Birds of Prey and the Fantabulous Emancipation of One Harley Quinn (2020)

birds of prey and the fantabulous emancipation of one harley quinn poster 2020 movie
8.0 Overall Score
Story: 8/10
Acting: 8/10
Visuals: 8/10

Fun, entertaining

Characters that need more development, mis-marketed

Movie Info

Movie Name: Birds of Prey and the Fantabulous Emancipation of One Harley Quinn

Studio: DC Entertainment

Genre(s): Comic Book/Action/Adventure/Comedy/Sci-Fi/Fantasy

Release Date(s):  January 25, 2020 (Premiere)/February 7, 2020 (US)

MPAA Rating: R

birds of prey and the fantabulous emancipation of one harley quinn egg salad sandwich margot robbie

Don’t come between a crazy woman and her egg sandwich

Harley Quinn (Margot Robbie) and her main man the Joker have called it quits, and Harley isn’t taking it well.  When the news gets out, Harley finds herself targeted from all sides.  Detective Renee Montoya (Rosie Perez) wants to take Harley down and gangland leader Roman “Black Mask” Sionis (Ewan McGregor) also has put a target on her.  Harley is on the run and discovers she has a girl named Cassandra Cain (Ella Jay Basco) in tow who could get her out of the mess once and for all.  Harley is experiencing life on her own, but is about to discover that she might need all the help she can get.

Directed by Cathy Yan, Birds of Prey and the Fantabulous Emancipation of One Harley Quinn is a DC Extended Universe comic book movie.  Following Shazam! in 2019, the movie is a direct sequel to 2016’s Suicide Squad.  The film was released to positive reviews with average box office returns just before the COVID-19 outbreak.

Suicide Squad was a mess.  It was all over the place with horrible storytelling, but Harley Quinn was one of the best parts of the film.  Birds of Prey and the Fantabulous Emancipation of One Harley Quinn made up for Suicide Squad…but it was rather mis-marketed.

birds of prey and the fantabulous emancipation of one harley quinn black mask ewan mcgregor

Black Mask is coming for you!

The movie is a Harley Quinn movie.  It is told from Harley’s perspective and by Harley.  Harley was popular and the Birds of Prey are largely unknown to non-comic book audiences (they did have a short lived live action series).  Marvel already gets people into the theaters…DC needs to be smarter to woo audiences especially since their films have been a little more inconsistent.  Marketing the movie as Harley Quinn (and maybe add “and the Birds of Prey”) movie seems logical…and it was a solid film.  The next film could have been Birds of Prey with the established characters.

Margot Robbie continues to impress.  She has a lot versatility and seems to really commit to the character.  I’ve always liked Rosie Perez so it is nice to see her get a meaty roll.  The rest of the Birds of Prey Mary Elizabeth Winstead, Jurnee Smollett, and Ella Jay Basco had more room for development (and I wish they had made Ella Jay Basco have more ties to the Batgirl character).  Ewan McGregor was a different type of villain but I wanted a bit more from Black Mask.

birds of prey and the fantabulous emancipation of one harley quinn team cast

First you wanted to kill me, now you kind of like me…strange change of fate huh?

Cathy Yan does a good job with the film to keep it lively and fun.  The movie is told in very round-about ways and keeping control of something like that is sometimes difficult.  Birds of Prey plays out well and the stylized directing helps propel the story by giving a look at how Harley perceives the world.

Birds of Prey and the Fantabulous Emancipation of One Harley Quinn is a fun movie.  It isn’t a perfect movie and there was room for improvement.  I hope more people get to see it and that it rides a nice wave of popularity to become a cult film.  It is always good to have a reminder that there are alternatives to Marvel films.  Birds of Prey and the Fantabulous Emancipation of One Harley Quinn was followed by Wonder Woman 1984 in 2020.

Related Links:

Suicide Squad (2016)

Author: JPRoscoe View all posts by
Follow me on Twitter @JPRoscoe76! Loves all things pop-culture especially if it has a bit of a counter-culture twist. Plays video games (basically from the start when a neighbor brought home an Atari 2600), comic loving (for almost 30 years), and a true critic of movies. Enjoys the art house but also isn't afraid to let in one or two popular movies at the same time.

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