When a Birds of Prey movie was announced, I was excited. My excited quickly turned to optimism and then vague interest. That was mostly because I realized there wasn’t going to be an Oracle or a Batgirl. That sucked – considering Oracle, better known as Barbara Gordon/the original Batgirl created the team.
And worse, Casandra Cain, the new Batgirl was recast as a ‘teenager’.
The original Birds of Prey lineup: Black Canary. Huntress. Batgirl. Oracle. Renee Montoya.
However, there was a reason to ‘hope’ – the inclusion of Harley Quinn in the lineup. And if Margo Robbie was going to continue the impressive streak she began in Suicide Squad – well.
Another win win.
So I went to see Birds of Prey And The Emancipation of One Harley Quinn. Well.
The movie starts with Harley intimating the viewer with what she’s been up to in voice-over. Apparently she had broken up with her ‘puddin’, Mr. J, and leaving the circle of the Clown Prince of Crime has implications – as she comes to find out. She had raked up an impressive list of people who had a target on her head – and spent the whole movie navigating that.
Harley is honestly the only bright spot in a cast that includes an unnecessary Huntress (though it was an opportunity to see one of my favs again – Elizabeth Winstead), an inept Black Canary, a over-aged Renee Montoya (I honestly would like to understand Rosie Perez’s casting; ‘ageism’ anyone?) and a plot-device laden Cassandra Cain who looks and sounds NOTHING like her comicbook counterpart.
In all fairness however, the movie, while it started slow, picked up around the 25/30 minute mark. It has enough laughs and action to keep you sitting and standing and sitting again. It’s a roller-coaster ride of a movie – thrilling here, funny there, lame attempts at tear-jerking – but otherwise worth it. A first viewing, at least.
PS: Several things stood out to me in this movie – one of which is (spoiler alert) Harley storms a police precinct with a riot gun loaded with party explosives and takes out over a dozen police officers – ALL MALE.
The second thing is the movie might as well be tagged #MenAreScum. There was no male with a single redeeming feature in the entire movie. I found this tacky; why is it suddenly cool to dump and dish on men at every opportunity?
Oh well. I guess it’s the age of outrage. What do I know?
My personal issues aside, give Birds of Prey and the Fabolous Emancipation of One Harley Quinn a watch. It’s worth that, at least.