a quick and spoiler-free guest(…?) review by the Azure-Winged Magpie
(a.k.a.: the Extinction Entity).
Hello hello and chatter chatter! I’m back!
(For our FIRST film review of 2020!)
Just popping in to say hi. I’m not “officially”-officially a team member any more! And since no one else is doing new releases around here no more… guess what I just watched?!
(Okay. It’s been a few hours, but I needed my beauty sleep dammit!)
BIRDS OF PREY
(and the Fantabulous Emancipation of One Harley Quinn)
SPOILER LEVELS at MINIMAL
🔨 (ಠ◡ಠ✿) wahahahahaha!
I’ll get this out of the way right now… I hated Suicide Squad. Just having a buncha cool things show up in a film doesn’t make it good. And Suicide Squad was sure a stinker! It was like a five year old was given a bundle of comics and put them in a blender with some glitter. That’s what that film was.
Sure, sure. I liked Harley Quinn (Margot Robbie) in it (like… who didn’t?), but everything else was jus’… yeesh! Especially the Joker (Jared Leto). I get that he’s probably a former Robin and not the Joker-Joker (like another Joker I could throw in here) but everything about the Suicide Squad Joker was total garbo.
And that’s why I’ve got a bigHUGE smile on my face that Harley’s done with the RobinJoker in this film. I mean… sure it’s not totally her decision to bin him, but they’re not a thing any more. The HQ even goes as gets Ace Chemicals blowed up big time just to make sure that’s she’s done with all that noise. She’s got a hyena now (called after someone special wink-wink nudge-nudge )and a new haircut and a whole lotta Chinese takeaway to call her own.
While all of this soul-searching, binning-the-ex stuff is going on, there’s this diamond that pops up. It’s pretty important but it gets swallowed up by Cassandra Cain (Ella Jay Basco) because I’m sure that thing’s got to be delicious. Lotsa baddies show up and bounties get put on people’s heads. Faces get peeled off and Ewan McGregor’s been taking a lot of drugs in the back of the film lot somewhere.
Hoo boy! This a BIG improvement! Harley talks to us every now and again and the whole film’s a bit of a rambling mess that gets stitched back together before everything goes and spills onto the aisle. And while it’s all fun and games with Harley and Roman (Ewan McGregor), the rest of everyone kinda gets shuffled to the back of the pack. But even though the “other birds” get shuffled off, they have some really good scenes. Huntress (Mary Elizabeth Winstead) is my favourite “supporting bird” out of the lot and I really liked Jurnee Smollett-Bell as Black Canary. I didn’t really know much about the other birds apart from Huntress heading into this one, and I the film did a pretty good job of telling me who these birds are. And before I forget… Victor Zsasz (Chris Messina) and Roman Sionis steal every scene they’re in!
But back to the rambling!
Yeah… the rambling is actually kinda cool, but it also holds the film back a bit. So even though Birds of Prey‘s an improvement over Suicide Squad, it’s not the best-best kind of film. There’s a lot of twists and turns and it’s not bad, but I think it could’ve been done a lot better. But where the story goes all topsy turvy and narrator monologue-y(?!), the film kicks some proper butt to put things right. The action in this one is some of the best I’ve seen (mostly cause it’s punching and kicking than flying around and all that) and the film looks great as cakes. But the film really needed to get its head the right way on a few too many times. They might’ve had to bin a few scenes from the film, but I’d say that’s a fair price for the film to spend.
WB’s really been on a roll with DC since Aquaman and Birds of Prey keeps that steam going. Where Suicide Squad tried to be edgy and failed, this Harley Quinn film does it right. There’s a lot of things the film could’ve done better, but I can’t complain too much. Harley deserved a better film and she’s got it. Now… the rest of the birds need a better film!
I really miss my drinking days, cause this is the kind of film I’d love to be bladdered for! Birds of Prey is great fun. It looks good. It kicks serious butt. It’s got cool villains. And the best thing is that it’s got a team-up that deals some serious damage. I love this film for what it is, even if it could be done better. I’m going to go ahead and say that Birds of Prey comes in as recommended watching for the month.
Birds of Prey comes out in a little over 24 hours. Go see it if you want to have some fun. It’s fantabulous!
— Azure-Winged “Darth” Magpie up! Up! And Awayyy! *BONK!*
THE AZURE-WINGED MAGPIE: 6.5/10 Fantabulous!
THE CROW: TBA/10
Here’s one of the official posters: