BIRDS OF PREY Spoiler-Free Review; "The Harley Quinn Adventure Fans Have Spent Years Waiting For"

BIRDS OF PREY <font color=red>Spoiler-Free</font> Review; "The Harley Quinn Adventure Fans Have Spent Years Waiting For"

Birds of Prey is now in theaters but is the movie truly fantabulous or does Harley Quinn's first solo outing fall foul? You can find our spoiler-free verdict of the DC Comics adaptation after the jump...

Birds of Prey (and the Fantabulous Emancipation of One Harley Quinn) is not really a Birds of Prey movie. In fact, it's a full blown Harley Quinn solo adventure which just so happens to boast an eclectic cast of female supporting characters. While we'll hopefully see them all again in the not too distant future, it's most definitely Margot Robbie's title character who you'll walk out of the theater wanting more of (The Suicide Squad can't get here soon enough). 

That's not to say the likes of Black Canary, Renee Montoya, and Huntress aren't great, though. The latter doesn't get a huge amount to do - Mary Elizabeth Winstead's take on the assassin is definitely different - but Jurnee Smollett-Bell is an absolute scene stealer as Dinah Lance. A legitimate badass, there's a ton of potential for that character on screen moving forward. Ella Jay Basco's Cassandra Cain also happens to be tremendous fun to spend time with and while this is a very different take on the youngster, you'll soon be on board with it. Robbie ultimately owns the film, though, and she's unmissable as the returning Harley Quinn from start to finish. Her performance is so layered that it quickly feels like we've spent considerably more time with her than what we got in 2016's Suicide Squad. Just like Fox stumbled across a winner of a character with Deadpool, it now feels like Warner Bros. has done the same and the possibilities with her now feel endless. 

Birds of Prey also boats a couple of great villains in Ewan McGregor's Black Mask and Chris Messina's Victor Zsasz. It's a shame the movie never really commits to fully exploring their clearly quite complex relationship but the subtext is definitely interesting to ponder and fans of the comic books should be happy with their respective portrayals. McGregor appears to be having a blast and the only downside with this shared world now being standalone in nature is that we'll never see him pop up elsewhere to match wits with a certain Caped Crusader.

Oh, and make no mistake about it; this is very much a movie that stands apart from the "DC Extended Universe" as something completely new. There are vague references to Suicide Squad but you won't need to have watched that to understand what's happening here and likely won't need to have to seen Birds of Prey to follow whatever comes next. It's an approach that works, though, and you'll be too busy having an awesome time to really worry too much about connective tissue and the like.

Visually, Birds of Prey is both unique, exciting, and unlike any other superhero movie, and the soundtrack is one of the best to come along for a very long time. We mentioned Marvel's Merc with the Mouth a little earlier in this review and comparisons to that franchise are inevitable but, honestly, Harley does Wade Wilson's shtick better that Deadpool ever did. As a female empowerment movie, Birds of Prey also flies high and while it occasionally trips itself up with a hard to follow structure and flashbacks which are a little too long, that's easy to forgive when you're having such a fantabulous time. 

Better than Deadpool, Birds of Prey delivers the Harley Quinn adventure fans have spent years waiting for and is one of the best DC Comics movies to date. 

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