Assuming that you read part 1 then, saw the movie, or saw the movie before reading this blog at all, it about that time that I tell you what I thought of Birds of Prey and The Fantabulous Emancipation of One Harley Quinn, but, with SPOILERS.
Yes, I know it’s a whole month later, but give me a break, we’re in a pandemic!
-Out of all of the DCEU films, Birds of Prey is definitely its most colorful entry from the action sequences to even Harley’s Marilyn Monroe Diamond’s are a Girl’s Best Friend fantasy in her head (while being interrogated and slapped around by Roman “Black Mask” Sionis), the color palette looks delightful.
This Bird Ain’t Caged, but She Definitely Sings
-Can we talk about the real reason why I wanted to see this film?
Don’t get me wrong, I’ve highly enjoyed Margot Robbie’s portrayal of Dr. Quinzel in not just this film, but in 2016’s less colorful Suicide Squad. However, when the news broke that actor Jurnee Smollett-Bell (Temptation) was cast as Dinah “Black Canary” Lance, I completely fanboy-ed the hell out. I’ve been a pretty big fan of hers since I first saw her on Full House as Michelle’s feisty best friend when i was a 6-year-old, and my fandom for her grew when would see her a few years later in the Samuel L. Jackson classic Eve’s Bayou. Seeing those performances as a child, as well as seeing her in various roles later in her career as an adult, I’ve grown to admire her acting prowess… and maybe develop quite the celebrity crush.
With that being said, Smollett-Bell was on point with her role as Dinah. Her acting throughout the Sonic Songtress’ entire arc was pretty impressive, fan bias aside. Starting out as a lounge singer, you hear hints of the characters sonic scream, then she uses that power FULL FORCE in the final action sequence. Combined with well-written dialog, Smollett-Bell’s Canary makes for the most interesting member out this group of Gotham City sirens.
Mask Off…Eff It, Mask On
-Ewan McGregor’s portrayal of Roman Sionis (aka Black Mask) is a solid balance of menace, panache, and camp. Easily his best performance since being a Jedi.
Sometimes, A Big Sister Carries a Mallet
-As familiar as the whole mentor/surrogate parent thing is in many forms of fictional storytelling, it’s just as funny and heartwarming in the guise of the dynamic between Harley, and street thief (and in the comics, a Batgirl), Cassandra Cain. I mean after all, have you ever seen this dynamic involve a kid swallowing a diamond… and having to take EVERY LAXATIVE KNOWN TO MAN to try and poop it out?
-One of my favorite supporting characters in the Batman mythos, Renee’ Montoya, make her first appearance in a DC Comics film. I never thought I would find verisimilitude in Rosie Perez playing a disgraced police detective, but here we are, and she nails it…even down to her high-level of work ethic, and her drinking problem.
Call Me Awkward– Err, Huntress
-My only gripe with this film is the whole “awkward Huntress” thing. It was an endearing performance from Mary Elizabeth Winstead (Scott Pilgrim vs.The World) , well, to a point. However, it’s really hard to imagine someone like the character of Helena Bertinelli spending her whole life hell bent on revenge coming of as that awkward.
In closing, Birds of Prey and The Fantabulous Emancipation of One Harley Quinn has a high level of fun with equal parts heart, humor, bright colors, and a drop of grittiness (after all, it is set in Gotham City). If the little bit of marketing that was put out there was any indication, Margot Robbie’s Harley Quinn is shaping to be the DC Comics version of Marvel’s Deadpool, and I am more than OK with it. I for one, am enjoying this renaissance of everyone’s favorite former doctor, and that renaissance is at the center of this film. Don’t let the lack of marketing or the low theater grosses turn you away from watching this on digital.