BIRDS OF PREY Review: A Deliriously Entertaining, If Sometimes Uneven DC Comics Adventure

BIRDS OF PREY Review: A Deliriously Entertaining, If Sometimes Uneven DC Comics Adventure

Birds of Prey (And the Fantabulous Emancipation of one Harley Quinn) is set to fly into theaters this weekend, and the review embargo lifted earlier today. Were the positive responses warranted?

Margot Robbie's Harley Quinn ditches Task Force X and teams-up with some new gal pals in the riotous Birds of Prey, which you are going to want to check out this weekend if you're after a damn good time at the movies.

Fans were understandably a little apprehensive about this one after David Ayer's Suicide Squad, but Cathy Yan's film is a very different beast altogether. It's witty, sexy, bloody, and genuinely hilarious at times, and if the plot gets a little messy now and again, chances are you'll be having too much fun to care.

A terrific animated opening sequence informs us that Miss Quinn has parted ways with The Joker (for good this time), and is now trying to mend her broken heart by indulging in as much drunken debauchery as possible. Unfortunately for Harley, with The Clown Prince of Crime out of the picture she can no longer count on his protection, and that brings some nasty customers out of the woodwork looking to settle some old scores - including the very powerful, very sadistic Black Mask (Ewan McGregor). Help is at hand, though, because as the narration points out, HQ ain't the only chick in Gotham seeking emancipation.

If you've seen the trailers, you'll have a pretty good idea how things play out. Birds of Prey isn't really concerned with clever twists or major surprises and the plot is very straightforward, even a little cliched. That's not to say things ever get boring (one thing this movie definitely is not, is boring) or that there's no creativity on display, and the cornucopia of colorful characters are more than enough to keep us engaged. 

Image result for birds of prey and the fantabulous

Everyone is on top form here, although some do wind up making more of an impact than others. If Robbie's Quinn is the heart of the movie, Renee Montoya (Rosie Perez) and Black Canary (Jurnee Smollett-Bell) serve as the conscience, and they're a joy to watch. Mary Elizabeth Winstead's Huntress is also a standout, but really only comes into play in the last act.

As the twisted villain of the piece, McGregor is... quite something. At times, his performance threatens to rocket into a completely different stratosphere of camp. Then, in a split second he switches to a far more sinister and intimidating gear. It worked for this reviewer, but Sionis could prove to be a highly divisive presence.

The action is also top notch, with some exciting and very inventive fight scenes and chase sequences. BOP fully embraces its R-rating with bloody, bone-crunching battles. But, one rather disturbing moment aside, it never revels in violence or profanity just because it can, and the tone remains bright and breezy for the most part.

If there's a major issue, it's the way the story unfolds. Harley narrates the movie and her erratic personality is reflected in the narrative structure. This can be effective and very funny, but it also means we retread over old ground on occasion which can be frustrating.

Birds of Prey is a little uneven and maybe not quite as subversive as it'd like to be, but it's still an absolute blast from start to finish. Chalk up another win for DC!

Image result for 4 stars out of 5

If you want to check out some of the other reviews, click the next button below!

Liv1312

Jumbled plotting aside, Cathy Yan and Christina Hodson's 'Birds of Prey' is a delightfully entertaining showcase for Margot Robbie's Harley Quinn and the rest of her anti-heroic gal pals. (8/10)

SOURCE: Forbes

This whole film is a femme-fatale meet-and-greet which detoxifies the recent spree of male-dominated skulkings around Gotham City. It has gangster's moll energy where the molls take over. (3/5)

SOURCE: Daily Telegraph
 
It's relentless, hyperactive, and viciously entertaining. Just like Harley herself. (4/5)

SOURCE: Total Film

Thankfully, Robbie's shining performance cuts through the murk like a neon sign in a dark alleyway.

SOURCE: Mashable
 
Cathy Yan lets her heroine's mania guide her through a story that's scrappy, weird and ultimately fun as hell. (4/5)

SOURCE: Time Out

Birds of Prey's freedom to discard the classic superhero story is a freedom well won.

SOURCE: Polygon
 
It's all as tasty, chewy and disposable as bubble gum.

