Birds of Prey is a superhero movie made for women and it doesn’t shy away from being girly while still kicking ass.
Over the last few years, there has been an increase in female superheroes and yet still, the superhero market remains male-dominated. In Margot Robbie’s DC debut, Harley Quinn was a highlight of Suicide Squad, although her main role was as the love interest of the Joker. This time around, Harley Quinn is the star of the show and the Joker doesn’t get a minute of airtime.
One of the great things about Birds of Prey is that it is full of female-orientated jokes. The outfits are sexy, the message is empowering, and the soundtrack is killer. Many of the scenes look they could legitimately be a music video because they are so well choreographed. This is also partly because many of the scenes actually are used in music videos. (See below).
Like with any superhero film, there are some silly bits and the plot is a little predictable in places. This doesn’t detract from the fun of the film. The high energy and colorful characters keep audiences engaged from start to finish. At points where audiences are susceptible to tuning out, Harley Quinn’s wicked personality keeps us hooked. The abundance of awesome fight scenes definitely helps keep the entertainment factor high.
Although the message of the film is one of female empowerment, there are a couple of problematic scenes. The scenes containing sexual violence felt a little unnecessary, even though the intent may have been to show that even strong women can feel vulnerable. The writing in these scenes feels lazy, despite the fact they are dealt with sensitively. The Frida Khalo reference also felt a little out of touch.
Still, after ten years of Iron Man, Birds of Prey is a refreshing female-focused superhero movie. Instead of writing the female characters for men, they have clearly been written with women in mind. Combined with the fun, action, and fabulous soundtrack, the outcome is a movie that is significantly more enjoyable than Suicide Squad.