Birds of Prey Review
Sharing my thoughts on the Cathy Yan film via this Birds of Prey review. The film opens February 6 and stars Margot Robbie, Jurnee Smolett Bell, Mary Elizabeth Winstead, Rosie Perez, Ella Jay Basco and Ewan McGregor.
OK the casting has had a few ups and downs leading to the film’s release. So we get fantastic casting for characters like Black Mask and Harley Quinn but then again we also have some “we don’t know how to react” casting like Rosie Perez as Renee Montoya or even Mary Elizabeth Winstead as Helena Bertinelli aka Huntress. But seeing the movie convinced me that they made the right call. Winstead though badly needs to have better script because it can be painful to watch from time to time.
Action and VFX
Great cinematography and visual effects for this Birds of Prey. And while it’s tonally different from David Ayer’s Suicide Squad, you can still see that it shares some inspiration here and there. I admire the filmmaker in the vision for the fight scenes where its not shaky. I do not appreciate shaky cam shots for action scenes because the realism feel shouldn’t work on a work of fiction. For Birds of Prey we don’t have shaky scenes and that makes it really enjoyable.
That final action scene with all the women gathered together and taking out Black Mask’s thugs is one for the books. And because they have precedent stuff, we’re also not seeing the comic book stuff happen. Just out and out violent beatdown on people who want them dead or badly injured.
I really want to ask if Margot Robbie got her back injured for carrying the film on her back but that’s a fallacy. Ewan McGregor shined here too. Ella Jay Basco’s Cassandra Cain worked wonders here as Harley’s would-be-partner and even that one scene with Smolett-Bell and Perez had high potential. Do we want to see more of these same talents for a sequel? Definitely but give them more meat and things really move their character forward.
The whole plot’s very generic to be honest. At this point of time for cinema, everything’s a trope already and this story’s been told a hundred times already. Now what Cathy Yan and her team did was tried to make it as fun and exciting as possible. Did they do that? I think they did. They managed to infuse some much crazy energy to the story of a bunch of ladies getting dragged into organized crime’s grubby hands and turn it into something to talk about. I love the fact that it does open new doors for other stuff for the future including a Birds of Prey project that will not need Margot Robbie’s Harley Quinn. Or a solo Harley Quinn movie that’s no longer hobbling on Joker plot points.
The plot also helps cement Harley Quinn as a powerhouse for DC Comics and DCEU films. It’s what we would have wanted from Suicide Squad but never got.
I have to admit, I’m not that thrilled to see a BOP movie so early on. I would have wanted to see them join together after making various appearances in other DC films but that road has a very slim chance of being taken what with WB’s projected lineups. There’s just no way. So the finished product is something that looks nice. The humor in this is insanely over the top with viewers getting a peek into crazy mind of Harleen Quinzel. There’s also a lot of nice moments for the other birds like the only-referenced-backstory of Black Canary or Renee Montoya’s past. The fight scenes were great, the easter eggs are also one to look forward to.
Birds of Prey Review- Verdict
Its not a perfect comic book movie but it’s one that leaves you happy as the credits roll. Margot Robbie is definitely the star in this film and brings Harley Quinn to different places, some places that we don’t even know we want to be in. Each character got sufficient screen time to which is something that’s always worrying in team movies like Avengers and Guardians of the Galaxy.
Special thanks to Warner Bros Pictures Philippines! Birds of Prey is now showing!