Birds of Prey Review

I’ve always had a thing for strong women.

I guess it’s because I grew up with one of the original Irish matriarchs in my life; either that or it’s so much more fun to push a girl’s buttons if you know they’ll give as good as they get.

And Margot Robbie’s Harley Quinn is just about ready to burst in Birds of Prey (the fantabulous emancipation of one Harley Quinn).

Picking up where Suicide Squad left off, Birds of Prey finds that mess of a film’s only interesting character on a break up bender to end them all.

Having been kicked to the curb by Mister J, who’s glaring absence from this stand-alone yarn has absolutely nothing to do with Jared Leto’s criminally awful turn as Joker, Quinn starts kicking out at the world to let them know she doesn’t need Gotham’s clown prince of crime to take care of her.

Only problem being Gotham decides to kick back a lot fucking harder now everyone Harley’s pissed off knows she’s no longer with ‘the jokes’.

And that’s a pretty long list.

Luckily for Quinn, she knows how to handle herself and a bunch of two bit crooks.

Unluckily for Quinn, the Black Mask is no such thing – and she may have bitten off more than she can chew with this underworld don.

Pretty soon daddy’s lil’ monster is on the run from a slew of crims and bounty hunters either out for revenge or an easy pay day. 

Seeing as their name’s aren’t in the title, I’m not sure I fancy their chances.

Birds of Prey (the fantabulous emancipation of one Harley Quinn) is the latest DC shaped comic book flick off the Warner Bros production line and, after Todd Phillips’ bold reinvention of Joker, it’s more than a little underwhelming.

All those now familiar superhero elements are present and correct here: everything’s played for laughs as some big name actor – Ewan MacGregor – dials his campness up to eleven as the latest super villain du jour, while our leading lady vamps her way through one daring action sequence after another.

So if you’re into those middling cookie cutter Marvel movies that get churned out every six months – Taika Waititi’s brilliant Thor: Ragnarok excepted – chances are you’ll lap this up.

Only thing is Joaquin Phoenix changed things for comic book films last year – forever… making this rainbow bright Birds of Prey adventure look and feel not just flimsily superficial but horribly out of time.

Marvel’s tired money making formula is so last decade and it’s high time DC stopped trying to imitate their rival’s successes and started getting ahead of the curve.

Margot Robbie is the perfect actor to help them do this – she’s so hot right now that her halloween cosplay take on Harley Quinn is the ideal vehicle to get people to come and see whatever film she was in.

But instead of taking a chance and coming up with something truly original, Birds of Prey’s script is so uninspiring that you’ll have forgotten what little plot there is long before the final credits roll.

Birds of Prey is a fun but disposable ride through Harley Quinn’s Gotham city life, and there’s nothing wrong with that – but it’s a missed opportunity for DC.

Worst of all, its derivative script is a waste of Robbie’s Hollywood talents – and for any fan of strong women, that’s no joke.

Jonathan Campbell 

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Dates ‘n stuff

February 2020