Harley Quinn and the Birds of Prey

Discussion in 'General Discussion Forum' started by CT Phipps, Feb 14, 2020.

  1. CT Phipps

    CT Phipps Venerable Relic of the Wastes

    Sep 17, 2016


    HARLEY QUINN AND THE BIRDS OF PREY is the best movie I've watched this year aside from KNIVES OUT and that was on streaming. Mind you, it's only February and I think this film is far from flawless but this is a film that deserves to succeed. It is easily my favorite of the DCEU except for Wonder Woman and Margot Robbie does a fantastic job in making the kind of zany supervillain adventure that I've made my living writing with the Supervillainy Saga.


    Margot Robbie is adorable in this movie.

    Harley Quinn was a big influence on my love of supervillainy tropes and my writing in general. If you have an objection to my citing this, then just move down a few paragraphs and I'll get talking about the movie. I loved her in Batman: The Animated Series when she liberated herself from the Joker in "Harley and Ivy" and continued my enjoyment for her when she showed in the DC comics universe during "No Man's Land." In addition to inspiring Cindy Wachkowski a.k.a Red Riding Hood, she also helped refine the idea of the supervillain protagonist.

    Harley has always had an issue, though, which is the fact that she was introduced with the Joker. When the animated series was going goofy and fun with Harley, the comic books were doubling down on the Joker as a disturbing monster clown straight from your nightmares. Harley's love of the Joker seemed incongruous given it's less like falling in love with a colorful but evil criminal and more like falling in love with John Wayne Gacy (a.k.a Pogo the Clown) or Manson.

    This actually has a serious flaw for the Suicide Squad because generally the people who like Harley Quinn as a protagonist, like her as someone who gets away from the Joker and becomes her own woman. However, like Supergirl, her origin is intrinsically tied to the Joker's. As such, Suicide Squad had some definite problems with the fact it's about Harley Quinn and yet had to include Jared Leto's Joker that didn't really have room to exist in an already packed storyline. Executives also assumed people liked the Joker/Harley Quinn when, in fact, it is an anti-ship. People love seeing them broken up. I like to think it's the same mistaken attitude that led Thomas Harris to believe people like Clarice Starling and Hannibal Lecter together.


    Harley and Black Mask play off each other wonderfully.

    Harley Quinn and the Birds of Prey is a story that gets Harley Quiinn as a character. It is part of why I absolutely loved this movie because it is about the damaged but enjoyable titular character forging her new life post-Joker. It has some serious flaws due to the premise, which I'll get into later, but these are minor issues. This is a solid film full of action, colorful characters, enjoyable snark, and weird off-the-wall Gotham City kookiness that I enjoyed. Go see this in theaters because it's one of those films that benefits from a huge screen.



    The premise is Harley Quinn (Margot Robbie, duh) has broken up with the Joker but is struggling with her lack of respect in the criminal underworld. Feeling like a big statement is the best solution, she blows up Ace Chemicals with a gasoline truck. Now wanted by the entire Gotham City Underworld and GCPD due to the fact she no longer has the Joker's "protection", she ends up involved in a scheme of B-list Batman villains Black Mask (Ewan McGregor) and Victor Szass (Chris Messina).

    Apparently, there's a diamond that has been laser-coded with a bunch of Swiss bank accounts and Black Mask wants it but it's been grabbed by pick pocket Cassandra Cain (Ella Jay Basco). Throw in Black Canary (Jurnee Smollett-Bell), Renee Montoya (Rosie Perez), and Huntress (Mary Elizabeth Winstead) and you have a helluva good movie. Sort of.


    An excellent team of heroines.

    There's a lot of stupid as hell complaints about this movie like the fact that it's not sexy enough (this is not true by any healthy heterosexual male libido's standards--and undoubtedly some queer ones). They also complain about Black Canary's race change (I actually had more difficulty with the fact Mary Elizabeth Winstead is the least Italian-looking woman I've ever seen). There's also the fact Cassandra Cain is in-name-only which I have to agree with. It's weird because they could have called her Harper Row or even made her Stephanie Brown and it would have made more sense.

    Everyone does a great job acting and my biggest regret is that they didn't just call this the Harley Quinn movie because the Birds of Prey play only a minor role in this movie. It's like calling Iron Man 2 the Iron Man and Black Widow movie. Yes, you're technically correct but Harley is the star and the reason you should see it. Margot Robbie plays Harley as a bad person but not an evil one and she's mesmerizing on screen: sexy, funny, relatable, likable, and just terrible all once.

    Ewan McGregor's Black Mask is vain, petty, childish, comical, and monstrous in equal measures. It is a "oh, wait, of course he is good at being a supervillain" moment when you stop to remember he was the co-lead in Moulin Rouge. Over-the-top is something he can do quite well. Really, he could have played the Joker and done a fantastic job. It's also a shame that he's unlikely to make a return as an ongoing nemesis. He's also a much better antagonist to the power levels of the protagonists as the biggest mob boss of Gotham City makes more sense as a foe for Harley Quinn than someone like the Enchantress.


    The best Renee Montoya you're going to see.

