by Diego Osorio | February 13, 2020 8:00 am
Birds of Prey: And the Fantabulous Emancipation of One Harley Quinn is the 8th film in the DCEU (DC Extended Universe) and arguably one of the best. The last film before this was Shazam (2019) and not being a fan of that film, I was hoping for something good to come out of the DCEU. Joker was an amazing film, however, it’s not in the DCEU and is in its own separate universe. I wasn’t expecting a whole lot when I went into this film as I figured it wasn’t going to be anything too crazy or wildly entertaining but leaving the theater I was finally amazed at how good it ended up being. Whether it be the characters, the story, the soundtrack, all of it works and doesn’t disappoint at all.
The story is about how Harley Quinn (Margot Robbie) having split with the Joker, joins Black Canary/Dinah Lance (Jurnee Smollett-Bell), Huntress (Mary Elizabeth Winstead), and Reynee Montoya (Rosie Perez) to save a young girl from an evil crime lord Black Mask/Roman Sionis (Ewan Mcgregor). While the story is simple and you don’t have intergalactic aliens appearing and big crazy battles, the story has a lot of depth behind it. There’s plenty of action and if there isn’t any at the moment, there is usually something to keep your attention going.
Mild Spoiler alert: The film starts off with Harley talking about her early life up to the present in this animated cartoon type intro. I was not expecting this and already I could tell I was in for an interesting film. While she does mention the Joker quite a few times, there’s only one scene where Joker (Jared Leto) shows up but it’s only when his back is showing. The scene was from Suicide Squad when Joker and Harley Quinn are in the Ace Chemicals barrel. I was hoping for an actual scene where we got to see the return of Jared Leto’s Joker breaking up with her whether it be new footage or unused footage spliced together with CGI. While the title is Birds of Prey: And the Fantabulous Emancipation of One Harley Quinn the film mainly focuses on Harley Quinn which some people may not like but I didn’t mind too much as the story makes sense in the creation of the Birds of Prey team. It’s more like two stories going on at one time.
The characters are easily one of the best parts of the movie. While I wasn’t familiar with the Birds of Prey team before, I left the theater wanting more. The standouts for me were Harley Quinn, Black Canary, and Black Mask. Margot Robbie embodies the character like no other and I can’t see anyone else playing the role but her. She was easily one of the best parts in Suicide Squad so seeing her in another film as a lead was great. Black Canary has been seen before in the TV show Arrow (2012), but this was definitely a fresh new take on the character. Way before the movie came out I had a feeling she was gonna be one of my favorite characters and sure enough it turned out that way. Lastly, for Black Mask, Ewan Mcgregor brings on this crazy and relentless character to life. It’s always better when the villain is not some big CGI monster so I appreciate it when films do that cause in this day and age, CGI sometimes can ruin a film. He’s one of my favorite DCEU villains and while his arc is relatively the same throughout the movie, there’s a lot to discuss about his actions and the terrible things he does to other people.
The soundtrack is something that needs to be talked about as well because it’s done so creatively in this film. Another thing I liked about Suicide Squad was how they brought in a lot of artists to make the film stand out with its music. There’s one song in particular which is before the big battle at the end that got the whole theater ready for what was about to commence. Every song had a purpose and wasn’t just thrown in there for no reason.
All in all, I hope that in the future we get a sequel to further explore these characters and it would be a shame if we didn’t. I’m excited about the future of the DCEU and where it takes us next.
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