DC Entertainment has finally made a good movie. The company is notorious for making second-rate movies, all of them scoring around a 50%, according to Metacritic and Rotten Tomatoes. The only two that have a general success rate are Shazam! (2019) and Wonder Woman (2017). However, the recent release of Birds of Prey: And the Fantabulous Emancipation of One Harley Quinn, which has a 80% audience score according to Rotten Tomatoes, may turn the luck of the DCEU’s luck around.
The movie follows Harley Quinn (Margot Robbie), in her first appearance after the events of Suicide Squad (2016). In Birds of Prey, she is taking on Gotham by herself without her relationship with the Joker. She struggles to make it on her own, turning to other villains and vigilantes of Gotham. Harley Quinn, Black Canary, Huntress, and Renee Montoya all band together to protect Cassandra Cain from the clutches of Gotham’s new big bad, Roman Sionis (Ewan McGregor).
Female viewers are especially appreciative of the realistic presentation of female friendships. The smallest gesture in the film is turning out to be a fan favorite. In the middle of the main action sequence, Harley notices that Black Canary is struggling because her hair keeps falling in her face. Harley quickly offers her a hair tie before effortlessly resuming to fight. In an interview, director Cathy Yan stated that she “thought it was crazy that all these women have perfect blown-out hair in all these other action films”.
Yan also makes the attempt to break down the character type of the “strong female lead”. She felt that the term made it seem like to be worthy of a lead role, a character wasn’t able to show weakness or pain. In this movie, Harley grieves the loss of her pet, feels guilt about her decisions, and is emotionally vulnerable with the people in her life. Birds of Prey is clearly a movie made for women, by women.
Another thing that truly elevates this movie is the casting. Every role is a perfect fit. Margot Robbie has been praised for her portrayal of Harley Quinn since Suicide Squad. Ewan McGregor plays the newest villain, Roman Sionis. Sionis’ character is a complete hate-to-love type of person. He is an absolute scumbag of a person, but has a charming and funny personality. Fans of Scott Pilgrim vs. the World will recognize Mary Elizabeth Winstead as Huntress. Every actress understood her character perfectly, and every bit of their personalities were spot-on.
If a strong female cast wasn’t enough, the soundtrack is also completely female made. From remixes of older classics to new creations, every song is a powerful piece of music. Female rappers such as Doja Cat, WHIPPED CREAM, Baby Goth, Megan Thee Stallion, Normani, Jucee Froot, and GALXARA dominate the soundtrack. Indie artists, such as Charlotte Lawrence, Maisie Peters, Cyn, K.Flay, and Sofi Tukker have some more low-key tracks. Black Canary actress, Jurnee Smollett-Bell, also sings an incredible version of “It’s A Man’s Man’s Man’s World”.
Overall, this film felt like a complete female bombshell. There was phenomenal directing, brilliant casting, and supercharged soundtrack. For these reasons, Birds of Prey receives a 9/10.