𝘐𝘴 𝘛𝘩𝘪𝘴 𝘍𝘪𝘭𝘮 𝘈 𝘏𝘰𝘭𝘭𝘺𝘸𝘰𝘰𝘥 𝘚𝘶𝘱𝘦𝘳𝘩𝘦𝘳𝘰?: ʀᴇᴠɪᴇᴡꜱ ᴏꜰ ᴀᴄᴛɪᴏɴ & ꜱᴜᴘᴇʀʜᴇʀᴏ ʀᴇʟᴇᴀꜱᴇꜱ –
𝘉𝘪𝘳𝘥𝘴 𝘖𝘧 𝘗𝘳𝘦𝘺 : 𝘈𝘯𝘥 𝘛𝘩𝘦 𝘍𝘢𝘯𝘵𝘢𝘣𝘶𝘭𝘰𝘶𝘴 𝘌𝘮𝘢𝘯𝘤𝘪𝘱𝘢𝘵𝘪𝘰𝘯 𝘖𝘧 𝘖𝘯𝘦 𝘏𝘢𝘳𝘭𝘦𝘺 𝘘𝘶𝘪𝘯𝘯
As much credit as it gets, it doesn’t quite get enough. Deadpool is actually such a good movie that you could take whatever you think is the best minute of any DCEU movie and pick any random minute of Deadpool and the Deadpool minute will be better… [Name: Warner Brothers. Possible Beef: 𝗦𝘂𝗴𝗴𝗲𝘀𝘁𝗶𝗻𝗴 𝗧𝗵𝗲 𝗗𝗖𝗘𝗨 𝗺𝗼𝘃𝗶𝗲𝘀 𝗮𝗿𝗲 𝘀𝗼 𝗯𝗮𝗱 𝘁𝗵𝗮𝘁 𝗮𝗻𝘆 𝗺𝗶𝗻𝘂𝘁𝗲 𝗼𝗳 𝗗𝗲𝗮𝗱𝗽𝗼𝗼𝗹 𝗶𝘀 𝗯𝗲𝘁𝘁𝗲𝗿 𝘁𝗵𝗮𝗻 𝗮𝗻𝘆 𝗺𝗶𝗻𝘂𝘁𝗲 𝗼𝗳 𝗮𝗻𝘆 𝗼𝗳 𝘁𝗵𝗼𝘀𝗲 𝗺𝗼𝘃𝗶𝗲𝘀]. Wait, I forgot to establish why I started talking about Deadpool in this review of Birds Of Prey. Let’s rewind a bit.
Earlier in this review:
When you think about it, this movie never had a chance. I could spend this whole review on the pure stupidity of the title. Or I could spend it all on how out of character and miscast every major character is (excluding Harley Quinn and Huntress). These things are certainly annoying and they certainly helped to ensure this movie would flop, but they aren’t the real problem and to be absolutely crystal clear the real problem has nothing to do with any form of feminism. The two things give any indications of this are how the Joker and Renee Montoya’s boss took credit from Harley and Renee, respectively. This is not something that is unheard of in the world. In addition, Harley clearly says she only masterminded SOME of the Joker’s greatest schemes and this is consistent with how she was initially portrayed in Batman: The Animated Series where she debuted as a character. There’s even a whole episode where she gets a lot closer to killing Batman than the Joker ever has. There are two real problems with Birds Of Prey:
- There was a gross over-estimation of how much anyone liked this version of Harley Quinn after she appeared in Suicide Squad. [Name: Margot Robbie. Possible Beef: Suggesting she grossly overestimated the popularity of her portrayal of Harley Quinn].
