Birds of Prey Movie Review
It's been nearly 4 years since we last saw Harley Quinn on the big screen in Suicide Squad and now, just 6 months away from her on screen anniversary, we see her back in Birds of Prey and the Fantabulous Emancipation of One Harley Quinn. Even though Margot Robbie plays The Joker's love interested perfectly, did we really require another appearance? I was reluctant but open to giving her another chance. Sadly that reluctancy was justified...
Birds of Prey is a film which revolves around Harley Quinn, to the point where it may as well have not been called Bird of Prey, however, I think everyone was expecting this. Margot Robbie is the in thing at the moment and, as mentioned before, the shining light of Suicide Squad. With Harley recently separating from her boyfriend, The Clown Prince of Crime, aka The Joker, she is left to tackle the world by herself. Even though Harley had proven that she can look out for herself, The Joker gave her an extra level of protection which allowed her to live life the way she wanted and hurt who she wanted, with no real repercussions but that is no more and these people now want revenge on her, including Gotham Gagster - Roman Sionis, aka The Black Mask, played by the legendary Ewan McGregor.
McGregor is one of may favourite actors, with his performance in Birds of Prey only cementing that. McGregor did a great job at bringing a very shallow character to life. If a weaker actor had been playing this role, the film would really have struggled but luckily they managed to rope McGregor into playing Roman. The film does a good job at telling us that Sionis is a very powerful crime lord within Gotham City but that is it. He carries the icon nickname of The Black Mask due to the fact that he wears a black mask, however, we only see this happen, maybe twice? With no real explanation on why he wears it making the whole concept a bit weird.
Whilst Harley is trying to stay above water, living the single life and fighting off criminals wanting to kill her, she find herself in a situation where she needs to protect a girl who has stolen something precious from Roman. This allows us to see Harley's more softer side, but also allows the fellow birds of the Birds of Prey to integrate into the film, with each one all having their connection to this girl. Even though the catalyst to bringing these powerful woman together worked well, each character had little-to-no-depth. Due to the film being 90% about Harley, there didn't leave much time to flesh out the other female characters, to a point that make you actually care about them. I wouldn't be bothered if I never saw any of them on the big screen again, sadly.
Overall the story was something different to what we are used to seeing but the execution needed some work. Apart from some impressive scenes, such as an awesome one in a police storage unit, where Harley shows us why bats and hammers are her favourite weapon, the film was extremely hard to absorb due to it's dull nature. With this being said, there was one element to the film, which if I am honest, had me feeling pretty irate and that was the execution of the male characters. I know that this is a film about women coming together for a common cause and I am really behind us emphasising more powerful women, but not at the cost of male characters. Not one man in this film was remotely decent and it was quite frustrating after a while. I don't feel that men should be put down to raise women up. Birds of Prey was a great opportunity to drive the woman empowerment message, I just felt it was done in the wrong way.
As always, I like to touch on the score, which was composed by Daniel Pemberton. Pemberton is going from stride-to-stride with is soundtracks, with each one getting more and more positive praise. When Birds of Prey is concerned, Pemberton, sadly, put an end to his winning streak. There was only one part within the film that I can remember where the score made an impression but during rest of the film it was massively forgettable. This pains me to say as I have been a advocate of Pemberton leading upto this point.
If you are a fan of Harley Quinn outside of cinema this film is for you, as like I've mentioned a few times, Margot Robbie does a great job at bringing the character to life but if you aren't too bothered about Quinn, like myself, then the film doesn't leave you much to enjoy. I am sad to give this a more negative review as I'd love to see more films of this nature. I hope Margot can keep the character alive within the DCEU one way or another, just maybe not leading the pack.