Birds of Prey is the latest foray into the DCEU (DC Expanded Universe) with a ensemble cast movie similar to what we’ve seen in Justice League and Suicide Squad. Lead by Harley Quinn (Margot Robbie) with two first time on screen characters Dinah Lance /Black Canary (Jurnee Smollett-Bell ) and Helen Bertinelli / The Huntress (Mary Elizabeth Winstead) adding two more classic characters into the ever expanding universe.
The movie plays out as you would expect if you’ve seen the trailers. The Joker and Harley Quinn have broken up. While she’s somewhat broken hearted over it, it doesn’t seem to slow down the lifestyle of boozing and picking fights. It’s revealed that due to her relationship with the Joker, Harley has immunity to do as she pleases. That is until she decides to let everyone know that the two of them have called it quits. When that happens every bad guy in Gotham City who wants a piece of Harley comes out of the woodwork looking for her.
From there, we’re introduced to the main plot: There’s a diamond floating around somewhere in Gotham that has bank codes to million and millions of dollars that was once mob money etched inside the diamond that is highly sought after by Roman Sionis aka Black Mask (Ewan McGregor). This is also a first for the DCEU as the Black Mask villain has only been seen in animation and video games. McGregor delivers a stellar performance as the up-and-coming mob boss of Gotham.
When all the pieces are revealed you come to the realization that is is in face a comic-book heist movie similar to what you may have seen in the movie End of Watch, Bright, or The Fast and the Furious (2001) which is the typical motives for David Ayer when it comes to writing screenplays. I did not realize his involvement until the end credits rolled and when I saw him on there, I said to myself “Ah it all makes sense now”
The final 30 minutes of the film are the saving grace that makes it somewhat bearable. The “coming together” moment from our various protagonists allows them to beat the bad guys, get the diamond, and come out smelling like roses.
Overall the movie was OK, i went in with low expectations since I haven’t been overly impressed with the last few DCEU films that have come out. I did go into this one with slightly higher expectations. I left entertained, I didn’t love it or hate it. There were a few references to other DCEU properties mentioned, but they were stubble and not meant to be highlighted as this movie was about Harley Quinn and the Birds of Prey. If you’re a HUGE DC Comics fan, then go see this movie in theaters, if you’re not and you’re just interested in seeing a movie wait till it comes out on HBO Max. I’m giving this movie my lowest rating so far, not because it wasn’t a good movie, only because it was just a story of Harley Quinn breaking out of her shell that may or may not have expanded the DCEU.