- And this is movie is pretty bad
Suicide Squad was a pretty crappy movie. Looking at it after the fact, it was a bad movie that was then re-edited by a trailer studio to make it even worse. [Name: David Ayer. Possible Beef: 𝗦𝘂𝗴𝗴𝗲𝘀𝘁𝗶𝗻𝗴 𝘁𝗵𝗮𝘁 𝗦𝘂𝗶𝗰𝗶𝗱𝗲 𝗦𝗾𝘂𝗮𝗱 𝘄𝗼𝘂𝗹𝗱’𝘃𝗲 𝗯𝗲𝗲𝗻 𝗮 𝗯𝗮𝗱 𝗺𝗼𝘃𝗶𝗲 𝗲𝘃𝗲𝗻 𝘄𝗶𝘁𝗵𝗼𝘂𝘁 𝘀𝘁𝘂𝗱𝗶𝗼 𝗶𝗻𝘁𝗲𝗿𝗳𝗲𝗿𝗲𝗻𝗰𝗲]. On a technical level, it is probably worse than Birds Of Prey. Suicide Squad has more mistakes, and the mistakes are more glaring. The villain is worse. Many of the characters have little to no purpose. Slipknot exits. With all that said though, honestly if someone put a gun to my head and forced me to watch one or the other, I’d pick Suicide Squad. Will Smith (who I’m not a big fan of outside of The Fresh Prince Of Bel-Air) does a pretty good job as Deadshot. Even though Deadshot is a much more interesting character in the comics, he is by far the best character in Suicide Squad. Harley, in that movie, is just okay. Her flashbacks with the Joker make her just sympathetic enough that she gets away with being as annoying as she is. She is less sympathetic in this movie.
The movie begins with a cartoon explaining Harley’s life. She narrates this and from this, we can see that the movie is going to work like the first Deadpool movie. In fact, I need to talk about Deadpool a bit…
Okay now, we’re caught up. So anyway, like Deadpool, Harley narrates and adds jokes to the proceedings. To say the least, Deadpool does it a lot better. There are two main reasons why Deadpool does this better:
- Deadpool is just plain funnier. Every joke still hits to this day. Birds Of Prey, on the other hand, has maybe a handful of “grin-worthy” lines. The best joke is a running gag with Huntress that’s “smile funny” and nowhere near “laugh out loud” funny.
- Deadpool is a more sympathetic and likable character.
Both Harley and Deadpool are (or at least start out as) bad people. Deadpool is a bad person who murders even worse people. He says so himself. Early on, Deadpool threatens a guy who is stalking a girl. This an endearing moment that puts you on his side. Moments like this are called “save the cat” moments. Harley only has the aforementioned manipulation by the Joker. At the very least she was the accomplice to the murder of innocent people and shows no remorse for it even after breaking up with the Joker.
After this, she’s pretty much an asshole to almost everyone she meets because people believe she is still with the Joker and she can get away with it. This whole story only goes into motion because some girls in a club talk about her needing the Joker and how she “can’t stand on her own”. The thing is though, she can’t. She never does. She proves that she can get lucky to the point she might as well be “Domino” when fighting people who should but don’t have guns, but that’s it. In the end, Cassandra Cain is the one who does the thing that actually kills Black Mask, not Harley. If she could stand on her own, there’d be no Birds Of Prey in this story.
Because of what these girls say, she decides to ruin the perfect setup she has where she can be an asshole to everyone with zero consequences. She then tells us we’re supposed to just go along with the idea that her blowing up the chemical plant where she and the Joker were created is some universal symbol that they broke up. This, of course, is not what anyone would immediately assume. This could have been an accident. Some rival of the Joker could have done this. It could be some insurance thing that has nothing to do with the Joker. Luckily, a cop well into her fifties, Renee Montoya, is soon there to investigate and find Harley’s necklace at the scene of the explosion. She pieces together what we were already told this was supposed to mean by Harley. Universally everyone now knows Harley and the Joker are no longer together and she, therefore, is no longer under his protection. Now that I mentioned how Renee enters the story, I feel I should have introduced her and the other characters earlier. Let’s run it back again to right before I started talking about Suicide Squad.
Earlier in this review:
As I mentioned before, every character is out-of-character and miscast. This in and of itself doesn’t make the movie bad, but it shows a lack of care for the source material that informs the rest of the movie. Let’s break down these characters:
- Renee Montoya – Rosie Perez is too old to play this character. [Name: Rosie Perez. Possible Beef: 𝗦𝘂𝗴𝗴𝗲𝘀𝘁𝗶𝗻𝗴 𝘀𝗵𝗲’𝘀 𝘁𝗼𝗼 𝗼𝗹𝗱 𝘁𝗼 𝗽𝗹𝗮𝘆 𝗥𝗲𝗻𝗲𝗲 𝗠𝗼𝗻𝘁𝗼𝘆𝗮]. That’s not ageism, that’s basic logic. If this were back when she played a cop in Pineapple Express, there would be no problem. Assuming there’s some reason the filmmakers were not allowed to use Batgirl/ Oracle (who in the comics founded the Birds Of Prey with Black Canary in the first place), a better version of this movie could have had her want to bust Black Mask before she retires but gets injured in the process and takes the role of Oracle as the “info person” for the other characters. Speaking of Black Mask…
- Black Mask – The guy in this movie is nothing like Black Mask and there was no point in making him be Black Mask. The movie would be overall better if he was just some gangster that’s not tied to the comics. The character in this movie is actually interesting though. There just needed to be more of him, and his eventual defeat is lame. One of the highlights of the whole movie is a disturbing (in a good way) scene where a woman is laughing and he is so insecure he assumes the woman is laughing at him so to reassure himself he forces the woman to dance for him then forces a guy that’s with her to cut her dress off with a knife.
