Birds of Prey

Birds of Prey

In Theatres: 
Feb 07, 2020
Running Time: 
109 minutes

There’s no denying that Suicide Squad is one of the worst films of the DC Extended Universe, but the one thing the film did get right was the introduction of Margot Robbie’s Harley Quinn. Just like Henry Cavill’s Superman or Gal Gadot’s Wonder Woman, Margo Robbie is the full embodiment of Harley Quinn. It comes as no surprise then that she would get her own film with Birds of Prey (and the Fantabulous Emancipation of One Harley Quinn). Just like her persona, the film is a chaotic ballet of madness and action where the rules don’t apply. It throws caution to the wind and proceeds with reckless abandon.


Harley Quinn and the Joker have finally called it quits, and this time it’s for real. Unfortunately for her, she’s made quite a few enemies while under the Joker’s protection and now that he’s no longer in the picture, it’s open hunting season. No one wants her dead more than mobster Roman Sionis, who has had to put up with Harley’s nonsense time and time again. His attention gets diverted when someone pickpockets an important diamond he’s been after and while as much as he’d like to kill Harley, he wants his diamond even more. Seeing this as a way to keep her head, Harley makes a deal that if she can get him the diamond she gets to live. It’s not going to be easy though as Roman sends out a bounty to every mercenary and criminal there is. If she’s gonna pull it off, she’s going to need some help.


Fun is at the forefront of Birds of Prey. The film is colorful with ridiculous and over-the-top sequences that match Harley Quinn’s personality. She shoots bean bags that explode in streamers and vibrant smoke, she has a pet hyena named Bruce and a stuffed groundhog that wears a tutu, and at one point she gets hopped up on cocaine while hiding from a barrage of gunfire and then goes wild on them with a baseball bat. It’s absolutely chaos and works well for the DC comic. Sometimes she’ll even break the fourth wall and address the audience. With Harley Quinn, you’re never quite sure what’ll happen next.


Another, less exciting reason why you won’t know what’ll happen next is because narratively the story is all over the place. There’s a constant overlay of Harley narrating the story and in this case, matching the character actually hurts the film. The structure is all over the place, especially in the beginning as it jumps around from minutes, days, and even a week into the past, and then back to the present. It feels repetitive, and it interrupts the flow of the action. There’s way too much unnecessary exposition. Thankfully it gets toned down around the halfway point, and from then on is where things really start to find their groove. The story is a little dip in an otherwise solid flight.


Birds of Prey is an exciting, and action-packed thrill-ride that comic book fans are going to love. It features some great performances led by Margot Robbie with Ewan McGregor and Mary Elizabeth Winstead being the other standouts, and the action is bombastic fun. The story could have used some work, but despite a rocky takeoff Birds of Prey sticks its landing in the end.

Matt Rodriguez
Review by Matt Rodriguez
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