Movie Review – Birds of Prey: And the Fantabulous Emancipation of One Harley Quinn


There are only 2 reasons to get excited when you hear Puddin’. One is because of actual pudding because… pudding and the other is Ms Harley Quinn. The creation of Paul Dini and Bruce Timm’s (mostly) standalone movie is now in cinemas so how does Harley fair on her own?

In case you didn’t know Harley Quinn, also sometimes known as the Joker’s girlfriend, was a fan favourite from the iconic 90s Batman: The Animated Series. First appearing in 1992 Quinn was the only character to be created for the animated series to make the jump over to the mainstream Batman comic universe.

Initially, the significant punching bag of the abusive Joker before making the break on her own Harley has become somewhat the DC Universe’s Deadpool with comedic like storylines and more than a little spotty continuity appearing in Suicide Squad as a inmate with a bomb in her neck and her own books living her best life on Coney Island at the same time. It was only a matter of time before Harley made the jump to live-action.

Continuing in the role from her first appearance in Suicide Squad there is not a lot you need to know from that film to be able to jump into the new Harley Quinn film. Taking more than a page from the Deadpool/Ryan Reynolds playbook Harley will catch you right up right from the start of the film acting as the ADD impaired narrator for the film jumping around in time and switching between narration and the occasional 4th wall break.

Happening after Suicide Squad where the Joker broke Harley out of prison at the end. Harley is now on her own and spends the beginning of the film going through the motions of a breakup as only Harley can. It’s not until she makes her breakup more publically known (and that she is not protected by the Joker anymore) does she end up on the hit list for everyone that hates her throughout Gotham.

The film itself has many great action set pieces with Harley solo, and may even have been fine without a supporting cast. But, as you may have guessed for having the award for the longest title in the DCEU, Harley is joined by the Birds of Prey – or in this version Black Canary, Huntress and GCPD’s Detective Montoya with origin stories in this film that do not vary too far from the comics (except for Black Canary’s). But don’t be confused, this movie is pretty solidly all about Harley vs Batman Villian and crime-boss played by Obi-Wan Kenobi – Black Mask.

So should you go see it? If you are a Harley Quinn fan you don’t need to ask that. Quinn is the unofficial 4th Pillar of the DC right after Superman, Batman and Wonder Woman and after being the best part of Suicide Squad Birds of Prey serves as a great soft reboot for Dr Quinzel who has by far the best action/fight scenes for the entire film. Now, all we need is a Harley and Ivy flick announced right after James Gunn’s Suicide Squad 2.

Birds of Prey and the Fantabulous Emancipation of One Harley Quinn is in cinemas across Australia right now

Story and Characters
Visuals and Effects
Enjoyment Factor
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