by Allie Vasserman
February 20, 2020
Birds of Prey (and the Fantabulous Emancipation of One Harley Quinn) is the eighth installment in the DC Extended Universe. The movie starts by quickly summarizing what happened to Harley Quinn after the end of Suicide Squad, the third installment in the DC Extended Universe. It then jumps straight to the present, including a lot of catchy loud music and violent murders done by crazy villains Roman Sionis (a.k.a Black Skull), played by Ewan McGregor, and Victor Zsasz, played by Chris Messina.
The movie stars and is narrated by Bird of Prey Harley Quinn, played amazingly with great enthusiasm by Margot Robbie. In the animated prologue scene, she briefly explains her life before Suicide Squad, how she met the Joker, and how they broke up before the start of this movie. The movie then jumps straight into the action with bloody violence and murder. Margot Robbie’s Harley Quinn is violent, sad, sarcastic, hilarious, and looking to find her identity now that she’s no longer the Joker’s girlfriend. The timeline of the movie jumps back and forth from the past to the present as we meet the other characters in the movie. The other Birds of Prey are: singer Dinah Lance (a.k.a the Black Canary), played by Jurnee Smollett-Bell, assassin Helena Bertinelli (a.k.a the Huntress), played by Mary Elizabeth Winstead, pickpocket Cassandra Cain, played by Ella Jay Basco, and detective Renee Montoya, played by Rosie Perez.
The plot of the movie has to do with a special diamond that Sionis and Zsasz want to find. Harley Quinn tries to get it first because she’s trying to save her own life from all the bad guys who want to kill her now that she no longer has the Joker’s protection. The plot of the movie is not really important. It only serves as a reason for the bad guys to be violent, creepy and genuinely scary, and for the good girls, criminals yet the protagonists of the movie, to be violent and a little scary but also funny and caring. The stronger Birds of Prey, such as Harley and Dinah, look out for the weaker Bird of Prey, Cassandra, because they care about her and want to protect her from Sionis. Ultimately, it’s a movie about women who are learning to be independent and breaking free from the oppressive men in their lives by sticking together and helping each other. The movie is rated R for a reason. There are some disturbing themes and scenes in the movie. I would not recommend this movie to people who cannot handle violence in movies.
One of the things I like about this movie is that you don’t need to see Suicide Squad, the movie in which the character Harley Quinn was first introduced, to understand it. I think this movie portrayed the toxic relationship between Harley and the Joker much better than Suicide Squad did by giving more background to it. I also appreciated that the writers finally brought Harley’s hyena to the big screen from the comic books. The hyena provides some comic relief, and I believe he is a symbol for Harley’s craziness. I think that director Kathy Yann is a genius because she created a movie that is fun to watch with amazing fight scenes. This is one of my favorite DC movies, and I think it is one of the best next to Wonder Woman and Shazam. I see this movie as a success and predict a sequel in the future. As a tip, for those who plan to sit through the credits for the post-credits scene, there isn’t one. This movie is awesome and I definitely recommend watching it.