DC has been struggling to come to terms with how to make a good film ever since Batman v Superman tanked critically and commercially. They have literally tried everything – depressing like Snyder, visionary like Wonder Woman, colorful like Suicide Squad, weird like Aquaman, funny like Shazam, and dark like Joker. None of these attempts have really succeeded – Aquaman made a ton of money but was mostly seen as a weird anomaly, Shazam was flawed but entertaining, and Joker…well, we’ll find out in about an hour. However, as DC approaches its female-powered Birds of Prey (and the Fantabulous Emancipation of One Harley Quinn), it seems that director Cathy Yan has finally cracked a code that no director has yet: putting all those weird pieces together in one gonzo whole, and let Margot Robbie run right through the center.
In the aftermath of Suicide Squad, The Joker has dumped Harley Quinn (Robbie) and gone into hiding. Batman, too, has abandoned Gotham without an archenemy to fight. Without her “Pud’din,” Quinn reinvents herself, taking the reins of her own life and embracing her antihero streak. When she comes across a young girl named Cassandra Cain (Ella Jay Basco), who has stolen a diamond from infamous gangster Black Mask (Ewan McGregor), Quinn agrees to protect the young girl. And along the way, she joins forces with an army of badass vigilantes, cops, and superheroes in an effort to defeat Black Mask and keep young Cassandra safe, including Huntress (Mary Elizabeth Winstead), Black Canary (Jurnee Smollett-Bell), and officer Renee Montoya (Rosie Perez).
Despite my trepidation and exhaustion with DC’s broken, draining series…I kinda love this trailer. It really feels like Yan has focused in on what makes the other films great and emphasized them with the help of her cast. I love the color scheme, I like McGregor’s Sam Rockwell-esque performance, and I especially love Robbie. It looks like she’s having the time of her life here, and has really grown the character from the sexpot she was denigrated to in her last outing. One of my favorite moments is the overly-cartoonish presence of a classic stick of dynamite that she randomly pulls out of her purse and hands to Cassandra to throw at a bad guy’s car. Mix in Chris Messina as underused Batman villain Victor Zsasz and you’ve got yourself a great little film. Birds of Prey will be in theatres February 7th, 2020, and you can watch the trailer below.