August 13, 2022
Birds of Prey review: Margot Robbie’s Harley Quinn still needs salvation

Four years ago, as part of an early expansion to its Marvel Cinematic Universe rival, DC gave us suicide squada faster, darker version of Guardians of the Galaxy, so to speak. (That analogy is now further cemented by the fact that the latter’s writer-director James Gunn is in charge of a soft reboot of the former in August 2021. It’s a Small World, what can you say. But we digress.) .) suicide squad With nearly $750 million at the worldwide box office that wasn’t commercially—a monumental disaster—the only attraction was Margot Robbie’s idyllic, zany character with Harley Quinn. It gave her so much life that she literally begged him to part with that ugly dumpster fire from a movie. And well, it has happened.

birds of prey — or Birds of Prey (and The Glorious Emancipation of a Harley Quinn), as the wholly cumbersome title suggests — is the result of that practice. To differentiate itself from its predecessor, it shuns wildly, both visually and tonal: a bright candy color palette a la Thor: Ragnarok, and fourth wall-breaking commentary a la dead pool, Appropriately, its action sequences lean into those traits and modus operandi, at times sporting copious amounts of bone-breaking violence for laughs amidst glitter and colored smoke. This in front of you perspective is courtesy of relative newcomer director Cathy Yan, whose only previous feature-length credit is the 2018 Shanghai-set dark comedy Dead Pigs, and writer Christina Hodgson (Bumble-bee,

But the new DC film seriously disappoints itself with its narrative choices. birds of prey Robbie, who is responsible for the above comment, to power the film with almost constant narration. Although it accounts for a lot of its humor, it also becomes a tool and excuse for the tons of performances you need to dump it on your head. (It also hides a lack of plot and forward momentum.) For a film that prides itself on its freshness and simplicity, it’s both lazy and poor. birds of prey Leaning forward would have been better served by what works, and so given its inherent distaste or inability to really dig into its own motley of characters who are drawn from either the eponymous superhero team or Batman: The Animated Series. .

Principle Prelude to Screen Birds of Prey on IMAX in India

To justify Harley’s separation from the rest of the squad, birds of prey It opens by telling us that she has returned to Gotham City and has broken up with the Joker (Jared Leto, not Joaquin Phoenix). But trying to be on your own isn’t the greatest idea, as a partnership with Joker gives you virtual immunity to do whatever you want. And that’s important for someone like Harley, who likes to make enemies in everyone. the wrong ones place. Stripped of that power, he learns that half the town wants him dead, including drug-child villain Roman Sionis/Black Mask (Ewan McGregor), a semi-gay dynamic who is involved in sadistic right-handed Victor. Zasaz (Chris Messina). ) and then, things get worse.

Without the Joker’s protection, Harley also ends up in the crosshairs of the Gotham Police, namely Renee Montoya (Rosie Perez), a dog detective who is also building a case on Sionis. The running joke on her is that she talks like an officer from a bad cop movie from the ’80s. Caught between the two, Harley falls into the trap of Cynis. About to end her life, Harley offers to help the villain secure a diamond McGuffin that was stolen by pickpocket foster child Cassandra Cain (Ella J. Basco). It also pulls in a mysterious killer named Helena Bertinelli/Huntress (Mary Elizabeth Winstead), the neighbor and singer of the kid in the Black Mask Club, Dinah Lance/Black Canary (Journey Smollett-Bell). But not everyone has the same level of involvement in the story.

Out of all, Winstead has the least to do birds of preyShame on an actor of his caliber. Especially when you consider how dependable and friendly she is in a short amount of time. Perez and Smollett-Bell are given a little more to work with, but their characters feel bound for the same note, sexism in the workplace and running away from family heirlooms, respectively. Cassandra of Basco is the only one, other than the titular female, to have a range. and as she walked suicide squad, Robbie is an endlessly charming presence – only this time she isn’t drowned in the noise around her. The only competition for Robbie is given by McGregor’s flashy, scene-stealing turn as the ugliness oozes out of him.

bird of prey black mask bird of prey movie review

Margot Robbie as Harley Quinn, Chris Messina as Victor Zasz, Ewan McGregor as Roman Sionis birds of prey
Photo credit: Warner Bros.

But his ferocity is somewhat out of the armor of conspiracy. birds of preyThe protagonists, who are kept alive by the Black Mask because the film needs them more than they need them. Elsewhere, the characters behave silly at times for the sake of the plot. The huge issue for the new DC movie though is the struggle to define what it is about. On a superficial level, it’s about a carefree person figuring out how to live a life that doesn’t depend on someone who is the boss of your surroundings. On a deeper level that takes forever to reach, birds of prey Wants to be about the power of brotherhood – though the women in the film spend most of the time fighting each other. The special thing is that men always have problems, and women should take care of each other.

In the absence of resonant themes, it is the action that keeps the spotlight, Yan clearly takes pains to be creative in his approach. She benefits from the fact that there are no superpowers birds of prey – save for a foreshadowing opportunity – which prevents it from devolving into standard DC issue, with everyone punching each other really hard. To his credit, Yan creatively uses slow motion and introduces new elements that fit Harley’s personality, including roller skates, acrobatics, and baseball bats. Not only do they look cool, but they also serve the purpose of showing girl power. And it’s made even better with small touches, like Harley offering to tie someone up in the middle of a fight. At the same time, some set-pieces discount logic or lack proper ups and downs.

In the end, birds of prey The gloomy ends for moments of explosive, violent fun—it’s certified “A” in India and rated “R” in the US—are more than quashed by its expository stumbles. And minus a stellar box office run, its future also seems unclear, given how it ends with the formation of the eponymous crime-fighting group minus Harley, which is returning in a new Suicide Squad under the Gun. . This would be Robbie’s third turn as the character, making her a major figure in the DC film universe alongside Gal Gadot’s Wonder Woman. But he never had any big plans. Thanks to DC’s failures, three different writers have done their job. Hopefully one day someone will free Harley from this.

birds of prey Now playing in cinemas across India. There’s a post-credits audio scene that’s not worth the wait.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.