Geek’d Review: Birds of Prey Movie
I'm not by any stretch of the imagination a huge Harley Quinn fan. I enjoy her in the comics in small doses. Like her role in the Hush storyline was awesome. Beyond that, I could take her or leave her. However, Margot Robbie's portrayal of the character in the 2016 Suicide Squad movie really impressed me. So, I was sort of interested to see where DC and Warner Brothers were planning to take the character when she's the star of her own movie. And yes, she is THE star the "Birds of Prey" movie.
Before we really dig into this, there's been A LOT said about this film online. People have trashed this film. People have praised this film. The box office for this movie (so far) has been less than stellar. Before watching this movie, I exposed myself to the good, the bad, the ugly.
And here's the thing I just can't grasp...how is this thing a flop? As far as comic book movies go, BoP is dang near perfect. It's fun, it's entertaining, they do a really good job giving the main characters a solid backstory...I mean, top to bottom, this a great 90 minute movie.
Really, there's only two REAL problems I have with this movie:
1) The way Warner Brothers marketed this thing. The movie I saw in commercials was not the movie I saw in theaters. Watching the commercials, I couldn't figure out what this movie was. After seeing the movie, it's a Harley Quinn movie. Which is how it should have been titled, marketed and sold. The characters have separate stories and they slowly come together to unite to accomplish a common goal. That leads to the Birds of Prey. It's not a 'Birds of Prey' movie. I just wish WB didn't drop the ball on selling this thing to the public. But, historically speaking, this is what WB has done with most of their DCEU movies. They market them wrong, they cave to social media pressure and force directors to change the product (Batman V Superman immediately comes to mind...the Director's Cut is awesome. The version WB wanted released was mediocre at best.)...I mean if there is a way for them to drop the ball on a film, they do it. Which is sad. Because they hire the right people to make these movies...but then they find a way to screw them up and turn the general public against them.
2) I WISH Harley would have squared off with Joker. Spoiler alert: the Joker is a major character in this movie even if he doesn't really appear in it. And it is definitely the Jared Letto Joker. For the most part, this movie is about Harley moving on from the Joker. There's mentions of him, semi-flashback scenes, a cute little cartoon...but no definitive showdown between the two ex-lovers. I get why they left the Joker out...but I think Harley telling him off straight to his face would have added something to the character and really would have sold the theme of 'empowerment'.
Otherwise, I really enjoyed Margot as Harley. She is to Harley Quinn what Ryan Reynolds is to Deadpool. She gets it. She loves it. She's authentic. And she does the character justice. Ewan McGregor is incredible as Black Mask. I cant' stress this enough...the movie is worth the 10 bucks or whatever to see in theatres.
The story is solid, the acting is incredible...it's just a really, really good movie. I've seen some reviews online claim that 'girl power' gets in the way of the story. It doesn't. Don't get me wrong, there's a strong flavor of feminism and female empowerment...but that doesn't take away from anything. In fact, even as a male, I thought it kinda added to the fun of the whole thing.
I get it, you are NEVER going to be able to please everybody. But, this movie deserves to be seen by a lot more people than it has. It doesn't deserve to be trashed or ignored, it is worthy of your attention. And, remember, this is coming from a guy who hasn't been a fan of Harley dating back to Batman the Animated Series. She may not be my favorite comic character but after watching this movie, she may be my favorite female character in all of comic book movies.