'Birds Of Prey Review' With Casey Allen
First of all, let me clarify the full title of this film shown on the poster and in the film's credits.
It's Birds of Prey: And the Fantabulous Emancipation of One Harley Quinn. I know this title might seem excessively long to some of you, but it actually fits nicely. It fits nicely because this movie felt so long, so superfluous, and so tedious even though its actual running time is only 1 hour and 49 minutes.
A sequel to the 2016 superhero action film Suicide Squad, Birds of Prey continues the life of Harley Quinn (Margot Robbie, Once Upon a Time...in Hollywood, 2019) after getting dumped from her supervillain lover the Joker and being forced to life her life of mayhem and destruction on her own. Crossing paths with a expert marksman (Mary Elizabeth Winstead, Gemini Man, 2019); a lusty lounge singer (Jurnee Smollett-Bell, The Great Debaters, 2007); a stern police detective (Rosie Perez, Pineapple Express, 2008); and a sly pickpocket (Ella Jay Basco) throws the zany heroine in search of a special diamond and too many fight scenes with men.
This time of year has a number of female-centered films about women embracing their strengths like Gretel & Hansel, The Rhythm Section, Little Women, Frozen II, and Underwater (each of these films has its own version of success). Birds of Prey is another part of this female-centered theme. But it's a shame Birds of Prey couldn't focus beyond the action scenes to deliver a dynamic story with three-dimensional characters and a thoughtfully written screenplay. It had so much potential, but it ended up being sloppy and trivial. I imagine the producers said during the development of this film, "Should we include some dialogue with emotional substance, or would it be better to throw in another fight scene and a car chase on roller skates?"
It's fine if a film is going to give audiences a juvenile party. But it doesn't have to be a boring one filled with jokes, action scenes, dramatic one-liners, and violence we've all seen many times before.