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Birds of Prey

‘Birds of Prey’ is another in a very long line of superhero movies. Whereas in the early to mid 20th Century Westerns were all the rage, in the early 21st Century it’s sci-fi or superhero films. Coupled with the rise of anti-hero figures, the genre has boomed. ‘Birds of Prey’ is a reasonably entertaining mid-range entry in this cycle. Filled with colourful ladies doing wicked deeds that should easily please its target audience.

After breaking up with her deranged lover the Joker, equally dangerous criminal Harley Quinn (Margot Robbie) is at a loose end. While forlornly roaming around Gotham City, she meets the Huntress (Mary Elizabeth Winstead) and Black Canary (Jurnee Smollett-Bell). Both are vigilantes determined to bring down evil crime Lord Black Mask (Ewan McGregor). The trio of femme fatales aim to clean Gotham’s dirty streets no matter how explosive things become.

As with most in the genre, ‘Birds of Prey’ is a huge spectacle. Lots of action and amazing set designs are on full display. In this regard, ‘Birds of Prey’ succeeds in offering an authentic comic-book experience. It’s a visual feast that attempts to distract from the clunky script and uneven performances.

Despite Robbie’s enthusiastic rendition of Harley, she and her fellow actors are let down by poor pacing and a jumbled narrative. ‘Birds of Prey’ never knows if it’s a comedy, drama or something else. This stylistic hybrid doesn’t fully work and often takes you out of the story. To their credit, Robbie and company give it their all and join in the physical antics with aplomb.

‘Birds of Prey’ could have been much better. The screenplay needed more work with more depth needed. Audiences can accept a complex script if done well with ‘Birds of Prey’ not being nearly as brave as its characters in delivering a consistently fiendish time.

Rating out of 10: 5

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