After her first appearance in DC’s Suicide Squad, Margot gets Robbie’s Harley Quinn BIRDS OF PREY: THE EMANCIPATION OF HARLEY QUINN now significantly more time to position yourself within the DCEU. And that really puts you in a good mood after a difficult first half. We reveal why in our review.
Renee Montoya (Rosie Perez) soon joins the Birds of Prey.
The plot summary
For Harley Quinn (Margot Robbie) it was great love. But when supervillain Joker breaks up with her, it takes her a while to sort out her life. A few blown-up factories and lots of junk food later, the eccentric lady can finally focus on the really important things: the realization that a lot of people are out to get her. When Gotham’s most evil, narcissistic criminal Roman Sionis aka “The Mask” (Ewan McGregor) and his enterprising right-hand man Zsasz (Chris Messina) target a young girl named Cass (Ella Jay Basco), the city stands up looking for her the head. The paths of Harley and her newfound “friends” Huntress (Mary Elizabeth Winstead), Black Canary (Jurnee Smollett-Bell) and Renee Montoya (Rosie Perez) cross, and the unlikely quartet has no choice but to join forces to bring Roman down.
Birds of Prey Movie Meaning of ending
It was Margot Robbie (“Bombshell – The End of Silence”) herself who pitched the idea for a Harley Quinn solo film to the backers at Warner Bros. and DC shortly after the release of “Suicide Squad” and immediately joined as a producer provided by her company LuckyChap. A large part of the responsibility for what was, at $75 million, the most cost-effective project within the DC Extended Universe to date was in their hands. And with their vision of an R-rated comic film ( “Female-centric PG films are quickly perceived as chic flicks!” ) came with a lot of risk. Now we have already seen with “Wonder Woman” and “Captain Marvel” that there is no need to worry about comic films that focus on female heroines, at least in the box office. Both films easily made back several times their production costs at over 800 million or even over a billion dollars. At the same time, “Suicide Squad”, in which the character of Harley Quinn, embodied by Margot Robbie herself, appeared for the first time, is not exactly considered the strongest DCEU representative among fans. And after big studio flops like “Doctor Sleeps Awakening” , “Godzilla II: King of the Monsters” , “The Kitchen” or “The Goldfinch”, Warner can urgently use a big hit. Of course, it is difficult to predict whether “Birds of Prey: The Emancipation of Harley Quinn” will be one. But he would have deserved it if only to show once again after “Joker” that films within the comic cosmos can also be harsh and not always so unpleasantly smooth; This would result in so many new possibilities. Not just for a “Birds of Prey” sequel.
Margot Robbie not only plays Harley Quinn, but also produced “Birds of Prey”.
Of course, whether there will be a sequel to “Birds of Prey” depends on how it is received. And in order to leave the cinema at the end without any unpleasant surprises, it helps to say goodbye to the idea that “Birds of Prey” – despite its title “The Emancipation of Harley Quinn” – is only partially that a Harley Quinn solo film. From the very beginning, the trailers and posters for the film focused on the Joker’s eccentric ex-lover. In addition, she acts as the narrator within the comic film adaptation from the beginning and we experience the story from her point of view most of the time. But screenwriter Christina Hodson (“Bumblebee”) spends a similar amount of time on her three later companions, Huntress, Black Canary and Renee Montoya, with whom Harley Quinn forms the eponymous Birds of Prey in the finale. But that also poses a handful of problems. In particular, the fact that the film opens up its own storyline in the first half for each heroine, each of which also has a flashback, makes it bumpy at every turn. It takes a while until you get something like an overview of the film’s events and the dramaturgy begins to make sense. There is a system behind this structure that not only does justice to the backgrounds of all the members within the women’s combo, but also gives the whole thing a pleasant dynamic reminiscent of “Deadpool” . But before you get to the bottom of it, “Birds of Prey” seems more like a cinematic comic strip than a coherently told story, with its presumably random sequence of large action set pieces.
Speaking of “Deadpool”: In fact, “Birds of Prey” within the DCEU could best be compared with the meta-humorous nonsense films of the “Deadpool” series. Here, too, a narrator who is aware of the film’s outrageous events plays the main role, who repeatedly classifies the events for the audience. And even in terms of content, the middle part of the film follows on from an action scene at the beginning of the film; We know the same thing from the Ryan Reynolds vehicles. But unlike the disfigured latex wearer, Harley doesn’t use swear words every ten seconds – although thanks to the R rating, she certainly has the opportunity to do so. But unlike in “Deadpool,” the crazy heroine in “Birds of Prey” doesn’t constantly aim to ironically break the rules of the comic film. Strictly speaking, “Dead Pigs” creator Cathy Yan’s only second directorial work can only be classified in this genre because of the original. In its almost intimate structure (we remember: in all the other DCEU films, the future of the world and its population was always at stake) about women who take on a single villain who is after a little girl and With the exception of a diamond, “Birds of Prey” is more of a gang film than a classic superhero adventure. The fights, which mainly consist of woman versus villain choreographies, also fit in with this, in which nothing explodes or other grandiose computer effects are used. Only at the very beginning does a chemical factory blow up because Harley Quinn drives a tanker truck into it in a lovelorn frenzy. Otherwise, the action in “Birds of Prey” remains pleasantly down-to-earth and relies more on spectacular slow motion than big CGI spectacle.
In general, everything in “Birds of Prey” looks a lot smaller than in DC’s previous superhero epics. But especially in the most varied showdown in the history of the DC Extended Universe to date, this staging to a limited extent in terms of setting and action actually pays off. After even successful examples like “Shazam!” or “Man of Steel” lost all of the heart and soul they had built up beforehand in the bombast final act, at the latest, it’s nice that the actual finale between Harley and the villain only lasts a few seconds and is done in style beforehand Weapons, martial arts and roller skates (!) fought against the bad guys. Cinematographer Matthew Libatique can visually compensate for the lack of visual power – if it is even necessary, after all it all still looks really good (“Black Swan”) make up for it with extremely rich, colorful, occasionally a bit busy camera work. In particular, those scenes in which he stages the main characters against a dark background in their brightly colored costumes (a good example is a scene at a police station) look extremely elegant and also benefit from the harmoniously chosen pieces of music, some of which are well-known and some of which are newly sung Pop songs and evergreens. Unlike in “Suicide Squad”, for example, the selection of songs here seems to be all of a piece. The soundtrack to the film should ensure great sales, in contrast to Daniel Pemberton’s (“Codename UNCLE”) composed score. His beats, which are actually so succinct, only shine through very sporadically among the mass of archive music and can hardly set their own accents. Completely in contrast to the actors. Where is Ewan McGregor? (“Christopher Robin”) Margot Robbie and her colleagues try to put on a more down-to-earth villain performance and thus appear even more threatening. This seems strange at the beginning – in “Suicide Squad” you only saw a few scenes of Robbie’s Harley Quinn and sometimes you felt slightly overwhelmed by them. If, on the other hand, you get involved in the over-presence of the Oscar nominees, it doesn’t take long before you’re damn carried away.
Conclusion: After a bumpy first half, the jumpy build-up makes more and more sense and with “Birds of Prey: The Emancipation of Harley Quinn” an elegantly filmed gang film unfolds without a lot of CGI bells and whistles and probably the best finale to a DCEU film that you can find seen in the cinema so far. And even though Margot Robbie is initially strenuous as Harley Quinn, it doesn’t take long until her performance fits perfectly into this brightly colored film.
“Birds of Prey: The Emancipation of Harley Quinn” can be seen in USA cinemas nationwide from February 6th.