Birds of Prey, and the Fantabulous Emancipation of One Harley Quinn (2020) – Review

Birds of Prey hits theaters on February 7.

By Elazar Abrahams

When Martin Scorsese described comic book movies as nothing more than “theme park rides” last year, there was palpable outrage towards the legendary director. While I wasn’t inclined to agree with the back then, after watching Birds of Prey (full title: Birds of Prey, and the Fantabulous Emancipation of One Harley Quinn), one must admit that Scorsese’s case against superhero flicks has never been stronger.

That’s not to say Birds of Prey is a bad film – on the contrary, it’s a total blast. Viewers are treated to a roller coaster of quippy one-liners, Tarantino-level violence, neon-colored explosions, and lots of spectacle. At points, it is sensory overload. Director Cathy Yan throws everything at the screen and thankfully, most of it sticks. But in terms of the characters, script, story, and pacing, the movie is seriously lacking. It remains undeniably fun, but underneath the glittery aesthetic lays the shell of a real movie.

Margot Robbie predictably steals the show as the fantabulous (sorry) Harley Quinn, narrating the film and really sinking into the craziness of the role. Ewan McGregor delightfully hams it up as the bratty villain Black Mask. Relish the chance to see Obi-Wan Kenobi play the antagonist – he is fantastic. As a fan of the comics, I was a bit let down with this version of Black Canary. On the flip side, I loved Mary Elizabeth Winstead as Huntress. Her comedic timing and awkward personality are a nice twist on the character. With a crew this awesome, who needs Mr. J?

Birds of Prey will be remembered for the dozens of quality Harley GIFs it is about to bestow upon us. Not only is this movie memeable, this movie is also one giant meme. In just a few years, we have moved way past Deadpool. This is a superhero film for the TikTok generation.

I give Birds of Prey a B-.

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