Birds of Prey (and the Fantabulous Emancipation of One Harley Quinn), also marketed as Harley Quinn: Birds of Prey or simply Birds of Prey, is a 2019 American superhero action comedy film released as part of the Worlds of DC franchise. It is a spinoff of Suicide Squad.
It's open season on Harley Quinn when her explosive breakup with the Joker puts a big fat target on her back. Unprotected and on the run, Quinn faces the wrath of narcissistic crime boss Black Mask, his right-hand man, Victor Zsasz, and every other thug in the city. But things soon even out for Harley when she becomes unexpected allies with three deadly women -- Huntress, Black Canary and Renee Montoya.
Why It Rocks
- It's a spin-off that manages to improve from the original in many ways, such as leaving out Joker and only focusing on Harley Quinn as she teams up with female superheroes Black Canary, Huntress, and Renee Montoya..
- Margot Robbie has a good performance as Harley. Ewan McGregor has a good performance as Black Mask too.
- Director Cathy Yan gives off good direction and manages to make most of the exaggeration work in the end.
- It's loaded with fast-paced action throughout, and have snap and surprise, hand-to-hand battles reminiscent to martial arts.
- The comedy is well played-out and hilarious.
- This is mainly because the film doesn't take itself seriously, allowing the jokes to pour in, similar to Deadpool.
- The characters, especially Harley Quinn and Huntress, are very likable and are more badass than those previous heroines in the previous films.
- Unlike other DCEU films that rely on explosive CGI over the story, the film focuses on the characters and story altogether.
- Great lines, such as Harley Quinn's "I got a Ph.D., motherfucker!".
- The story doesn't have much depth.
- Harley Quinn gets most of the film's focus, at the detriment of the other Birds of Prey.
- Though Ewan McGregor does a good job as Black Mask, Black Mask as a character has no depth, existing solely to be an asshole for the protagonists to oppose.
- Fans of Cassandra Cain may not like the idea of her going from a member of the League of Assassins and a holder of the Batgirl moniker to a pickpocket.
Birds of Prey received way better reviews than it's critically panned predecessor. On review aggregator Rotten Tomatoes, the film holds an approval rating of 80% based on 310 reviews, with an average rating of 6.79/10. The website's critics consensus reads: "With a fresh perspective, some new friends, and loads of fast-paced action, Birds of Prey captures the colorfully anarchic spirit of Margot Robbie's Harley Quinn." On Metacritic, it has a weighted average score of 59 out of 100, based on 26 critics, indicating "mixed or average reviews."
The movie was a commercial flop due too poor marketing that resembled Suicide Squad too much, opening only $13 million on its opening weekend. It performed better overseas, however, bringing its box-office total to just over $200 million worldwide on an $80 million budget.