Birds of Prey and the Fantabulous Emancipation of One Harley Quinn
“To tell a story right, you have to start from the beginning…” An action packed, high energy movie, nonstop entertainment with amazing new characters.
I was really lucky to have the opportunity to see Birds of Prey in a pre-screening hosted by Warner Brothers. Also, sponsored by my local comic book store!
Harley Quinn: The center of attention for this movie, no doubt. I would have liked to see a tad bit more emphasis on the other characters. Admittedly, they were introduced well and given a decent amount of screen time. I almost forget Margot Robbie plays Harley because she is just someone new and completely distinct on screen, she is simply Harley and makes the character come to life very well. Also, her cute and crazy outfits were significantly better than in suicide squad.
Cassandra Cain: In comics, Cassandra Cain is Batgirl. I would like to see her development further in more future movies as this part of her is not explored. Nonetheless, she is a funny and unique character and ends up being a big part of the movie.
Black Canary: An interesting adaptation and a personal favorite from the movie. I wrote a blog discussing whitewashing and it touches on race swapping characters which happens in this adaptation of Black Canary but I believe Jurnee’s portrayal is spot on.
Huntress: Plagued from her tragic backstory, full of revenge and… a lovable awkwardness.
Renee Montoya: This character is definitely intriguing and relatable because she is just a normal person trying to do the right thing.
Roman Sionis: Ewan McGregor does an excellent portrayal of Black Mask. It is interesting to see him as a villain, when he is so known for being Obi-Wan Kenobi in Star Wars. Sionis is definitely one of my many favorite characters in this movie.
Gail Simone (writer of Birds of Prey) tweeted a lengthy and worth reading twitter thread on her personal thoughts about the changes. While there are things she doesn’t like (particularly Cassandra Cain’s seemingly new character and the lack of Barbara Gordon) she admits it cannot always be like the comics. Movies are simply adaptations and re-written to fit film.
And I am okay with that, I embrace it. Because why?
Because I believe the truly great characters are elastic. You can pull them and bend them, you can stretch them. The great ones snap back. We all know what their core is. They snap back.
— GAIL SIMONE (@GailSimone) February 7, 2020
Tom Taylor points out some similarities between BOP and his run of Injustice
— Tom Taylor (@TomTaylorMade) February 6, 2020
The problems with the DCEU
First weekend at the box office for a new movie is crucial. Birds of Prey did not do well compared to other superhero movies of its kind. In fact, they changed the name to Harley Quinn: Birds of Prey after this. The first answer that comes to many heads is blatant sexism. I have no doubt there were people who did not see it for that reason but what about Captain Marvel and Wonder Woman’s success?
One issue is DC fans are tired of the DCEU releasing random movies with no sequels and no connections or tie-ins. Despite the failure to really connect all the movies in the DC universe, it sounds like Margot Robbie has plans on keeping up with her character Harley Quinn in potential future movies. Especially with an addition of Poison Ivy in the future.
If you don’t really care about getting too technical with the cinematic universe, it is a fun movie nonetheless. Its definitely worth watching to form your own opinion. Plus, the soundtrack is really high energy and works well in the movie.