Birds of Prey (and the Fantabulous Emancipation of One Harley Quinn) ★★★½

This review may contain spoilers. I can handle the truth.

This review may contain spoilers.

Yeah, I'm rating another movie 3.5 stars. It turns out the vast majority of the movies Hollywood puts out are fine. Not great. Not bad. Fine.

Birds of Prey (and the Fantabulous Emancipation of One Harley Quinn) - or is it Harley Quinn: Birds of Prey (and the Fantabulous Emancipation of One Harley Quinn) - is a fine movie. In the DC Cinematic Universe, 3.5 stars is 5 stars, so good for them.

I think the screenplay for this was pretty miserable. Like, the plot is just the thinnest possible premise for a movie (there's a little treasure AND a big treasure, but the little treasure is the key to the big treasure!). Frankly, the language and over-the-top violence felt forced, like DC saw Deadpool and they were like "hell yeah let's make Harley Quinn that." The script introduces a character that seems to care a lot about Harley Quinn and then moments later he sells her out to the entire criminal underworld for - at most - like $250,000. What a dick. More importantly, MEH. It was necessary for the plot to move forward only because the writers had written Harley Quinn and Cassandra Cain into a corner where they were perfectly safe and had no threat. Conflict is the driver of narrative and the writers removed it, then added it back in with a nonsense twist.

The soundtrack is pretty neat, but it's used badly. Fight scenes are paired with cool songs, but they're not SET TO cool songs. Land a beat on a punch, for the love of God.

This movie is saved by the actors, Margot Robbie and Ewan McGregor are pretty incredible. Jurnee Smollett-Bell does an amazing job as Black Canary. I assume that DC has already planned her spin-off, but it's probably the one I want to see the most. I hate the new version of Victor Zsasz, but Chris Messina does a really fantastic job portraying him. I was a little disappointed by some of Ella Jay Basco's acting as Cassandra Cain, but for her second ever movie, she was pretty good. I'd love to see more of her as she grows into her role as - you know - Batgirl. I was really put off by the Huntress (Mary Elizabeth Winstead), but I'm 99% sure it was the directing, not her acting. I think she acted the hell out of the role, so it's hard for me to really knock it. I know we're all supposed to love Rosie Perez, but I think Renee Montoya was one of my least favorite characters in the whole movie. I think she was written to be comic relief and it completely failed, not that that's Perez' fault - it was just bad writing. I just couldn't muster a single fuck to give about Montoya, even outside the failed comedy.

HQ: BoP (atFEoOHQ) is a movie. It's a movie that looks great and sounds great and had great actors giving great performances in a movie that was written poorly and synced poorly to the sound (aesthetic, not technical) and I think directed poorly in a few spots.

It's a movie I COULD love. It's also a movie that I COULD hate. I don't feel either thing and maybe that's worse.