Since I’m relatively caught up with the MCU, I decided to branch out into the DC movies and watch Birds of Prey. Because apparently, left to my own cinema tastes, I just watch superhero movies. Okay. I’m fine with that.
As I have said so often that I should get a t-shirt made, movies are not comic books (or books) and I’m cool with changes from source material if they work. Different medium, different needs. And, with a few reservations, Birds of Prey does that.
While the movie doesn’t have my favorite interpretations of Renee Montoya, Black Camary or the Huntress (I’m old enough that I remember when the Huntress was Helena Wayne), they work in the context of thos story. Fans of Cassandra Cain have every right to have problems with this name-only version of the character, though.
But the point of the movie is Margot Robbie’s interpretation of Harley Quinn. The actual Birds of Prey are supporting characters in the movie that has their name as part of the title.
I didn’t think much of Harley Quinn in the original Suicide Squad movie (which, as a movie, I thought of even less of), feeling she was more eye candy than character. In Bird of Prey, Harley Quinn is a self-destructive train wreck, a hot mess and a generally terrible person. I wouldn’t want to be in the same zip code, let alone the same room, as this character. BUT she is interesting. This Harley Quinn is a constant source of conflict. She is an actual character.
Birds of Prey can only work if Harley Quinn is strong enough to carry the movie. And I think the movie does work. Harley Quinn is a horrible human being but she grows (but isn’t redeemed) and creates change as well as conflict. The audience can be invested in the character.
Birds of Prey isn’t a perfect superhero movie. But the tone on the movie is constant and it is both engaging and entertaining. I’d watch it again and I now feel prepped to watch the second Suicide Squad movie.