Movie Review: Harley Quinn: Birds of Prey
by Julie Perez
How absolutely refreshing to watch a female-led comic book movie full of violence, epic fight sequences and more glitter than you could ever imagine.
Birds of Prey (And The Fantabulous Emancipation of One Harley Quinn), now renamed Harley Quinn: Birds of Prey got a lot of things right. One of the first being the incredible Margot Robbie, a woman who seems to have been born to play the role of Harley Quinn. Margot Robbie is a gift and to witness her as Harley Quinn feels like a privilege. Margot is an expert with her comedic timing, gives enough heart to keep you justifying Harley Quinn’s actions and makes you immediately envy how much ass she can kick. The journey that Harley Quinn goes on in this movie is one of self-preservation, self-confidence, a realization of her codependent tendencies and it all leads her to a chosen family full of powerful women.
With a supporting cast that includes Rosie Perez, Jurnee Smollett-Bell, Ewan McGregor, Mary Elizabeth Winstead, and Chris Messina; this film has very little room for error. Ewan McGregor as Black Mask was the perfect amount of maniacal. Chris Messina as Victor Zsasz is chaotic and I’m sure many a person will be analyzing their odd attraction to the character … just me? Rosie Perez is perfectly-flawed as Detective Montoya. Jurnee Smollett-Bell finds the perfect moments of vulnerability as Black Canary. Mary Elizabeth Winstead created a character that you both feared and wanted to hug with The Huntress. Ella Jay Basco as Cassandra Cain officially made a name for herself in the wild world of Hollywood.
Consider it absolutely refreshing to witness an all-female team be brutal, powerful, calculated in their physical attacks and doing it all while being surrounded by glitter and bright colors. Director Cathy Yan created a vibrant and hilarious world while also showcasing specific and beautifully-intense fighting scenes. She not only took the stereotypes often thrown at women but she also used them to her advantage. Suddenly all I need in life is a glitter cannon and a bedazzled jacket to go with it. No longer do we live in a world where glitter isn’t considered badass. Harley Quinn has officially proven that it can be used in the most dangerous of ways and if you’re looking for me you can find me on the glitter aisle of Michael’s.
As previously stated, Harley Quinn: Birds of Prey got plenty of things right but the biggest takeaway from the film is the importance of a chosen family. Nothing is more satisfying than when Detective Montoya, Harley Quinn, The Huntress, and Black Canary all realize that they have to work together. This film and the connection between the women all felt extremely relatable. Many of us struggle with our given families and it’s absolutely gratifying when we get to discover a chosen family that not only keeps you safe but also helps you excel in your own abilities. Though short-lived that is exactly what Harley Quinn discovered in this movie. Harley Quinn is self-aware enough to realize how codependent she has become with The Joker and to go on the journey of self-discovery with her in this film, is as enjoyable of a ride as it gets.
Don’t let the headlines fool you! This film is not a failure. This film is full of glitter, bright colors, strong women and brutal fights that make you want to take a kickboxing class. This film deserves to be seen. So go see it and then right after that, go and find the best bacon, egg, and cheese sandwich in your town.