SOURCE: Los Angeles Times

DC Comics fans have been waiting years and years for a great Harley Quinn solo movie, and here they get it... albeit it's packaged inside a more so-so Birds of Prey movie. (3/5)

SOURCE: Cinema Blend
 
BOP2

Cathy Yan has created a music-infused celebration of female badassery. (8/10)

SOURCE: We Live Entertainment

Some pacing issues aside, Birds of Prey is a neon-blood-soaked, funny, violent, anti-hero caper. It manages to be authentic without being heavy-handed, and happily obliterates the male gaze in a technicolour firework display. (4/5)

SOURCE: Digital Spy
 
However popular the film becomes, though, I doubt that anyone will adore it as much as it evidently adores itself. (2/5)

SOURCE: BBC

Birds of Prey may not hit every beat, but it uses its characters and concepts well enough. Does it reach the creative heights DC executives had hoped it would? No. Does it give it an honest go? Absolutely. (7/10)

SOURCE: Starburst
 
I was pleasantly surprised just how much I enjoyed the bizarro world of the Birds of Prey, and thrilled at the prospect of it continuing long after this adventure ends. (4/5)

SOURCE: Nerdist

Birds of Prey's most thrilling aspect, instead, is its stylish disregard for pain and the human body. (3/5)

SOURCE: Vox
 
It may not be the promised total emancipation (at least not yet), but it is fantabulous in its own way. (B-)

SOURCE: indieWire

The latest DC superhero movie isn't quite a solo jam for Harley, nor has she gone straight, but it is an entertaining lark that introduces a few good women - and four-letter curse words - into the canon of Superman and Batman. (3/4)

SOURCE: USA Today
 
A giddy treat of an R-rated comic-book movie, borrowing elements from inspirations as disparate as 9 to 5, Bugs Bunny and Modesty Blaise to create an adventure that tweaks its genre familiarity with delightful bursts of anarchy and wit.

SOURCE: The Wrap

This film is a blitz of bad taste, a cornucopia of crass, and it is weirdly diverting - more than you might expect, given the frosty way Suicide Squad was received critically - and engagingly crazy. (3/5)

SOURCE: Guardian
 
Cheeky and unapologetically brassy "Birds Of Prey" is super overwrought and sometimes exasperating, but at least there's never a dull moment. (C)

SOURCE: The Playlist

But those hoping for a Deadpool-like fusion of mayhem and wit should lower their expectations: Harley may be known for her unpredictability, but Birds plays by action-movie rules.

SOURCE: The Hollywood Reporter
 
Cathy Yan keeps it all hurtling along with impeccable ferocity. Her action scenes have a deftly detonating visual spaciousness, capped by crowd-pleasing moments...

SOURCE: Variety

A pulpy, kaleidoscopic funhouse ride that feels simultaneously high-stakes and low-stakes all at once, Birds of Prey is as cheeky, irreverent, and erratic as its central character, Harley Quinn. (7.5/10)

SOURCE: Slash Film
 
Although we'd have preferred to see a true team-up with fewer narrative detours, Birds of Prey provides a perfect setup for a host of other intriguing spinoffs in the DC cinematic universe - can we request Poison Ivy next? (8/10)

SOURCE: IGN

With a wicked sense of humor and exhilarating action, Birds of Prey is fierce, fun and a total blast - and an empowering girl power superhero romp. (4/5)

SOURCE: Screen Rant
 
Welcome to the mind of Harley Quinn, enshrined in all the sequin-encrusted girliness and bone-smashing violence of Birds of Prey. (4/5)

SOURCE: Independent

In a world gone mad, the catharsis of Prey's twisted sisterhood doesn't just read as pandemonium for its own sake; it's actually pretty damn sweet. (B+)

SOURCE: Entertainment Weekly
 
What Birds of Prey is, is loud, bright, and fun as all hell.

SOURCE: io9

Total mixed bag, doesn't merit a rotten OR fresh tomato. But representation is important, which JUST tips the scale to fresh. Robbie, McGregor & Smollet-Bell do the best work. (5/10)

SOURCE: Beyond The Trailer
 
BOP1

Birds of Prey is electric! The style, the humor, the music, the performances, Ewan McGregor, the fight sequences. The more creativity and energy we get like this on the big screen, the better. (8.5/10)

SOURCE: Collider

At no point is the film ever uninteresting and its ambitiously gonzo fluidity is much preferred to the mindless Macguffin-based quests at the center of many superhero flicks from both studios. (3/4)

SOURCE: Observer
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