The DC Extended Universe has been very up and down in terms of quality since it’s inception in 2013 with Man of Steel. Movies such as Wonder Woman, Aquaman and Shazam! have either been good or have done very well at the box office. Then, there are epic flops such as Suicide Squad, Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice and Justice League. The last two movies, Aquaman and Shazam! have been successes and I was excited to see if the next movie could continue this streak. I am happy to say that it does, and it was a blast to watch.
Harley Quinn: Birds of Prey takes place at an unidentified place of time after the events of Suicide Squad and the Joker has broken up with Harley Quinn and has thrown her out to fend for herself. She tries to do various things to cope with the breakup including moving into a Chinese restaurant, blow up the chemical plant where her and the Joker really started their relationship and adopt a hyena. She then get caught up in a plan by the gangstar Black Mask to take over Gotham City and she teams up with Renee Montoya, the Huntress and Black Canary to take him down.
The movie stars Margot Robbie as Harley Quinn, Mary Elizabeth Winstead as the Huntress, Jurnee Smollett-Bell as Black Canary, Rosie Perez as Montoya and Ewan McGregor as Black Mask. Robbie was one of the few bright spot of the disastrous Suicide Squad and she returns in this movie and is the star of the show. She has a fun personality and she is entertaining to watch as her character develops throughout the movie. The three Birds of Prey alongside her are all great as they bring their own unique personalities and backstories into the mix and those three actresses do a great job bringing their characters to life. McGregor is glorious as Black Mask as he excels at mixing an evil and demented character with one that acts charming at the same time.
My two favorite aspects of this movie is the mix of drama and humor and all the development Quinn and the other Birds of Prey get in the movie. Quinn is entertaining to watch and has a lot of moments in the movie that are hilarious. However, there is a lot of substance to it as Quinn is getting over the feeling of loneliness and the consequences of being dumped from an abusive relationship. It makes you want her to succeed in what she wants and care about her. Also, Huntress, Montoya and Black Canary all get a backstory narrated by Quinn and the fact this movie does this is great as it makes me care about the supporting characters in the movie. Justice League failed to make me care about the supporting characters as they were not developed nearly as well as the Birds of Prey in this movie. I care about all three of them and that is not an easy task for one movie to do.
The action in the movie also is praiseworthy. The action is filmed in a smooth way that allows you to see everything that is going on and follow it clearly. There are many hits in this movie that are devastating and it does a great job of showing the hits landing and hearing the sounds of bones cracking on impact. That makes this movie immersive and one where I feel tension throughout.
The one negative I have is the kid, Cassandra Cain, who swallows a diamond Black Mask is looking for. It is a very cliched plotline where a rebellious or troubled child is caught up in the action and the main character bonds with her throughout the movie. While it is nice and helps develop Quinn’s character, it doesn’t feel special compared to the rest of the movie which is much more interesting. It worked in Iron Man 3 but not this movie.
Overall, Harley Quinn: Birds of Prey is a fun movie I recommend watching in the theaters and it is one of the best DCEU movies we have gotten so far. We have now gotten three consecutive good DCEU movies and I hope this is a trend that continues to last.