Well, weren’t we in a bind!? The big release of moment has quite a lot riding on it. It has to be a key plank of the DCEU going forward. It must help wash away the taste of Suicide Squad, while preparing the way for both The Batman and the Suicide Squad sequel. It must prove Aquaman wasn’t a fluke, and it may just have to be the lone saviour of female empowerment movies.
No pressure then!
But after Ghostbusters 2016 and Charlie’s Angels we did try to point out that female empowerment movies really aren’t working, let alone performing at the box office, we were attacked as misogynist by people who either didn’t read, or couldn’t understand, the thrust of the article.
We were told in no uncertain terms that these movies aren’t for us and we need to get our patriarchy asses out of the way and let the sisters do it for themselves.
We were basically voiceless, cancelled. Excluded from this big movie that has so much riding on it. So what should we do? Maybe… we could ask a lady to review it for us?
But where would we find one? This is a movie website! There are some among us who haven’t even spoken to a real, live woman since we were forced to have one as our Lab partner in science class because Mum and Dad were “worried about our development!”
It turns out we need not have worried. We are such a broad church that we have women here. Real, live, actual women. We wondered who it was that actually made things work around here. Finally the accusations can stop being made about who the hell it is that keeps putting the toilet seat down!
So we asked one to go and see this movie for us. See what their target audience thought of Harley and the high-jinx?
Our Very Own Knittingknerd Reviews:
Birds of Prey (and the Fantabulous Emancipation of One Harley Quinn)
Okay here’s my quick and dirty review of Birds of Prey.
Don’t see it.
Don’t go to the theater and waste money on movie tickets, snackies, and the babysitter.
Don’t waste your time trying to stream it illegally online.
Don’t rent it when it comes out on Redbox or DVD or pay per view.
Don’t waste your time, and stream it when it comes out on whatever streaming service it will eventually come out on.
Ohmygod that was a horrible movie! If you want to watch a cool Batman movie, literally anything else will be a better movie than this. Batman: The Animated Series – Mask of the Phantasm would be such a good watch over this shit fest.
So that’s the quick and dirty. Here’s the more in depth review.
It’s a non-linear take on a simple story. It’s the prequel to a real Birds of Prey movie. Just like Harley’s crazy psycho bouts of psychosis, this movie jumps around like crazy.
Sometimes it’s really hard to follow. Especially if it is well past your bedtime and you’re hopped up on Diet Coke and strawberries. The non-linear jumping all around made it hard to get invested in any scene because as soon as you started to get interested, our non-reliable narrator jumps us to another part of the story in a different time period. And it wasn’t until the last hour or 45 minutes that everything settled down so you can follow the story without getting annoyed.
Literally I was annoyed at the storytelling method, the structure, and the piss poor writing.
The movie didn’t feel like Gotham at all, it felt like it wanted to be Brooklyn? Which I know there was a Batgirl series set in the Gotham City neighborhood that was supposed to be Brooklyn, so maybe they were trying to aim for that? But there was no Gotham vibes that we’ve all come to know.
So that made the movie weird. It felt like we were kinda in a Batman universe where there’s no relics of Batman, Robin, Wayne’s, even villains… none. Gotham City is such a character in the DC comics and universe and all the movies- that the movie didn’t feel like Batman or Joker were even part of this city. It was odd. It didn’t help the movie. The police station looked so boring too which was strange.
Harley got grating after awhile. She would do these things where she would break down the psychology of something or someone which was funny the first few times, but after awhile it got old. They want to make her an anti-hero, that’s fine. But they also wanted to make her a mentor. That was weird.
Roman/Ewan MacGregor was going full camp. It worked with his big fake teeth. His wardrobe must have cost a shit ton.
Cassandra Cain, I had a real problem with this character. She was Cassandra Cain in name only.
They seriously only used that character name to get fans excited. The character in the comics is a bad-ass mute ninja assassin who plays Robin for a bit.
Here she’s a sullen pickpocket pre-puberty girl who comes from a bad foster home situation (side note I’m coming back to that topic), and she’s so moody! And she was a really bad pickpocket! And she skipped! That was weird! Who thought a 12 year old girl skipping as she’s poorly pickpocketing, was a good idea?
