‘Birds of Prey’: A comical and action packed film

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"Birds of Prey: And the Fantabulous Emancipation of One Harley Quinn" was released on Feb. 7, 2020. Sophomore Danielle Braune rates this movie a 7/10.

Danielle Braune, Staff Writer

Newly single Harley Quinn (Margot Robbie) kicks off “Birds of Prey: And the Fantabulous Emancipation of One Harley Quinn” by wiggling herself out of yet another near-death experience by promising she would find a diamond that the antagonist, Roman Sionis (Ewan McGregor), had been searching for. After explaining previously (and rather publically; Quinn blew up ACE Chemical — the place where she became Harley Quinn after leaping into a pool of chemicals) that she and the Joker were no more, Harley is now a target under the eyes of the many, many people who she wronged in one way or another. Now knowing that Mr. J won’t come after them for hurting her, they seize the opportunity to hunt Harley Quinn down. 

One of these people is Roman Sionis. Just when he’s about to kill her, Harley offers to find and return the diamond. After only a moment’s hesitation, she’s off to find a child who is rumored to have the diamond in her possession. Even when she finds the child, Harley realizes obtaining the diamond will be more difficult than she once thought, and naturally, shenanigans ensue.

The soundtrack was surprisingly compelling — with a dramatic cover of the classic “Hit Me With Your Best Shot” by Pat Benatar and references to “Diamonds Are A Girl’s Best Friend” by Marilyn Monroe, who wouldn’t be interested? 

Margot Robbie plays a great Harley Quinn. Honestly, I doubt anyone else could portray Harley’s half-insane, half-not mindset as well as Robbie does. 

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Harley Quinn escapes a near-death experience by promising to find a diamond for antagonist Roman Sionis.

Once the females of the movie assembled, an epic fight scene commenced — one filled with high action, classic rock hits as the background music, and Harley’s chaotic energy. The quick pacing of it keeps viewers hooked throughout the scene. 

However, the acting by the kid in possession of the diamond, Cass Cain, could have been better.

Roman Sionis (also known by his villain alias: Black Mask)’s motivation was dry; everyone, in this universe, hates Harley Quinn, so the fact that he has many grievances against her doesn’t make him special. His only stand-out trait is how he punished his victims, which dips into spoiler territory… Save for the latter, he is borderline forgettable. 

The fight scenes at the beginning of the movie felt unnecessarily lengthy; but, the obligatory let’s-work-together-so-we-don’t-die-but-later-we-can-go-our-separate-ways one at the end made sense and served its purpose.

While some characters received lots of development through the clever editing style of the film, other characters were barely given anything other than their alias. For some characters, viewers are given a thorough origin story, while for others, we only get crumbs. Seemingly, this movie couldn’t balance its cast, or simply wanted to stay under the two hour limit. But for some characters, especially Black Canary, a backstory should have been added to make sense of her choices throughout the film. 

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The film features various female characters including Huntress, Harley Quinn, Renee Montoya, Black Canary, and Cassandra Cain. 

The thing is: DC Comics knows how to make good, individual movies not connected to the others in the DCU… by now, they’ve accepted that they won’t ever be as well put together as the Marvel universe — but that’s a discussion for another time.

It can be appreciated that this movie is driven by a plot, not just a story containing an ensemble female cast. This movie is confident in its plot enough so that it doesn’t need that backing to get people to see it — similar to Wonder Woman (2017). 

“Birds of Prey: And the Fantabulous Emancipation of One Harley Quinn” was an amusing and comical action film. It had its good parts, but there were many plot holes that take away from its successful and intriguing plot.