Harley Quinn: Birds of Prey Movie Review

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Claudette Barius

The Birds of Prey forming their team

Conner Nyguyen, Staff Writer

Birds of Prey is DC Comics 8th movie in the Detective Comics Extended Universe (DCEU) and has been getting great critical reviews. However, many fans feel the movie does not have re-watch value. 

Birds of Prey takes place after the events of Suicide Squad and puts a lot of emphasis on the main character, Harley Quinn, played by Margot Robbie. Harley and the Joker broke up, which leaves Harley vulnerable to her enemies in Gotham. The villain, Black Mask or Roman Sionis, played by Ewan Mcgregor, is in search of a diamond that contains a secret code with enough money to rule Gotham City. Sionis has an accomplice named Black Canary, who drives and sings at his nightclub, and later becomes a member of the Birds of Prey. 

Harley gets into trouble with Sionis and must find the secret diamond in exchange for her life. Cassandra Cain, a young girl, gets into trouble by stealing the diamond and eats it to hide it. Harley must protect Cain from the criminals of Gotham. The two soon become close and realize they aren’t much different from each other. After Harley goes through heartbreaking moments with her house, her life, and the loss of her pet hyena, she decides to deliver Cain to Sionis. 

The movie starts to pick up the pace as it goes into more depth with the side characters. In addition, Huntress, who is another member of the Birds of Prey, is part of the family that owned the diamond, and is a trained assassin whose goal is to kill the remaining members of the gang that killed her family. Harley and all the side characters unintentionally meet together and form a team to take down Sionis. The ladies defeat Sionis and go on to fight crimes in Gotham together as the Birds of Prey.

Each character has their moment to shine, but the side characters are buried by Harley and her fanatics. Black Canary only showcases her powers at the end of the movie, Huntress roams around Gotham, but the movie cuts back too much on Harley.

The movie takes the perspective of Harley, and it bounces back from a memory, to another memory, to a side character backstory, and back to the main plot, which makes the storyline confusing. One of the best parts about the movie is Ewan McGregor’s Black Mask. DC received backlash for making Black Mask part of the LGBT movement, but in the movie there are only slight hints. McGregor really gets into character and delivers one of the best villains in the DCEU. 

Movie Signature
Roman Sionis turns into Black Mask

Unfortunately, Black Mask dies at the end. Mask was underutilized and was killed off too early in the Birds of Prey universe. For the rest of the characters, Quinn, Canary, Huntress, and Cain are only the most memorable.

“I am happy to see Ewan McGregor play another role because I really enjoyed his performance as Obi-Wan Kenobi in Star Wars. His performance here excites me for his future films,” said senior Dylan Blackmer.

Recently, the movie title was changed to Harley Quinn: Birds of Prey due to the lack of box office intake. With Harley Quinn in the title, DC hoped to accumulate a wider audience using the name. The movie opened with $33.2 million at the domestic box office. It is projected to reach $50 million in its debut, but is still lower than expected revenue income. 

“I’m not interested in watching Birds of Prey because there are better things to watch, let alone what’s playing in theaters. The movie will most likely drop below its selling point because a majority of people only care about Harley Quinn. DC needs to focus more on Superman and Batman to further their universe” said senior Chuck Foor. 

Harley Quinn: Birds of Prey is out in theaters now. It is a fun, colorful movie including R-rated moments. Overall, the movie is a solid 7.5/10 but lacks rewatch value towards the audience. The movie does a great job going in depth with comic book adaptation on the big screen.