And she’s in a cop car, swallows the diamond that was the center of this plot, and later Harley duct tapes her to a fucking funhouse toilet. How does anyone find this good storytelling?!? Why use Cassandra and wreck her name for this shitty character? Literally, the back end of the movie (pun intended) is getting her to shit this diamond out.
Dinah Lance… maybe she was supposed to be the level headed one in this group? She looked cool. She had a sad backstory, which then she used to justify doing bad things. I would like to know this version of Dinah more, but away from Harley. She uses her canary cry once, passes out, and it’s weird to see a meta-human in this universe (because why aren’t Roman’s goons metas then?).
Oh! She had gold Chelsea boots that were really cool!
Renee Montoya. She’s a lesbian? Maybe? We don’t know? Apparently her character had a relationship with Ali Wong’s character (didn’t catch her name, that how developed that relationship and character was.). She may have a drinking problem? And sounds like bad detective shows like the ones she grew up on? Poorly written character.
Helena/The Huntress. I went into this movie thinking I was going to hate her. God damn. She was the best part of the whole damn movie. She was funny as heck, she had a clear storyline, her action scenes were cool. Did she have Aspergers? That was the only question I had. Oh! And the child actress they had playing her had olive skin with a deep tan, then Mary Elizabeth Winstead didn’t. She has olive-ish skin but no tan.
Victor Zsasz. This irked me and disappointed me. Zsasz is my favorite Batman villain. I don’t know why. I think he’s creepy, but has swagger. And I like Chris Messina, I think he’s a great actor. What the Fran Drescher happened here? So Zsasz in the comics has neat organized scars/tally marks for each person he kills all over his body. This Zsasz only has marks when he’s killed women, when he’s “set the birds free.” And he’s really into killing women! Oh and cutting off people’s faces.
Messina played against MacGregor’s camp with obsession. Like they were lovers, but then Zsasz would possibly be gross with Roman’s toothbrush later, if that makes sense. I had to cover my eyes a few times when he was on screen.
Joker: he’s mentioned. Jared Leto did not get paid for Joker! Even Harley’s drawings of Joker don’t look like Leto. And we hear about Joker a lot, but never see him.
The Action Scenes
How the hell did Harley raid a fucking police station with non lethal weapons, shoot, and not have one officer shoot her? They didn’t know she had a glitter gun, and she was allowed to go through a police station… solid work Gotham PD. Good job!
I got a little motion sick during the funhouse fight scene because the camera kept moving so much and I thought that was intentional. Like maybe if the director got everyone so motion sick, they won’t notice a bunch of 120lb women kicking some ninjas’s asses? Not joking. That happened.
Oh and at one point in the fight Dinah asks Harley for a scrunchie. Not kidding. The standard joke is women have to have their hair back when they fight.
Okay back on the Cassandra Cain foster care thing: this really bothered me. I get that shitty foster care tropes and stereotypes are an easy go to for storytelling, but it’s easy and lazy. Plus it makes those families willing to step up and be foster parents look bad.
There’s such a negative connotation of foster care because of bad foster parents and perpetuated by media’s clichèd take on it, that it hurts the people who want to be foster parents or people who maybe great potential foster parents- but are turned off to it because of portrayals like this.
For a movie trying so hard to be “woke” it’s frustrated and angered me to see this. I almost walked out of the theater. I was that upset.
The misandry of this movie is so apparent. It’s not feminism. It’s straight up misandry. There were no good men in this movie. From Roman to Zsasz to all the male thugs that tried to beat up the Birds at the funhouse, the police officers bullying Montoya, the man that nearly raped Harley, Harley’s landlord who sold her out… according to this movie all men are evil. It made it hard to watch. So again not a good movie.
You can tell there were major rewrites, the action sequences weren’t cohesive, big plot changes after the fact…
It was bad. It was like “here’s the childhood abuse and trauma aftermath” because all the main characters had major childhood traumas that fucked them up.
Don’t watch. Sorry if I was long winded.
The cherry on top? As I left the theatre there were two creepers in the back row jacking-off to the closing titles. Seriously.