    I haven't seen Rosie Perez in much but I liked her grizzled 80s cop movie (lampshaded in the film) vibe as well as the fact she was the only Gotham City official who wasn't a complete screw up. Apparently, Jim Gordon wasn't inclined to fire Steven Williams' Captain Erickson (probably because he killed Jason Voorhees) despite his gross incompetence and probable corruption. Jurnee Smollett-Bell's Black Canary is a bit underdeveloped but I want to see her in future movies. She's also got an amazing voice.

    Weirdly, my biggest complaint about this movie is that it has a few too many action sequences. They're wonderfully done but the character of Harley Quinn and her interactions with everyone are enough to carry the movie. I kind of wanted more of her wacky and bizarre life as a citizen in a town that goes from hyper-realistic to haunted amusement park in the space of a few city blocks.

    In conclusion, See this movie, you won't regret it. There's great action, great comedy, great style, and a solid soundtrack that almost never misses. The things people liked most about Suicide Squad (Robbie and its jukebox musical status) are replicated here with better stunts as well as writing. The acting is great, the characters are 90% representations, and Gotham City is well-represented. This is just a fun film and deserves to be a huge success.

    9/10
     
  2. TheGM

    TheGM The voice of reason

    Aug 19, 2008
    Where is the part where you call everybody who didn't go see this a woman hater? those are the best part of reviews these days.
     
    • [Rad] [Rad] x 3
  3. CT Phipps

    CT Phipps Venerable Relic of the Wastes

    Sep 17, 2016
    Fun fact: The movie has a 54% male audience because men love Harley Quinn and sexy ladies kicking ass.

    https://screenrant.com/birds-prey-harley-quinn-movie-audience-men-women/

    It was women who didn't show up in the numbers they did for other films.
     
  4. Bethesdaretconman

    Bethesdaretconman First time out of the vault

    28
    Nov 28, 2018
    Why was it necessary to bring that up? You do realize you are just adding fuel to the fire, right? If people want to stop stupid SJW shit like that we need to ignore them like we all did before. You're just causing even more outrage by bringing stuff like that up to an innocent review thread.
     
    • [Rad] [Rad] x 1
  5. TorontoReign

    TorontoReign Abalutza oTO Staff Member Moderator Orderite

    Apr 1, 2005
    I would only watch this movie if Harley showed her boobies again.
     
    • [Rad] [Rad] x 1
  6. Bethesdaretconman

    Bethesdaretconman First time out of the vault

    28
    Nov 28, 2018
    Again?
     
    • [Rad] [Rad] x 1
  7. alec

    alec White heterosexual male Orderite

    May 21, 2003
    :roll:

    Before watching a movie, any movie, TorontoReign smears shit in his eyes.
     
  8. Millim

    Millim The Big Straight Orderite

    Oct 13, 2010
    Eh... I really don't like Harley Quinn.
    It's the same with Deadpool, I love Deadpool, but then writers were just like 'he's crazy' and he just became a meme.
     
    • [Rad] [Rad] x 1
  9. Mr Fish

    Mr Fish ...The pain of being dead...

    Sep 11, 2010
    Yeah I started Deadpool from the beginning of his own series (I didn't read all of X-Force, it was Sins Of The Past or The Circle Chase) and he wasn't treated as simply a joke back then. It was the Way-Era in the following volume that really fucked things up when he completely ruined his character. I tried my best to give it a chance but I couldn't finish the damn thing.

    The film is a bit more like Marvel Now's Deadpool. It's not stupidly childish but it doesn't treat his character serious enough, especially or his beginning.

    I mean, in Deadpool Classic (first volume) he wore a mask because he absolutely loathed his appearance and could not stand other people seeing how he looked like. He would use a image inducer (a device that allows him to shapeshift into any kinda person he wanted to) just to walk around the park without his mask on so he could feel normal again and fit in with the world. This is the Deadpool that got raped for fucks sake. This is the Deadpool that would lock Blind Al up in the "danger room", a room filled with sharp objects and traps that, well, she's blind right? Figure it out. And he basically kidnapped her because he was lonely and wanted someone around and that's the only way he could do it. Especially since she was blind. I mean that was a big part of it. He hates others seeing how he looks like, absolutely loathes his appearance, so he kidnaps an old blind lady for company.

    It still had some wacky moments and all but it had a lot of really fucking dark parts to it. Cable & Deadpool did lighten the character somewhat and acted as a bridge for transformation but he wasn't completely a joke. The Way-Era was jarring due to how loony it became. Volume 3 (Marvel Now) brought Deadpool a bit back on track but they lost a lot of the old dark stuff. But I could accept that a character has to evolve. It can't stay the same forever. And it did have good storylines and serious moments. Same thing with a lot of Volume 4 (All-New All-Different Marvel?) but at the end of that we had that dumb fucking "Oh let's have the characters go back to their roots momentarily" (Despicable Deadpool) so Deadpool went and lost all his memories and I figured like all right so he will turn into a villain of old right? Nope. It was a total waste of time and just threw all his character development down the drain. The following Volume... According to the wiki it is 7... What the fuck happened to 5 and 6 then? Whatever. It was a volume with no ideas. It had no direction and no pacing. It was mostly story of the week and the little plot points spread throughout that could have added up to something pretty big went out like a wet fart.
    I mean they brought back Weasel from the dead. Had him make a deal with the literal devil. Deadpool at the end was forced into working for the devil and he got out of his "contract" by recycling an iconic humorous moment from before when Deadpool got out of working for Galactus by simple not being able to shut the hell up. That's how this storyline got wrapped up. A recycled joke. And then Weasel is no longer dead, he got no power from the devil and nothing's really changed in the world. This is on par with Way-Era.

