Review: Birds of Prey (And the Fantabulous Emancipation of One Harley Quinn)
The Birds are Prey.Welcome to the age of the fairer being.
With the recent "me too" movement that began in Hollywood in the middle of 2018 and gained traction after the release of some damaging exposes and high profile sexual assault accusations (lets face it, we all know who I am writing about), it can now be realised that the dawning of the female revolution is firmly upon us.
Are we entering a decade of female dominance?
Are they finally going to receive the recognition they deserve?
I certainly hope so because quite simply put, they have earnt it a million times over. And the film industry is leading the way. The opportunities now available to women in the art of film-making have never been so abundant and the entertainment world is sitting up and recognising their outstanding talents and achievements. But, regrettably with this new found worth, comes the scrutiny. Critical eyes will no doubt peruse over every detail of a production, and as sure as the summer sun is hot, those same critics will attempt to ruthlessly dissect the final creation.
It comes with the territory...….
…….and Director Cathy Yan, must answer for the debacle that is "Birds of Prey (And the Fantabulous Emancipation of One Harley Quinn)." It was Yan's film to mold. Her world to create. Sadly, Cathy and writer Christina Hodson, have composed an outrageous piece of cannon fodder that borders on ridiculous and never attempts to recover from a bad case of the far-fetched. COME ON LADIES, YOU CAN DO BETTER THAN THIS. I understand the whole premise of the film is based on the outlandish nature of Gotham City villain, Harley Quinn (played honourably by Margot Robbie) but Yan has fallen into the same trap as Joel Schumacher (Batman Forever, Batman and Robin) before her. She has turned a dark comic book character into a cartoonish sideshow just to satisfy a targeted market and ultimately destroying the franchises potential along with her fledgling reputation. An opportunity like this comes along once in a lifetime and the Director needed to grab the reins tightly with both hands but the proverbial horse bolted.
Set in the fictional world of Gotham City, the questionable story is told through the eyes of one fantabulous woman, Harley Quinn (Margot Robbie), who has just been dumped by the Clown Prince of Crime, Batman's arch nemesis, The Joker. No longer under his protection, Harley finds herself the target of another psychotic creature, Roman Sionis (played by an over-the-top Ewan McGregor). When a young pick-pocket steals a diamond of notable worth that is desperately sought by the crime-lord, Harley becomes public enemy number one after promising to retrieve the jewel to save her own skin only to betray Sionis in an attempt to convince herself that perhaps she is still a good person. The only problem is Miss Quinn is having too much fun as a free criminal.
I suppose it was Yan's plan for the audience to not take her movie too seriously. It was produced for the sole purpose of cheap entertainment and a quick buck, but one cannot ignore the ludicrous concept and a silly child-like script. Mary Elizabeth Winstead must have waked away from the film-set embarrassed by her rigid, emotionless and uncomfortable turn as one of the three "birds of prey", The Huntress. This role was well beneath her and it looked as though she had only read through her lines about five minutes before the film crew shot her scenes. As for the other two, well, they really don't deserve a mention although it was nice to see Rosie Perez (Police Detective Renee Montoya) back up on the big screen.
"Birds of Prey" begins with hopeful optimism but gets worse as the film progresses leading to a climax that is almost comical if it wasn't stupid. It is a movie that doesn't know what it should be.
Is it a crime film or an action film?
Or is it a comedy?
Perhaps it is a well timed "me too" protest...….the beat-up-the-boys fight scenes suggest so.
It is the first of three super heroin flicks to be released this year. I hope "Birds of Prey" is the worst of them. 4/10.