Movie Review: Harley Quinn: Birds of Prey

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STARRING: MARGOT ROBBIE, JURNEE SMOLLETT-BELL, MARY ELIZABETH WINSTEAD, ROSIE PEREZ, EWAN MCGREGOR, AND ELLA JAY BASCO

DIRECTOR: CATHY YAN

DATE: FEBRUARY 7, 2020

 

The popular DC Comics character, known as Harley Quinn, has made plenty of appearances in mainstream media since her first small screen debut in Batman: The Animated Series. The character is mostly known for being the love interest to the Clown Prince of Crime, The Joker. She’s crossed over to animation, comics, video games, and even the cinematic screen. After becoming the breakout star in 2016’s DCEU film, Suicide Squad, Warner Brothers decided to give the popular anti-hero her own stand alone film. In expansion to the DC Extended Universe, Quinn will also introduce more heroines to fight alongside her in Harley Quinn: Birds of Prey.

Harley Quinn: Birds of Prey begins in Gotham City, four years after the events of Suicide Squad. The opening scene shows Harley Quinn (Margot Robbie) being thrown out of a house, illustrating that Quinn and Joker have broken up. Harley was devastated at first, but as time went on, she began to cope with the idea of living on her own. She got her own apartment, replaced all of her Joker tattoos, and even got her own pet hyena. However, to officially convince herself that she was over her former lover and partner in crime, Quinn decided to destroy the place where the Joker created her, Ace Chemicals.

Meanwhile, the character of Detective Renee Montoya (Rosie Perez) is introduced at a crime scene investigating a homicide. The victim of the homicide was a former crime boss and Montoya believes that the possible suspect was a crossbow killer, known as Huntress (Mary Elizabeth Winstead). Based on her investigation, she concludes that the murder was committed as an act of a personal vendetta or just a hired assassin working for a bigger crime boss. Regardless, Montoya intends to find out why the crossbow killer is targeting these certain victims and who she actually is.

The next day Dinah Lance, also known as Black Canary (Jurnee Smollett-Bell) is seen picking up a priceless diamond for her boss, but it is stolen by teenage thief, Cassandra Cain (Ella Jay Basco). After the explosion of Ace Chemicals, it was clear that everyone in Gotham City knew about the breakup between Harley Quinn and the Joker. When the news was confirmed, everyone that Harley ever wronged was now officially allowed to kill her since she was no longer under the Joker’s protection. One person in particular who had a huge grudge against her was Roman Sionis, also known as the notorious crime boss Black Mask (Ewan McGregor). To avoid being murdered, Harley makes a deal with Black Mask saying that she will recover his stolen diamond and the antics of the film really begin.

Harley Quinn: Birds of Prey is an interesting but overall unnecessary DC spinoff trying to copy the Deadpool formula with its storytelling and sense of humor. While the characters keep the film entertaining, the film takes a strong feminist approach by villainizing all of the male characters. Nevertheless, the characters of Harley Quinn, Black Canary, and Huntress are the best parts of the film. It’s pretty on par with the Suicide Squad film, just more graphic in terms of violence and language. It has amazing action scenes, but as a DC film, it’s average at best.

Harley Quinn: Birds of Prey receives 7 stars out of 10 stars.

Tyler Jefferson is a Senior Broadcasting/Mass Communications major from Vicksburg, Mississippi. He will be a contributor to The Campus Chronicle for the 2019-2020 academic year.

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