This movie looks very, um.. interesting, to say the least. Birds of Prey looks to place Margot Robbie’s Harley Quinn into her inevitable spotlight feature film (following the hit-or-miss Suicide Squad). Everyone knew this was coming (especially considering the release of her recent definitely-not-for-kids cartoon), so we might as take a dive into what is happening.
The movie picks up after Suicide Squad and the death (both in-universe and metaphorically) of Jared Leto’s Joker. Amidst mourning from the irredeemably abusive (and just gross, frankly) relationship between her and Joker, the former-Dr. Quinzel incurs the ire of other nefarious members of the criminal underworld. This causes her to league up with more female vigilante/villain types, and the plot of the film ensues.
Just from the trailer, I have a couple issues with this film. It is now the year 2020 AD—do we still need the “Girl Power” message? Girls have power, we get it. I know it, you know it, we all know it. Women are a powerful and integral element of our society, and we respect them for it. I don’t really need any more films punching me in the gut to realize that women have worth. We know they have worth, we get it.
Perhaps more disturbing, for me, is the transformation of multiple legitimate DC heroes into villains. In fact, the Birds of Prey are a group of heroes in the comics. DC.. what are y’all doing!? The title blocks at the end let us know that Harley Quinn’s sisters-in-arms are Black Canary, Renee Montoya, Cassandra Cain, and Huntress. These are all heroes—a couple of them are Justice League members! How in goodness name are they teaming up with Harley Quinn?? These are individuals that would suplex her on sight. Cassandra Cain was once Batgirl!! (The second most powerful, overall, to Barbara Gordon; she’s the number one most powerful—by far—just counting physical ability.) DC is essentially taking members of its heroes gallery out of play with this move. I’m not precisely sure where they’re going with this tactic.
The shining and redeeming element of this trailer is the inclusion—and casting—of Ewan McGregor as Black Mask. He is one of the more legitimately creepy and downright terrifying villains in Batman’s rogue’s gallery. Stories such as No Man’s Land, War Games, and Under the Red Hood give insight into just how unnerving this character is. He is B-tier next to Joker, Bane, Mr. Freeze, etc., but he is truly horrifying and a solid deep cut villain to place in a feature film. Also, he’s played by Ewan McGregor. I can’t stand Obi-Wan Kenobi (ask me why, if you want to know), but McGregor’s talent on-screen is always appreciated.
Similar to Wonder Woman: 1984, I don’t think I’ll be seeing this film. I’m just not sure where DC is going with it’s properties. If they can make a solid Batman film and a respectable Superman story, then I’ll possible tune back into the Detective Comics features. Until then, much like the Dark Knight, himself, I’ll be perched on a rooftop, observing their path from the shadows.
Trailer Grade: B+
—The Cavalier Nerd