Birds of Prey is a spin-off to the critically failed, Oscar-winning 2016 film Suicide Squad. Harley Quinn has just broken up with the Joker, or “Mista J” as she says, and now she has to deal with the consequences of losing the protections Joker afforded her.
Joining Harley in this hour and a half romp are fan favorite characters Black canary (Jurnee Smollett-Bell) who works for Roman Sionis, AKA Black Mask (Ewan McGregor) as a singer/driver, and has a killer voice; Huntress (Mary Elizabeth Winstead) who is on a personal revenge quest; Cassandra Cain (Ella Jay Basco) who is young pickpocket that just happens to swallow a valuable diamond that Sionis is after; Renee Montoya (Rosie Perez) who is a badass cop solving crimes around the city that connects the ladies together.
The title of the film promises a movie that belongs to each of the ladies, but it’s really a Harley Quinn movie featuring Canary and Huntress. As a fan of Mary Elizabeth Winstead ever since Scott Pilgrim vs The World and 10 Cloverfield Lane, I hoped she’d have a lot of screen time. Unfortunately she’s in less than half, but she steals every scene she’s in and I’d love to see another sequel featuring her character more prominently with the group.
Birds of Prey has plenty of over-the-top comic-book action, but a look into the pedestrian life of Harley Quinn is what captured my attention. Harley Quinn goes to a diner an orders a egg sandwich (which she makes a HUGE deal of); goes grocery shopping; and has tiny, cozy apartment above a Chinese restaurant. It’s an aspect of comic book characters we’ve never seen before. The juxtaposition of a comic book villain going into a diner and paying for breakfast I found hilarious.
I’d recommend Birds of Prey if you’re looking for a fast-paced, manic, action film; or a fan of DC comics. I count Birds of Prey as another win for DC since their rocky beginnings at creating a cinematic universe comparable to the MCU.