Movie Review: “Harley Quinn: Birds of Prey”

Long on visuals and action but short on unique story line


Graphic/Valeria Rybkin 2020

Jaden Venziano, Staff Writer

Cathy Yan’s Harley Quinn: Birds of Prey sees Margot Robbie reprising her role as Harley Quinn, after easily being the best part in 2016’s Suicide Squad. After her break up with the Clown Prince of Crime, The Joker, she teams up with Black Canary, Huntress, and Renee Montoya to help protect a helpless girl after being roped into a messy crime deal with antagonist Black Mask played by Ewan McGregor. The film’s obvious strengths are found in the cinematography and action sequences. 

The film takes a wide view of every action shot allowing the audience to get an in depth view of every punch, kick, and jab thrown and gives more emotion to the fight rather than them just throwing hollow punches. The film lacks when it comes to the underdeveloped characterization and a lack-luster plot. The film is named “Birds of Prey,” but we only learn about Harley Quinn, rather than the entire team behind the mantra. Her whole life is shown to us and we get to understand her struggles and her beliefs, but when it comes to the others, we only get a small taste of what we could have had. 

When it comes to Black Mask, we obviously don’t like him because he is made out as the antagonist, but why? We don’t get a reason as to why we don’t like him. He objectively does bad things, but so does Quinn and the rest of the Birds. Also, the plot is very cliche and can be seen in multiple movies where the helpless victim gets pulled into a whole new world and a hero or super-team come along to help. 

Yan failed to offer anything new to this cliche film structure, leaving an empty feeling after the credits started rolling. 

When it comes down to it, it is a beautiful movie to look at, but lacks in places where it matters.