Birds of Prey Image

Birds of Prey

By Alan Ng | February 7, 2020

I also loved the unique use of flashbacks. Unique in that they are not your typical time jumps. But weirdly, as much as the story moves fast, it feels slow at times.

Margot Robbie is exceptional as Harley Quinn. Quinn and her accent become less-and-less annoying overtime. Her physicality as Quinn and great. The rest of the Bird of Prey crew is just as excellent, and I like that they become a team very late into the film, and it’s not overplayed…until the very end.

There is a big problem with Birds of Prey. Throughout most of the movie, I kept wondering why I don’t care for this movie, its story, or characters. I’m not that person that comes in hating a film before it starts. If you’re looking for action, it will hold your interest. But we’re more sophisticated than that. Then it dawned on me, I’m not emotionally invested in any of these characters at all. I’m not familiar with Harley Quinn’s backstory or comic book run. We’re mainly presented these characters in hopes that we’ll automatically care about their ultimate fate, and gender has nothing to do with this problem. This problem happens all the time whether the lead is male or female, just because you put a famous person or character on screen, that doesn’t mean we care about them at all.

“…features good stunts and action-filled fights that can rival any classic Kung-Fu movie.”

Why do I care about Harley Quinn surviving at the end? To simply assume audiences will care for their beloved characters is lazy writing. Sure in Deadpool 2, they fridged Vanessa from the start, but at least that’s something. We need something. It’s also true for the other characters as well. Cassie Cain could have been a great character (being Asian helps too), but she’s just this pickpocket in danger. I know nothing else. Dinah Lance is the Sionis’ confidante, but so what? Detective Montoya marginalized at her job for being a woman. It’s been done. I suppose that’s why God made sequels.

What about the apparent identity politics? Soon it becomes five women against an innumerable amount of men in the ultimate girls against boys fight. Honestly, it’s not worth debating the issue just for this film. It’s there. It’s fun. Chalk it up to balancing the books.

Birds of Prey: and the Emancipation of one Harley Quinn is a fast-paced action movie with fantastic stunts and set pieces. We’re just not given any good reason to care about Harley Quinn, or her female compatriots needed to be emotionally invested in their ultimate victory or demise.

Birds of Prey (2020)

Directed: Cathy Yan

Written: Christina Hodson

Starring: Margot Robbie, Rosie Perez, Mary Elizabeth Winstead, Jurnee Smollett-Bell, Ewan McGregor, etc.

Movie score: 6.5/10

Birds of Prey Image

"…To simply assume audiences will care for their beloved characters is lazy writing."

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