BIRDS OF PREY – A Review By Gadi Elkon

After splitting with the Joker, Harley Quinn joins superheroes Black Canary, Huntress and Renee Montoya to save a young girl from an evil crime lord.

Here is my review of BIRDS OF PREY.

A twisted tale told by Harley Quinn herself, when Gotham’s most nefariously narcissistic villain, Roman Sionis, and his zealous right-hand, Zsasz, put a target on a young girl named Cass, the city is turned upside down looking for her. Harley, Huntress, Black Canary and Renee Montoya’s paths collide, and the unlikely foursome have no choice but to team up to take Roman down.

Birds of Prey: And the Fantabulous Emancipation of One Harley Quinn lives up to that wordy title.  Margo Robbie already made Harley Quinn the most lovable element of Suicide Squad and only amps things up in this solo breakfree film.  The Aussie actresses continues to shine with each role.  After two spectatular roles in BOMBSHELL and MARY QUEEN OF SCOTS Robbie got to dive back into crazy fun with Harley Quinn.  The film relies on how much you can stick with Robbie’s performance and she delivers perfectly.  Every costume change and violent interaction is filled with such enjoyment.

All about the LADIES!  The other refreshing and enjoyable element of this film is just how many ladies make this possible. Writer Christina Hodson is a hot figure in the writing world (Batgirl and The Flash coming up!!) and she gives us so many humor filled moments with the dialogue and the voiceover from Quinn herself.  That inner-monologue is one of the better structure elements of the movie.  Director Cathy Yan’s leap from China to America is well deserved.  Her film Dead Pigs was another unusual humor filled work of uniqueness and now she’s transitioned nicely into the wacky world of DC’s Birds of Prey.  Overall that combo working with tremendously talented DP Matthew Libatique gives us one of the year’s more fun rides.  His ability to add the blinding speed and violence in the film is worth your time and money.  Lastly add in the British touch of composer Daniel Pemberton.  His quirky musical tone really adds so much to the mystic of Quinn and her new female crew.  That crew is highlighted by Jurnee Smollett-Bell’s scene-stealing performance as Black Canary.  Mary Elizabeth Winstead isn’t as showcased sadly as the there is a mystery element to her role as Huntress.  But if sequels are coming Winstead could end up becoming a really fun character for fans as she kicks major ass.  Add in the anger of Rosie Perez’ take on Renee Montoya and you have a bad group of killer birds.  Newcomer Ella Jay Basco gets to have a lot of thieving fun and she skips through the movie with such delight.

One off villains aren’t always the best options in these comic movies.  You either don’t get enough time with the dastardly devilish figures as you’d like or they just suck.  Ewan McGregor as Roman Sionis debunks that and his slightly to close sidekick played by Chris Messina is also well fleshed out.  With each new moment with McGregor and the scarred Messina character you start to really enjoy the duo.  McGregor really seems to relish playing such an eccentric bad guy and by the second half of the film is in full over-the-top mode.  His wild ass nature is the perfect foil to Harley Quinn’s already wacky ways.  The costume/clothing department in the film deserves Oscar look next year just for the contrast of Quinn’s attire to Sionis’ suits.

In the end the film is visually stunning with Libatique behind camera and the Ladies, McGregor and the cast dominate throughout.  A fun filled 2 hours that will make you want to grab a bat and cause mayhem.

Fly birdies fly over to the theaters!

BIRDS OF PREY

Directed by: Cathy Yan

Written by:  Christina Hodson

Rated R

Selig Rating 4 Stars

Running Time: 1hr 49min

Action / Adventure / Crime

Wide Release: February 7th

Starring: Margot Robbie, Rosie Perez, Mary Elizabeth Winstead, Jurnee Smollett-Bell, Chris Messina, Ella Jay Basco, Ewan McGregor

 

The Selig Rating Scale:

5 Stars – Excellent movie, well worth the price.

4 Stars – Good movie

3 Stars – OK movie

2 Stars – No need to rush. Save it for a rainy day.

1 Star – Good that I saw it on the big screen but wish I hadn’t paid for it.

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