“A movie nobody wanted or asked for.”
That’s how a friend of mine put it whilst we were discussing Harley Quinn: Birds of Prey. Whilst I agree with that sentiment, my love of comic books and their movie adaptations meant that I was always going to see this at the cinema.
I really wanted to enjoy this, it would have been a pleasant surprise if it had proved the doubters wrong and actually turned out well. Unfortunately, the only good thing I can say about the movie, is that Ewan McGregor was brilliant as always, but, even he couldn’t polish this turd.
I personally don’t feel as though Margot Robbie is a good choice to play Harley Quinn and her second outing in this role hasn’t done anything to change my mind. One of my main issues with this film, is that it tries too hard to be funny, which isn’t a bad thing as long as it works, but the effort to make you laugh constantly falls flat on its face. The most I ever managed in the 109 minutes running time was a slight chuckle, and based on the response of the other cinema goers I wasn’t alone.
Instead of trying too hard to be funny and failing, Cathy Yan should have embraced more fully the fact this is the first DCEU film to be rated R and gone in a darker direction that would have suited the script more. What happened instead is that it tries to do both, be funny and dark and it makes the film feel confused and muddled, as if it really doesn’t know what it’s supposed to be, or who it’s trying to appeal to.
At one point I actually had to wake my friend up, not because I was worried he’d miss something, but because his snoring was getting loud enough to disturb other cinema-goers. And therein is another major issue with this movie, nothing happens that ever really grips you or has you even remotely on the edge of your seat. The title would lead you to believe that the majority of the film would follow the exploits of the superhero team, but in reality they only actually come together and team up at the climax, in what proved to be an underwhelming standoff against an army of masked criminals.
You never feel truly invested in the story or any of the characters, in fact, most of them are thoroughly unlikeable. Add to that a plodding, confused, unfunny script and this makes for a film that I wouldn’t be sad never to see again.
Between me and my friend, we always make a point of giving movies we go to see a score out of ten. IMDB gives it 6.6/10, Metacritic 60%, and Rotten Tomatoes 79% but for me these are all fsr too generous. We both settled pretty quickly on 5/10 and even that felt kind. It was only just acceptable as a way to spend 109 minutes, but it still felt like a waste of the price of a ticket and is instantly forgettable. DC really dropped the ball with this one.
Hard to recommend