot Robbie as Harley Quinn. Once the movie stopped oogling her and let her do her thing, Robbie was absolutely fantastic in the role of the love-lost Harleen Quinzel, and thankfully, someone decided to put Robbie in the driver’s seat for this film.
Serving as both producer and lead, Margot Robbie realized what people liked about Suicide Squad (her) and what people didn’t like (pretty much everything else). The grim and gritty feel of its predecessor lost, Birds of Prey is a wild, fun, glitter-bomb of an action movie, filled with great laughs, stunning action (the second unit director was Chad Stahelski of John Wick fame), and a cast to die for.
Much like with the Marvel movies of late, Birds of Prey is able to cut its own cloth by taking lesser known characters, cutting them to their essence (or in one instance, just taking their name, dropping their backstory and building a unique, awesome character out of it), and delivering new, modernized takes on these personas.
I love Rosie Perez’s grizzled Montoya. I adore Ewan McGregor’s germaphobe Black Mask. Jurnee Smollett-Bell’s Black Canary is just effortlessly cool. I have no idea where the angle came for Mary Elizabeth Winstead’s version of Huntress, but I adore it. Simply put, the movie is two hours of joyful fun. Is the plot a little exposition heavy? Sure. Could I have done with a little less Tarantino-styled non-linear storytelling? Probably. But did I have a good time? 100%.
Now, here’s the bummer. Probably due to the 1-2 punch of Suicide Squad being bad (and people not wanting a sequel to it because of that), and the movie being R-Rated (meaning the teenage female audience who adore Harley Quinn are shut out), the movie isn’t doing all that hot. But, I’m here to tell you – that 82% on Rotten Tomatoes is right on. It’s a great start to the 2020 movie going year.
Do try to catch Birds of Prey before it leaves theaters, and be sure to plot out a way to get a breakfast sandwich after the movie. You’ll thank me later.