Film in review: “Birds of Prey” by Cathy Yan


The Winonan’s film reporter rates “Birds of Prey” 3.5/5

Noah Mruz, Film Reviewer

Margot Robbie returns as Harley Quinn in the fun and colorful film, Birds of Prey. The audience follows Quinn as she is left to deal with the repercussions of her past actions, while coping with her split with the man who, literally, threw her into a life of crime. Alongside Robbie, the film stars Mary Elizabeth Winstead, Ewan McGregor, Jurnee Smollett-Bell, and a small appearance by Ali Wong. Birds of Prey is a fun and visually wonderful film but features a fairly basic plot without much character development outside of Harley Quinn.

Throughout the film, we see Quinn moving past her breakup and coping the same way most adults do; trying new things, going out with friends, and creating chaos wherever she wants since her relationship with the Joker made her untouchable. When Quinn makes a rather large statement that showcases her single status, everyone she’s wronged comes back for revenge.

Following Quinn as she moves out of Jokers shadow is powerful and enjoyable. Robbie does an excellent job of encasing the chaos and spontaneous nature of her character while playing Quinn. You truly connect and feel with the character throughout her struggles. The action is well choreographed, and the film is visually stunning. It is extremely colorful, which lends itself more to the chaos shown when pairing such vibrant colors with the violence you see. Although there are not a lot of action scenes, they were all enjoyable and deserving of the films R rating.

Despite Robbie’s excellent performance and the vibrant colors of which the film takes advantage, we only see growth and change in Harley Quinn. A basic plot doesn’t hurt the movie, but it’s something anyone who has seen a heist movie will recognize.

That being said, there is one slightly jarring moment in the way the film is structured. We spend a lot of time jumping back in time in hopes that the plot can explain a character’s backstory or a plot element that might be confusing. The scenes are helpful, but they disrupt the flow of the film early on and are too long to watch then jump back to the present time without some confusion. One or two of these moments did not need to be flashbacks and could have been told in a linear path.

On top of that, the film only really focuses on the character of Harley Quinn. The title implies some sort of team-up with these characters, but we really only see the plot from Quinn’s viewpoint.

Birds of Prey showcases that good things can come from bad situations, as this film is a sequel to the 2016 film Suicide Squad. I am giving this film a 3.5/5; the film is fun, vibrant, and entertaining, but the plot is structured strangely and won’t throw you for a fun loop we have come to expect. I would recommend this movie to any action movie fans or anyone looking to have a fun, chaotic time for a little under two hours.


The opinions expressed in this paper are not necessarily those of Winona State University, the Minnesota State Colleges and University system, or the Winona State University student body.