Back in the day when Warner Bros. launched their own cinematic universe, a.k.a. DC Extended Universe (DCEU) that set to rival Disney's Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU), the initial result wasn't as favourable as expected. Well, at least for the first few films such as "Man Of Steel" (2013) and "Batman v Superman: Dawn Of Justice" (2016) - both of which were met with mixed-to-negative responses.
Then came "Wonder Woman" in 2017 and the seemingly faltering DCEU had hope after all. Excluding the cinematic abomination that was "Justice League" (2017), the current DCEU had since been riding a hot streak with continuous critical and box-office successes including "Aquaman" (2018) and last year's "Shazam!" (2019).
While we are eagerly waiting for the arrival of "Wonder Woman 1984" in June, we will first be treated to "Birds Of Prey" led by Margot Robbie, who reprises Harley Quinn from 2016's "Suicide Squad".
So without further ado, here are 5 reasons why the upcoming Cathy Yan-directed ensembled film should be your next cinema outing!
Sure, "Suicide Squad" (2016) made history as the first film in the unofficial DC Extended Universe (DCEU) to win an Oscar (that would be Best Makeup and Hairstyling) and it even made a lot of money at the worldwide box office totalling over USD745 million against its USD175 million budget, but the movie itself received a terribly mixed response. Of course, most of us who have seen the movie would agree that Margot Robbie stole the show as Harley Quinn a.k.a. Joker's (Jared Leto) lover and partner-in-crime. So, it's nice to see Margot Robbie getting her own spinoff via "Birds Of Prey" and have the leading role this time around.
It's such a breath of fresh air to see Warner Bros. and DCEU stretching their comic-to-film library by introducing more new characters to their cinematic universe. Apart from Harley Quinn, the upcoming ensemble film will also feature other cast members including Helena Bertinelli a.k.a. Huntress (Mary Elizabeth Winstead), Dinah Lance a.k.a. Black Canary (Jurnee Smollett-Bell), Renee Montoya (Rosie Perez), Victor Zsasz (Chris Messina) and Cassandra Cain (Ella Jay Basco).
So, what's the big deal with Ewan McGregor playing the role of Black Mask in "Birds Of Prey"? One word: antagonist. And it's not every day that we get to see McGregor play villain. Despite having an illustrious acting career in feature films stretching over 25 years since 1994, most fans and audiences primarily recognise his iconic roles as the heroin addict Mark Renton in "Trainspotting" (1996) and the young Obi-Wan Kenobi in George Lucas' "Star Wars" prequel trilogy (1999-2005). If he manages to pull off his latest and rare antagonist role, we might be getting one of the most memorable villains in the DCEU since say, General Zod played by Michael Shannon in "Man Of Steel" (2013).
Given the fact that "Birds Of Prey" is headlined by someone with the very name of Harley Quinn, the movie isn't going to be all doom-and-gloom. Instead, what we have here is a mix of both worlds: striking and colourful visuals over the down-and-dirty world of Gotham City. Think of it as something cult and campy like "Tank Girl" (1995) and "Barb Wire" (1996) meets Tim Burton's eccentric and whimsical style of comic-book film. So, judging from the trailers and various previews so far, expect to be immersed through K.K. Barrett's elaborate production design and Erin Benach and Helen Huang's showy costume design.
Well, at least some of them at Warner Bros. made the right choice as the "John Wick" trilogy director has added some additional action scenes in "Birds Of Prey". This gives the film a much-needed jolt of propulsive action sequences that Chad Stahelski is known for. And since "Birds Of Prey" happens to feature most of its characters using practical weapons (crossbows, mallets) and possess martial arts skills, it would be interesting to see how far he can make the actresses look cool and lethal during their physically-demanding moments.