Prey Birds: and Harley Quinn’s Wonderful Emancipation is a movie that I had high expectations of. I begin this review with positive things like Margot Robbie, since Harley Quinn was an awesome cast, and still has a better performance in the Suicide Squad than she, I guess, and Ewan Mcgregor plays a good Black Mask version. I thought the use of colors and costumes were fantastic, and through some of its sequences, I found some entertaining moments. However there’s a lot of trouble with this film and most of the performances in this film are shuddering, particularly from Rosie Perez, who’s like Renee Montoya (and I know that’s what they did but that doesn’t work), and Mary Elizabeth Winstead is like Huntress who sometimes gives us some nasty playing. Why too is the movie called Prey’s Birds? This is a Harley Quinn movie, like the Birds of Prey trailers are just in it, but they were typically some of the most cliché superhero characters of the early 2000’s I’ve seen since that age, and when they were little, they were cool characters.
The film can be named by the DC superhero crew fighting crime, but Harley is showing. And Margot Robbie takes over the role of Suicide Squad, and tilt the character entirely with a baseball bat and a tray of shots. With her brand name fizzing, vibrant Quinn-Sanity, it’s safe to say she suits better than her former beautiful in the crazy city. But it does look a lot more fun to madness than Joker ever did. It’s a loose, smoke-colored cannon that blasts sparkling rockets.
Some narrators are unreliable. And there is Quinn, whose mental flippering machine rattles around the clock she attempts to make up the plot. Christina Hodson, the screenwriter, intelligently taps into Harley’s attention and uses it as a storytelling instrument. Harley points out that Gotham City is filled with newly emboldened rivals, which is dumped by Joker. Romans Sionis (Ewan McGregor) and his boyfriend Victor Zsasz (Chris Messina) are the most important of the two, who are aiming to strip the skin from Harley’s face. Yes, this is a 15-certificate film.
Harley had to join forces with other Roman enemies to live: Huntress’s secret and mischievous social badass (Mary Elizabeth Winstead, big fun); Black Canary’s singer turned over (Jurnee Smollett-Bell); René Montoya’s (Rosie Perez) cop; and Cassandra, Cain’s teen pickpocket (Ella Jay Basco).
Director Cathy Yan brilliantly catches the sparkling trash fire inside Harley’s head, which is part of Gotham City. Though some of the action has an unfortunate It’s a knockout feeling, it’s a riot in other ways: a smooth choreographed mess of bone-snappings, performed with a crazy and joyful flourish. And it’s tenting to read Birds of Prey as a satisfying minxy comeback following Martin Scorsese’ critique of comic book films as theme parks rather than the cinema: it’s the film equivalent to a fairground coaster with all the bolt-free and the safety notebook was blazing a long time ago when somebody ran away from Rizlas.