film reel image

film reel image

Saturday, February 8, 2020

Birds of Prey (and the Fantabulous Emancipation of One Harley Quinn) 2020 * * * Stars

Birds of PreyDirector: Cathy Yan
Year: 2020
Rated R
Rating: * * * Stars
Cast: Margot Robbie, Mary Elizabeth Winstead, Ewan McGregor

It was the summer of 2016. I was sitting in a theater viewing the DC Comics pic, Suicide Squad. Sadly, it was out of sorts, disjointed, and feverishly edited. I didn't quite dig it like I dug its trailer. Cut to four years later and "Squad's" follow-up (Birds of Prey) is a well-tuned improvement. Its title character named Harley Quinn, becomes "the mighty Quinn" (Ha).

Anyway, Birds of Prey has to do with Harley (Margot Robbie), Harley's recovery from her Joker breakup, her love of fried egg sandwiches, and her dodging from thugs led by a criminal mind known as Black Mask (Ewan McGregor). Robbie and McGregor are the acting standouts here. They are a nasty hoot playing respectively, the antihero protagonist and the snobbishly villain bully.

Image result for birds of prey movie scenes
Reflecting on Birds of Prey, I was reminded of the female version of Suicide Squad. Joining forces with Harley Quinn are the "crossbow killer" (Huntress), a Gotham City Police Detective (Renee Montoya), a vigilante (Black Canary), and a pickpocket (Cassandra Cain). They are all girly girl badasses and they put on a superior action showcase in "Prey's" last fifteen minutes.

Prey's Director (Cathy Yan) shoots hyperkinetic fight scenes and car chases spiked with a deranged, carnival feel. Her look of the film is cinematic cotton candy, rainbow snow cones, and sweet, dirty perfume. Yan also likes to occasionally freeze a frame and use a telestrator to outline a character's face. Finally, she tells "Prey's" story to a somewhat Rashomon effect. That means there are flashbacks and various interpretations of "Prey's" slightly messy plot mechanics.

Image result for birds of prey movie scenesLike most DC flicks, Birds of Prey isn't epic or crucial but boy is it a lot of fun (yup, there might be a sequel). "Prey" is demented, fantasyland stuff and with every violent bone crack and every dry humored quip, you get a mucky wink wink from everyone involved. Rating: 3 stars.

Written by Jesse Burleson

No comments:

Post a Comment