Birds of Prey (and the Fantabulous Emancipation of One Harley Quinn) – original title
FSK 16 length 110 min release: Jan/Feb 2020
Admittedly I am a bit late with this review as I haven’t managed to watch it in the opening week – but it might be a useful guideline for those who have much more time to watch new movies via streaming services… and this DC output can truly compete with Marvel, they did (almost) everything right! If you love Deadpool you’ll love this one too!
The plot: Finally separated from Joker, Dr. Harleen Frances Quinzel alias Harley Quinn (Margot Robbie) attempts a new career path as mercenary, which is crossed by Dinah Lance alias Black Canary (Jurnee Smollett-Bell), Helen Bertinelli alias Huntress (Mary Elizabeth Winstead) and Renee Montoya alias The Question (Rosie Perez). The women have one goal: Protecting Cassandra Cain (Ella Jay Basco) of the evil kingpin Roman Sionis alias Black Mask (Ewan McGregor).
Harley Quinn could be seen as a female counterpart to the Deadpool character – as also this movie has received R-Rating. Robbie manages to portray an anti hero you immediately like, despite all those antisocial antics and murders… Not to mention the anarchistic humor easing the gore in all those brutal fight scenes. And there’s also this fresh Rrriot Girl attitude (could not help thinking of Tank Girl comics), fast-paced action and great fighting scenes in a screaming color scheme – all in all a high octane audio-visual adventure without unnecessary sentimentality or lengths – something I would have expected Suicide Squad to be …
Another plus are all those strong women not only in front of the camera but also behind it. Margot Robbie is not just the leading actress but also pitched the idea to this Bird of Prey movie and acted as producer, getting director Cathy Yan and author Christina Hodson into the team. A great cooperation which hopefully should not remain the only one. The good critical reception of this movie so far confirms this impression – now a lot more comic / super hero movie fan base should check this one out. I particularly enjoyed some scenes that made fun of Macho-super hero clichés and visually there might have been some inspiration from the 60s Batman TV series. The soundtrack is another plus, featuring several Hardrock classics (e.g. Barracuda) where they fit in perfectly. Summing up: A Must-Watch.
PS: One thing they didn’t get right – the company changed the title after poor ticket sales, and admittedly the original title is not only long but also a snore feast…