Birds of Prey: enjoyable chaos and mayhem

OK to start off, I am not a massive fan of DC movies or Marvel movies, or any kind of superhero movie, so it is safe to say I wasn't holding out for much when I rocked up to Omniplex Salthill to view Birds of Prey, Birds of Prey: The Fantabulous Emancipation of One Harley Quinn, or Harley Quinn: Birds of Prey or whatever title DC has decided to place upon their newest release. However, I have to say it wasn't that bad and I rather enjoyed a huge chunks of the movie.

So Birds of Prey (this is the title I will use during the piece ) sees Harley Quinn (Margot Robbie ) in a post break phase from The Joker (as seen in Suicide Squad ). This is explained via a quick recap of a series of events which saw their explosive love liasion come to a halt. But while Quinn was able to have all the dangerous, unimpeded, fun that she wanted due to her enemies' fears of her other half, without her "J-man", Gotham City's bad guys want revenge. None more so than Roman Sionis aka 'Black Mask' (Ewan McGregor ) who agrees to a stay of execution for Quinn if she can find a diamond which has a rival mob's bank account details.

Via this treasure quest, we meet the other 'Birds of Prey'; Dinah Lance aka Black Canary (Jurnee Smollett-Bell ), a singer turned driver for Sionis; Cassandra Cain (Ella Jay Basco ), a teenage pickpocket who picks up the diamond from an unsuspecting mobster; Detective Renee Montaya (Rosie Perez ), an old-styled cop who loves to utter 80s cop show phrases; and Helena Bertinelli aka Huntress (Mary Elizabeth Winstead ), an assassin who is picking off all those who murder her family. But despite being billed as a film about the 'Birds of Prey' and their exploits, the plot essentially revolves around Quinn and Sionis' personal battle while the other 'birds' feel like add-ons which is a disappointment as they all had interesting back stories - I smell a sequel.

Anyway Birds of Prey is enjoyable mayhem which is what you would expect from any DC title, and in my opinion there is nothing wrong with a bit of gratuitous chaos. Action scenes and there are plenty, are excessive with a car chase on roller skates and the biggest fight scene playing out on a merry-go-round. We even see Quinn use a grenade launcher which shoots glitter bombs. The film is pretty much what you would expect if you delved into the troubled mind of Quinn. Of course, the film has slapstick comedy but not to the ridiculous extent seen in other superhero films.

What I really did not like about the movie was how we kept shooting back in time to receive explanations about why events are about to transpire, or why we should dislike or like upcoming characters. These flashbacks come at key scenes and therefore disrupt any building of excitement among viewers. I have to say the revisits into the past had me thinking that this film was going to be a load of the proverbial and had me questioning why I bothered showing up to the cinema. However, this back and forth structure was eventually disposed of in favour of just over the top action and fun and once that happened, I started to enjoy the show.

So overall, as someone who does not get the obsession over superhero movies, I am assuming Birds of Prey is not particularly aimed at me. It is a film which is supposed to be fun and overblown, without being too punishing on the grey matter and that's what director Cathy Yan delivers. If you are a superhero movie diehard you probably will thoroughly enjoy this, but as for those with my mentality, it is a solid watch.

Rating: 5/10


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