- Zsasz – Oh for fuck’s sake! Zsasz is supposed to be a serial killer. He could have been a great Batman villain in a movie that would’ve been very different than any Batman movie we saw before. Here he’s reduced to being a henchman for Black Mask. The actor was the best part of the show The Mindy Project, so it’s sad to see him in such a crappy role.
- Black Canary – She’s a singer at Black Mask’s club who gets promoted Black Mask’s driver (Harley broke the legs of the old driver by jumping on them) after he sees her beat up some dudes that were about to gang-rape a drunken Harley. There’s a lot of conveniences and a lot of “why” here. Renee encounters her and we learn that like her mother who “helped the police” she “has powers”. That’s the closest we get to any explanation for the sonic scream ability she uses only once in the movie. I know the chick that plays her from crappy sitcoms where she had bit parts as a kid and when she was on True Blood. She was terrible on True Blood, but to be fair the whole show was terrible at this point. She’s nothing like Black Canary. Overall, she’s not bad but just kinda there. [Name: Whatever The Name Of The Actress That Plays Black Canary In This Movie. Possible Beef: 𝗦𝘂𝗴𝗴𝗲𝘀𝘁𝗶𝗻𝗴 𝘀𝗵𝗲 𝘄𝗮𝘀 𝘁𝗲𝗿𝗿𝗶𝗯𝗹𝗲 𝗶𝗻 𝗧𝗿𝘂𝗲 𝗕𝗹𝗼𝗼𝗱/ 𝗡𝗼𝘁 𝗯𝗼𝘁𝗵𝗲𝗿𝗶𝗻𝗴 𝘁𝗼 𝗹𝗼𝗼𝗸 𝘂𝗽 𝗵𝗲𝗿 𝗻𝗮𝗺𝗲].
- Huntress – As mentioned before (after? Dammit, this stupid non-linear review has bitten me in the ass) she has the best jokes and is the only character that isn’t completely out of character and miscast. She’s way more awkward than she is in the comics, but it’s kind of funny and fits with the tone of this movie. Huntress is a mob princess who witnesses her family get murdered, and she seeks revenge using a crossbow. She is by far the best character in the movie but unfortunately, she might have the smallest role and the least amount of screen time.
- Cassandra Cain -… DC Comics has an absolute hard-on for pissing off people that like this character. I’ll never understand it. She is supposed to be a badass assassin who starts off completely mute because she was trained only to read body language. She eventually became Batgirl for a while and had a strong and loyal following. Then DC decided to continually try to ruin, marginalize, or erase her. [Name: DC Comics. Possible Beef: 𝗣𝗼𝗶𝗻𝘁𝗶𝗻𝗴 𝗼𝘂𝘁 𝗵𝗼𝘄 𝘁𝗵𝗲𝘆 𝗴𝗼 𝗼𝘂𝘁 𝗼𝗳 𝘁𝗵𝗲𝗶𝗿 𝘄𝗮𝘆 𝘁𝗼 𝗿𝘂𝗶𝗻 𝗰𝗵𝗮𝗿𝗮𝗰𝘁𝗲𝗿𝘀 𝘀𝘂𝗰𝗵 𝗮𝘀 𝗖𝗮𝘀𝘀𝗮𝗻𝗱𝗿𝗮 𝗖𝗮𝗶𝗻, 𝗦𝘁𝗲𝗽𝗵𝗮𝗻𝗶𝗲 𝗕𝗿𝗼𝘄𝗻, 𝗮𝗻𝗱 𝗪𝗮𝗹𝗹𝘆 𝗪𝗲𝘀𝘁]. The character in the movie is instead a chubby pickpocket. She steals and swallows a diamond and… Actually, since this deals with the central plot let’s jump back into current time in the review and talk about that…
So the central plot of this movie is a combination of three variations of the “everyone is after the thing” plot. Everyone is after Cassandra because inside of her is the diamond and the diamond has some type of code to an even greater treasure: the fortune of Huntress’s family. Harley is after her to get Black Mask and his men off her ass after she gets captured by them. Zsasz and Black Canary are after her because they work for Black Mask and Zsasz is who Cassandra steals the diamond from in the first place. Black Mask then puts a half a million-dollar bounty on her head. Black Canary not wanting Cassandra to be killed secretly informs Renee (who as a cop is already investigating Black Mask to take him down) about Cassandra having the diamond.
