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Birds of Prey is DC’s first good action movie

February 7, 2020 06:42 PM


Birds of Prey is a breakup movie. This is obvious from minute one when Harley Quinn (Margot Robbie, reprising her role from Suicide Squad) explains via an animated prologue her history as a psychiatrist who fell for Batman’s most notorious villain, Joker. (Twisted!) It breezes through the complicated series of events that led to their abusive relationship coming to an end. That’s how you get the subtitle, written in Harley’s intentionally obnoxious voice: The Fantabulous Emancipation of One Harley Quinn.

But Birds of Prey isn’t just about Harley’s breakup with Joker (who never appears outside of that prologue and a pair of extremely quick shots where he’s not quite in frame). It dumps everything that’s now par for the course in superhero movies: boring action mostly featuring men and computers, and stories about their stodgy tortured psyches. It’s very loud and absolutely gleeful about the mess it makes. And somehow, it pulls it off, theverge.com reported.

The movie is meant to seem like a big team-up between Quinn and several other DC antiheroes, but in reality, the story centers itself squarely on Harley and the many people who want to take revenge on her now that she’s no longer under Joker’s protection. Chief among these grudge-bearers is Roman “Black Mask” Sionis (Ewan McGregor), a cartoonishly vain and possessive crime lord with eyes on expanding his corner of the Gotham City underworld. When Sionis catches up to Quinn, the two strike a deal: he’ll spare her life if she gets a diamond with mob secrets etched into it for him. Since he plans to kill her anyway, Sionis also hires every bounty hunter in Gotham to get the diamond as well.

It’s through this treasure hunt that Birds of Prey introduces and brings together its main players: Cassandra Cain (Ella Jay Basco) is a pickpocket who stumbles across the diamond, Helena “Huntress” Bertinelli (Mary Elizabeth Winstead) is an assassin after the diamond for personal reasons, Dinah “Black Canary” Lance (Jurnee Smollett-Bell) is an employee of Sionis who turns on her boss, and Detective Renee Montoya (Rosie Perez) is the cop who’s piecing it all together.



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