Birds of Prey (2020)

A dizzying bundle of energy whilst also possessing an inspired anarchic spirit, the movie features a sensational Margot Robbie as Harley Quinn.

Rating: 3.5 out of 5.

Dir. Cathy Yan
2020 | USA | Action/Crime | 109 mins | 2.39:1 | English
NC16 (passed clean) for strong violence and language throughout, and some sexual and drug material

Cast:  Margot Robbie, Rosie Perez, Mary Elizabeth Winstead, Jurnee Smollett-Bell, Ewan McGregor
Plot: 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.
Awards: –
Distributor: Warner Bros

Accessibility Index
Subject Matter: Moderate
Narrative Style: Slightly Complex
Pace: Fast
Audience Type: Mainstream

Viewed: In Theatres – Shaw Lido (Media Preview)
Spoilers: No

While a name change to ‘Harley Quinn and the Birds of Prey’ would have been more arrows-on-the-bullseye in terms of marketing, this new DC Comics movie is an entertaining blast and should benefit from a moderately strong word-of-mouth and the increasing fandom surrounding Margot Robbie. 

For more sophisticated moviegoers not quite persuaded by the lure of studio movies, you might be pleased to know that Cathy Yan, the director of the Sundance award-winning Chinese indie, Dead Pigs (2018), is at the helm, which is a positive statement of intent by Warner Bros to hire a female Asian-American to direct a big-budgeted picture as her sophomore. 

I personally think she has done an excellent job, and you wouldn’t believe how different this film is to her Magnolia-esque debut feature, showcasing her versatility. 

A dizzying bundle of energy, Birds of Prey eschews a chronological narrative for a more jumbled-up storytelling style that works in its favour.  It gives off a fresh vibe, but more importantly, possesses an inspired anarchic spirit that aligns effectively with the rebellious Harley Quinn. 

“Never call a woman a ‘chick’. I’ll accept ‘broad’, ‘lady, ‘woman’, and on occasion, ‘bitch’.”

Robbie is, of course, sensational as Quinn, who must be her very own defender after Mr. J a.k.a. the Joker (not to be confused with the Joaquin Phoenix one) broke up with her. 

With plenty of vengeful enemies looking to exact brutality on her, she must evade them whilst saving a young girl from a despicable Gotham crime lord (a devilish Ewan McGregor). 

The movie is loud with a gutsy playlist of songs as accompaniment, and just as well, because Birds of Prey is more violent than expected, with plenty of bone crunching and bloody gunfights, at least comparatively more so than, for instance, the PG13-friendly Suicide Squad (2016). 

While the film doesn’t really say anything that has not already been said by other similar genre movies, it is still a bag of fun seeing nefarious men screaming in pain at the behest of a ragtag of anti-heroines. 

Grade: B+




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