With that set up the rest is mostly weak jokes and average at best fight scenes. You know a movie is bad when you can easily pinpoint the best parts of the movie. The smaller and fewer these parts are, the worse the movie is. This movie has three and I already mentioned two. They were the Huntress gag and the part where Black Mask forces the woman to dance and strip for him. The third part is a moment where Harley uses a bat to break both of a guy’s legs. This level and type of violence should have been constant throughout the whole movie since its rated R. This happens during a part where Harley breaks into a police precinct and shoots cops with bean bags in order to abduct Cassandra. If this movie were anything remotely like the real world, she would have gotten shot within minutes.
After kidnapping her, Harley slowly starts bonding with the kid as she tries to get her to shit out the diamond. Stuff happens until all the ladies fight an army of men led by Black Mask in an abandoned amusement park. Harley gets roller skates and fights with those on for some reason. Black Canary doesn’t use her sonic scream until the plot lets her even though there are numerous times she could have beat all the guys after them if she did it once. Using it knocks her out though. Eventually, Black Mask gets Cassandra and Harley chases after him. There were grenades though and Cassandra pulled the pin so Black Mask gets blown up.
Then all the ladies then go to a restaurant and Cassandra shits out the diamond. Harley steals Black Canary’s car and rides off with Cassandra. After selling the diamond to start some kind of criminal business, Harley takes Cassandra under her wing to teach her to be a criminal like her. She can learn stuff like… Not getting shot and stealing from a grocery store when she was already such a good pickpocket she could steal a diamond from a trained criminal like Zsasz. Also, we learn that Harley’s hyena was fine after all. Oh yeah, I forgot to mention the hyena. Let’s go back earlier in the review and do that…
Earlier in this review:
Harley has a pet hyena. Its name is Bruce. Ha! Get it! Also, she lives in an apartment above a restaurant and the restaurant guy sells her out for money. Some guy Harley screwed over shoots some kind of bomb into her apartment and we’re supposed to believe Bruce got killed after she and Cassandra escaped. He wasn’t though.
Later we see that Renee’s boss steals the credit for taking down Black Mask, and she quits the force over this. She, Huntress, and Black Canary become a vigilante team called the “Birds Of Prey”. Their suits are terrible. The costume people on the DC Comics CW shows would laugh at them. In fact, while we’re at it, Harley looks idiotic most of the time in this movie. Like someone trying WAY too hard to get attention. [Name: The Costume People That Worked On Birds Of Prey. Possible Beef: 𝗦𝘂𝗴𝗴𝗲𝘀𝘁𝗶𝗻𝗴 𝘁𝗵𝗲 𝗰𝗼𝘀𝘁𝘂𝗺𝗲𝘀 𝗳𝗼𝗿 𝗛𝗮𝗿𝗹𝗲𝘆 𝗮𝗻𝗱 𝘁𝗵𝗲 𝗕𝗶𝗿𝗱𝘀 𝗢𝗳 𝗣𝗿𝗲𝘆 𝘄𝗲𝗿𝗲 𝗯𝗮𝗱].
To sum up, this movie was pretty bad even for a DCEU movie. It’s almost statistically impossible that they still haven’t made a legitimately good movie after nine attempts. GET. BETTER. WRITERS. To me, the saddest part is the waste of so many potentially great characters in this universe. Now to make decent versions of them would require a lot of unnecessary explaining and or a reboot. As I said before, it may be technically better than Suicide Squad and it’s better than Batman V Superman. That’s about it though. C-.
Saved The Day (A+ to B+)
Stopped The Threat (B to B-)
Minimized The Damage (C+ to C)
Lost The Battle (C- & Below)