    I understand that Ryan Reynolds wanted to keep the film fun but quite frankly the first film should have been dark as tar. And I feel like his film just pushed the comic towards wackier stuff again.

    Apparently there's now a Volume 8 but I honestly don't know if I even want to read it. Why waste my time if it is gonna do the exact same shit as the previous volume?

    Harley Quinn from nearly everything that I've seen seems to have been the same way and I just don't want to go through the heartache again of getting attached to a good character only to see it ruined by popularizing a loonytunes character. If the comic character had been ruined before then the movie is just going to make things way worse.

    For this reason I hate comic films. They infect and force the comics to change to fit in with "what's popular". They never add to the already established character or try to recreate the storyline as best as possible. It is always a reiteration that basically creates its own timeline. But since more people watch films than read comics (or at the very least that specific comic) it will impact the comic to change even if it really shouldn't.

    I enjoyed MCU for a while because it was so new for a massive film series to connect the way it did but it got real tiring and I think the last one I watched was Civil War and then I called quits. Come to think of it, it's all left such a bad taste in my mouth that I barely read any superhero comics anymore either. Them becoming popular ruined them. (Oh and the amount of SJW shit crammed down your throat in new marvel comics is atrocious)

    Started re-reading Marvel Zombies though. It's fun. And started reading Rednecks (vampire comic), it's pretty good but the art style gets sloppier as it goes on and it might get real distracting with how damn sloppy it is.
     
    • [Rad] [Rad] x 2
  10. alec

    alec White heterosexual male Orderite

    May 21, 2003
    BoP is performing subpar because:
    [1] Some idiot gave it an R-rating, even though Harley Quinn is very popular with teens because of her appearance in tv cartoons and there's nothing in the movie that warrants an R-rating.
    [2] The cast made it very clear that the movie wasn't aimed at boys/men because those are all toxic. The movie was aimed at girls and all the other genders overzealous postmodern professors have come up with. And the girls can't go see it because it has an R-rating. Ha!
    [3] You don't make a movie about Harley Quinn and then name the movie after the 2-dimensional characters in the background, the Birds of Prey.
    [4] All the actors involved advertised the movie as a woke circus in which all men were misogynists and get their asses kicked.
    [5] Harley Quinn started her career as a cartoon character and (imho) that's the only way she works. Well, cartoons and comics.
    [6] And let's be honest, it's probably not a good idea to have comic book movies made by a strictly female team. The main demographic that buys and reads comics has a penis, so including men in your team is probably a smart move.
     
    • [Rad] [Rad] x 2
  11. CT Phipps

    CT Phipps Venerable Relic of the Wastes

    Sep 17, 2016
    Yeah? What?

    If it didn't have flaws, it'd be a ten.

    That's how it works.
     
  12. CT Phipps

    CT Phipps Venerable Relic of the Wastes

    Sep 17, 2016
    Skinning people's faces off?

    See Wonder Woman and Captain Marvel's success.

    That's moronic.
     
  13. Hassknecht

    Hassknecht For hate's sake. Admin Orderite

    Aug 16, 2010

    That's all the Birds of Prey I care about.
     
  14. Norzan

    Norzan Vault Senior Citizen

    Apr 7, 2017
    You said the story has serious flaws, but then said they were just minor issues. That's not how any of that works.
     
    Last edited: Feb 15, 2020
    • [Rad] [Rad] x 1
  15. Hassknecht

    Hassknecht For hate's sake. Admin Orderite

    Aug 16, 2010
    CT Phipps throwing around 9/10s for something that he acknowledges to be seriously flawed, but amused him nonetheless it's almost perfect?
    Why, I'd never.
     
  16. Norzan

    Norzan Vault Senior Citizen

    Apr 7, 2017
    I forgot how absolutely retarded his rating system is.
     
    • [Rad] [Rad] x 1
  17. Hassknecht

    Hassknecht For hate's sake. Admin Orderite

    Aug 16, 2010
    Well, at least it's kinda consistent. "It made me clap my hands in glee like a jingling keychain, 9/10, I filled my nappy in between".
     
    • [Rad] [Rad] x 1
  18. Millim

    Millim The Big Straight Orderite

    Oct 13, 2010
    Oh man Daniel Way sucked.
    If you've ever read his Venom, it's basically trash
     
  19. Big No

    Big No Watch as I open and close this door

    621
    Oct 28, 2014
    "Ride to Hell: Retribution never crashed once for me, 9/10."
     
  20. CT Phipps

    CT Phipps Venerable Relic of the Wastes

    Sep 17, 2016
    To my enjoyment, they weren't.