Birds of Prey (and the Fantabulous Emancipation of One Harley Quinn) (2020)
Directed by: Cathy Yan
Starring: Margot Robbie, Mary Elizabeth Winstead, Jurnee Smollett-Bell, Rosie Perez, Chris Messina, Ella Jay Basco, Ali Wong, and Ewan McGregor.
Parents Guide: C
Preston’s Review: 😍
This isn’t your typical superhero film, nor is it like anything seen in the DCEU so far. Think “Deadpool” on steroids... yeah, it’s hard to imagine a movie with more over-the-top action, cheesy one-liners, and bizarre nonlinear storytelling than the famed “Merc with a Mouth.” Yet, here it is. Don’t be fooled by the advertisements, Birds of Prey is a project that is fully devoted to Harley Quinn, and the rest of the “birds” serve as narrative cushion. That isn’t to say that the characters are bad, they just aren’t prominent enough to warrant much screen time. But who wants to see anyone else on screen when you have Margot Robbie iconically delivering a performance that will forever hold its place among the comic book bests. Additionally, Ewan McGregor is toxic, psychotic, and outrageous as the infamous crime boss Black Mask. The use of colors, costumes, lighting, and music work beautifully to create a syndicated theme. What’s more, the choreography — thanks, I’m sure, in no small part to the reshoots by Chad Stahelski — is outstanding. Believe it or not, the action sequences are mind-blowingly exciting. As far as the narrative itself goes, the first act is slow going but very intriguing, and it includes an epic opening monologue from Margot Robbie. Next, the second act drug its heals a bit, although the nonlinear fashion in which things were filmed definitely broke apart some of the monotony. Finally, the third act was really something special. There are reasons why it could have turned out laughable, yet it remains consistent and ends on a really exciting promise for more to come (*crossing our fingers that the box office numbers go up*).