*WARNING: This post contains spoilers*
I saw Birds of Prey opening weekend, and went back for a second viewing this week to refresh some of my opinions. I’ve got to say, I was just as thrilled and impressed the second time around! Keep reading for my full Birds of Prey review.
I think the first thing I really appreciated about this film is that I went in expecting one thing, and came out having experienced something completely different. The trailers make this look like your typical superhero team-up, but the main characters don’t all meet until the last 20 minutes of play. The rest of the film is actually spent exploring them as individual characters; building enough of a backstory to make the eventual team-up for the final fight scene feel natural.
Speaking of backstory, it was refreshing to watch a superhero film that didn’t spend most of its screen time boring the audience with background detail for each character. The animated sequence for Harley was fun and engaging, but lasted the perfect amount of time. Equally, the flash back sequence for Huntress gave us insight into her character without diverting from the plot.
The ‘Glitter-Gun to the Face’ Great
That final fight scene in the fun house is probably one of the best choreographed I’ve ever had the pleasure of witnessing. Seriously, the action sequences in this film are worthy of a brand new Oscar category being created in their honour. Harley’s solo jail cell knock-em-down made me a little sad that Margot Robbie has never hit me in the face.
I’m also not ashamed to admit that I let a single tear slip when I witnessed the Canary Cry on the big screen. I adore Black Canary as a character, and even with little backstory provided I really felt we got to know a great deal about Jurnee Smollett-Bell’s incarnation based on her performance.
There were strong performances from all the leading ladies in this film, but I also felt Ewan McGregor deserves huge praise for his take on Black Mask. I’m almost sad we won’t get to see him peel off anymore faces in a future film! I felt physically uncomfortable watching some of his scenes, particularly that club scene.
The Not So Good
I’m not sure I’ve ever seen a perfect film, and BoP is no exception. The only real things I felt were missing from this film? Realism. And a post-credits scene.
Now, I know superhero films are allowed to get away with not being realistic. It’s literally half the reason I go to watch them! It would just be really great if the universe I’m spending a couple of hours engrossed by would acknowledge itself. Let me clarify: this film did not need any Batman cameos. Does that mean the film needed to pretend Batman would be totally chill with Harley Quinn blowing up Ace Chemicals, and Roman Sionis sending a bunch of mercenaries after a teenager? Obviously not, reader. Even if there’d been a quiet B-man name-drop in the police station break-in, I’d have been more convinced this film takes place in Gotham City.
In terms of a post-credit scene, I wasn’t so deluded to believe this film would’ve thrown Joker in as a teaser. I mean, the whole point is he’s not in this film. A subtle nod to Pamela Isley though? That would’ve been cool. Or literally anything to connect this film to the wider DCEU would’ve been cool. It wasn’t a major issue for me though, in the age of the Internet at least I didn’t need to wait around to find out there wasn’t one!
TLDR; I’d give this film a solid 8.5/10, which is probably the highest I’ve ever ranked a film in the DCEU.
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