Birds of Prey – Margot Robbie is literally Harley Quinn
When “Suicide Squad” came to the cinemas in 2016, there was plenty of thrashing for the superhero film. A simple joker, a chaotic plot and far too little of the madness that actually characterises the series as a comic. Only one point was celebrated by the critics: Margot Robbie as Harley Quinn. If it wasn’t for her, maybe most of you would have preferred to stay on your mobile phones playing games instead of watching the movie.
Nowadays mobile phones are a part of our life, we use them in any kind of situation, even when we’re bored. It’s not like you don’t have anything to play, when there are arcade games, shooting and lately, games from casinos. There are people who really enjoy playing these kinds of games, even if they’re from an online casino. It’s easy and relaxing, so they’re a good choice if you don’t know what to do, like when you don’t want to watch a movie because you don’t like it. But here is not that case, when Margot Robbie played this role exceptionally well. It’s no wonder that the Joker’s girlfriend should get her own film. With “Birds of Prey” she got it now, although the title suggests otherwise.
The full name of the film is actually “Birds of Prey: And the fantabulous Emancipation of one Harley Quinn” and sums it up a bit better about what this is all about. Because the title-giving superhero group Birds of Prey is just a decorative accessory. The star is Harley Quinn, the film begins and ends with her and there is hardly a scene in between that she does not appear. The criticism reveals whether the film is worth seeing without the promised heroines in focus.
Birds of Prey: The plot
Harley Quinn (Margot Robbie) and the Joker split up. To do this officially, the former psychiatrist blew up the place of her love – an old chemical plant where she became Harley Quinn from Harleen Quinzel. But that sends the wrong signal to Gotham City. While “Mister J” doesn’t respond at all, various other gangsters now understand that Harley is no longer under the protection of the deadly clown – and open the hunt for them. One of them is the flamboyant novel Sionis alias Black Mask (Ewan McGregor).
He is also looking for a diamond that hides the secret of the disappeared millions of Gotham’s former mafia boss – the Bertinelli clan. The young trick thief Cassandra Cain (Ella Jay Basco) captured the stone of all things, but does not know the actual value of her prey. In order not to be murdered by Black Mask, Harley offers to find the stone for him. But the mysterious Huntress (Mary Elizabeth Winstead), Detective Montoya (Rosie Perez) and Dinah Lance (Jurnee Smollett-Bell) also have a say…
Deadpool as a role model
Loud, colorful, bloody: Anyone who looks familiar in a superhero film adaptation has probably seen one of the Deadpool films. Because Birds of Prey is clearly based on Marvel’s adventures about the publisher’s most chatty and unbreakable mutants. Both films have in common that their main actors really understood their characters. Ryan Reynolds IS Deadpool and Margot Robbie has penetrated the core of Harley Quinn and embodies her as well as if she jumped straight onto the screen from the comic pages.
However, comic readers who may have really looked forward to a team film in the tradition of the Avengers or the Titans will be disappointed. Because the heroines they know are not only changed dramatically in part, they also do not play a major role. Here figures are simply rotated through the meat grinder until they fit into the film. Since “Thor: Day of Decision”, superhero film directors have known that the audience will tolerate it if the result is at least entertaining.
And that’s always the case when the action, which is usually completely over the top, starts. Whether the start of the final in an abandoned amusement park or the fight in the evidence room, the fights are skillfully implemented. And so keep the typical comic look that fans want to see in such films, even if the result is sometimes bloodier than on the booklet pages. Other superhero films have shown that more spectacularly than director Cathy Yan succeeds here.
The film also copies Deadpool’s imagery and visually exaggerates the comic book references. However, this also applies to the narrative style, which is not always good for the film. Because Yan jumps from scene to scene here, often without the right connection or concept. In this way, her already thin story, which is only permeated by a moderate motif for the whole plot, continues to fray. So that it becomes clear who is who and what exactly is happening, the screenplay Robbie has to explain a lot off the screen – not always exciting.
In addition to Margot Robbie, only Ewan McGregor has the chance to excel. Even if his black mask also has little to do with the template. The rest of the cast simply doesn’t have enough time on the screen to be remembered. Otherwise it would have been difficult to survive against Robbie, who was tailor-made for the whole film. Therefore, fans of the character are likely to be thrilled again and again. If you don’t think Harley Quinn is that cool, you are wrong here.
Birds of Prey is a film that truly deserves the name of crazy cartoon filming. Colorful, loud, bloody and always without any claim to credibility or a sense of reality, Margot Robbie beats and talks through the film as Harley Quinn. If that’s enough for you, you’ll have fun here – similar to the obvious role models Deadpool 1 and 2, even if the Marvel films are a whole lot better. This Bird of Prey film doesn’t have much to do with the comics. You can like it, but you don’t have to.