“Harley Quinn: Birds of Prey” suffers from the same myriad of problems that 2019’s failed “Charlie’s Angels” reboot suffered from. It fails to have almost any charm or sex appeal whatsoever. It has some fantastic fight scenes (that was added late into the production thanks to the stunt team behind the John Wick films) but the characters all fell flat and Harley Quinn herself spouted what can only be described as…dad jokes.
And that’s the greatest offense of this film. Harley just isn’t funny. She isn’t even wearing her iconic costume of something remotely like it. She actually resembles Tank Girl throughout most of the film. And that is not a compliment. The costuming in this film is absolutely putrid. Everyone looks like bad cosplay or wearing costumes found in the bargain bin of the 99 cent store.
The movie desperately wants to be Deadpool, but Harley never properly breaks the 4th wall like Deadpool. Instead we get really janky storytelling that is all over the place and sadly is a bore until the next fight scene occurs.
The Birds of Prey are an after thought for most of the film. So much so it’s not fair to judge Mary Elizabeth Winstead and Jurnee Smollett Bell too harshly because they aren’t given much to do. The movie is fully put on the shoulders of Margot Robbie’s Harley and the writing just isn’t there to keep it afloat.
The film would have benefited from a writer and director who actually knew something about action films or comedy. Warner Bros really handicapped themselves by only seeking out a female writer and director and the overall product suffered because of it. Not to say a female director wouldn’t be capable of making a film like this. Case in point, Lexi Alexander who knows how to direct action. Cathy Yan is an art house director. Why did Warner Bros give her one of the studio’s most popular characters?
Not to mention DC Films is still one foot in/one foot out of the failed Zack Snyder DC Verse. They either need to do a clean break or they need to try and include any new cast additions into whatever this new DC Universe of films is.
Overall, as mentioned previously, Harley Quinn:Birds of Prey biggest offense is it’s just not funny. Deadpool succeeded because it wasn’t afraid to make fun of itself or the other films in its shared universe. Warner Bros might still have too much of an ego to admit to their bumbling and mishandling of their early DC Universe films.
With that said, I still slightly recommend Harley Quinn: Birds of Prey for the DC fans, but it is a very, very weak recommend.