Film Review: Harley Quinn – Birds of Prey

Yes, I know it’s not the official UK title. But, the title over here is so long and stupid that I’m going to be referring to it’s frankly superior title, which will save me a hell of a lot of time when writing this.

Harley Quinn – Birds of Prey comes at a time where I’m starting to get the tiniest semblance of faith restored in DC and the future of their films, after the excellent Shazam! last year. A film that didn’t get bogged down in establishing itself in a wider cinematic universe and instead played to it’s own strengths and just focused on delivering a fun, entertaining film. After the disaster that was Suicide Squad, I was skeptical about revisiting one of the characters from this film and feared another train wreck, despite the titular character being one of the very few redeeming qualities of that film.

I’m pleased to say that my fears were not necessary, because DC have done it again and delivered a great flick. Harley Quinn – Birds of Prey is an absolute blast from start to finish.

Once again, despite a few references here and there, the film doesn’t get bogged down in being part of a wider universe and instead tells it’s own, self contained story. This is one of the biggest strengths of the film, because as an audience member I could just sit back, relax and enjoy the film for what it was, almost to the point of treating it as it’s own standalone film. It’s a refreshing thing to see, and a sign that DC might finally be accepting that they’re better off not trying to develop their own MCU, because we all know how that turned out.

The entire cast of the film are brilliant, and all are utilised wisely, so that none of them really feel like a spare part. All have an important part to play and the story weaves their individual tales into the overall plot in clever ways. It’s not a style of storytelling you see too often in superhero films, but this one does it to perfection and I was a big fan of how they decided to craft this story. When everything falls into place the payoff is worth it, which means you can forgive the portions of the story that might be deemed a bit more “dull” than others.

Margot Robbie is once again fantastic as Harley, and you can tell she’s having a blast playing this character. She really makes the most of her opportunity in the spotlight and adds a number of layers to the character so that she isn’t just another one-dimensional villain/anti-hero. A special mention has to go to Ewan McGregor as well, who is brilliant as the villain Black Mask, who is both funny but equally terrifying, McGregor really has a chance to show off his acting talent here and he delivers.

The action sequences are beautifully done, the choreography is fantastic and most importantly, it’s just hugely entertaining to watch. I had a grin on my face for certain sequences and the people involved have really played to the individual strengths of the vast array of talent they have.

Harley Quinn – Birds of Prey is my favourite DC film since The Dark Knight. I said that about Shazam!, but this has taken away that accolade and I’m finally excited to see DC films again. It’s been a long road to get there, but it seems that the road is finally heading in the right direction.

Go and see this film, you’ll have a fantastic time.

I give Harley Quinn – Birds of Prey an 8/10. 

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