Birds of Prey (and the Fantabulous Emancipation of One Harley Quinn)
Length: 109 minutes / 1.82 hours
I will admit: Margot Robbie is perfectly cast as Harley Quinn. The fact that she even got her own movie after her debut in Suicide Squad (2016) is a testament to this. That being said, she’s a bit of a shallow character past being “Joker’s girlfriend.” Look no further than Birds of Prey (2020) to see what I mean. If it were truly a Harley Quinn standalone film, it wouldn’t have needed the sub-plots of a handful of other characters to make the running time long enough.
As it stands, Birds of Prey is meant as a sort of “origin story” for this titular team of female heroes. The fact that it needed Harley Quinn to make it marketable is a bit of a disappointment in the ability of the writers to create a story that would give these women agency without resorting to a tedious series of events that center around Harley surviving her vast list of enemies and people out for revenge. Unfortunately, none of the other characters stand out enough to make this movie as entertaining as it could have been.
Perhaps the overabundance of tropes and stereotype characters is what made this movie not work for me. None of the motivations of the characters are really that interesting or unique to them. It’s almost like these characters were purposely chosen never to come close to taking the spotlight away from Harley Quinn, which hurts the overall film in the end. I’m certainly glad that I used a free Redbox rental for this movie, as I wouldn’t want to spend any money on it.
Another good Margot Robbie performance filled with flat and uninteresting side characters, I give Birds of Prey 2.0 stars out of 5.