Movies for Breakfast BIRDS OF PREY Review

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The follow up to Suicide Squad is finally here, and thankfully it is much better than its predecessor.

Synopsis

After splitting with the Joker, Harley Quinn joins superheroes Black Canary, Huntress and Renee Montoya to save a young girl from an evil crime lord.

Review
Birds of Prey is a movie going in the right direction for DC. Following the poorly received Suicide Squad, this movie is a breath of fresh air. Mostly focusing on Harley Quinn after the events of Suicide Squad and after breaking up with Joker, the movie takes a very light approach to the team-up of a movie. Much closer to the way Batman v Superman handles the team up with everyone being separated with stories intertwining until the very end. Don’t go into this movie expecting a lot of scenes with the group together, for the most part you will see only one two main characters on screen at the same time up until the climax which is a shame. When that happens the action is there but does feel a little lacking when compared to other superhero movies or even television series as it feels held back.

Throughout the movie the different actors get their moments to develop and give some backstory to each prominent character. There are some quick action scenes from time to time, but overall the movie is very dialogue and story driven with moments of action and fight scenes thrown into the mix before switching the story to another character. Overall there are four different stories that intertwine, Harley Quinn and Cassandra Cain, Roman Sionis/Black Mask who is the primary antagonist and Dinah Lance/Black Canary, Officer Renee Montoya, and then Helena Bertinelli/The Huntress who has the most interesting story, but least screen time among these stories. While the stories do intersect, the film will mostly keep these characters separate and only have them meet briefly for a scene before moving back to their plot in the movie.

While Harley Quinn is given most of the screen time in this movie, making her plot the one that gets the most development, outside The Huntress the other characters do get plenty of room to show off as well, albeit it would have been nice to get a little less of Harley Quinn and more of the other characters overall. The Huntress getting the backseat throughout the film is one of the most disappointing aspects of the movie since her story is the most interesting and is just glossed over. I can only hope this is because she will get a more prominent role in a potential sequel or even a solo movie or series all to herself where her story can be expanded on. With the back and forth behavior of switching character stories constantly though the pacing is kept up, with no real moments where Birds of Prey feels slow.

The acting in Birds of Prey is very good, with Ewan McGregor melting into his role as Roman Sionis perfectly. Every scene he is a part of he takes absolute control of, even scenes involving Margot Robbie as Harley Quinn she is shadowed by Ewans performance as he becomes the character. His casting for that role is one of the best decisions that was made during the production of Birds of Prey. That out of the way Margot Robbie continues to personify Harley Quinn the same as she did in Suicide Squad, which I don’t think surprises anyone. These two take complete control of the movie, and with the writing and pacing of the movie almost seems like the movie originally was only meant to feature them.

Then we get into the other main characters in this film, all of which are great, but stand out less than the previously mentioned. Jurnee Smollett-Bell is a very good Dinah Lance, it is sad that she only really gets a handful of moments in the movie for her to be able to act and bounce off the other characters. The same goes for Rosie Perez as Renee Montoya who gets very little time to expand outside the fact her character is a disgruntled cop that doesn’t get any respect. Then finally there is Mary Elizabeth Winstead as The Huntress, who as I previously mentioned doesn’t get much time to shine at all. Every scene she is in she is secondary for the attention but does still have some great lines and as mentioned before some of the most interesting backstory. I look forward to seeing these three mold more into their characters in the future, but Birds of Prey did not give them the time to do so to stand out.


Closing Thoughts
While the movie is very entertaining and fun to watch, it does feel like it could have done with one more draft before being finalized. While no glaring faults in Birds of Prey, it does still give a sense that it is lacking, and some more scenes with characters outside of Harley Quinn could have been added. The film seems to be a Harley Quinn movie with the Bird of Prey tacked on at the last minute, leaving the characters outside of Harley Quinn and the main antagonist Roman Sionis in the background most of the time. Hopefully the Bird of Prey themselves can get their own movie in the future to fix this only downside to the movie.


Trailer