Imagination Connoisseur, Dan Vacura, had low expectations going in to see BIRDS OF PREY, but even those were too high.

(edited for clarity)

Hey Rob,

It’s been a long time since I’ve written, but BIRDS OF PREY came out and that film left an impression on me where it wasn’t a good one. I did not like the movie at all other than the opening and I felt that there wasn’t much character development for most of the characters which was a problem. There is not a redeemable male character – which seemed unnecessary – and I don’t get how that has become a go to choice for certain female led films. Your issues with STAR TREK: PICARD relate to a major issue I have with BIRDS OF PREY, though.

I don’t believe what I’m seeing (it lacks verisimilitude) and it’s not consistent as a sequel to SUICIDE SQUAD.

One major issue is that there is no follow up on Harley Quinn being an accomplice to killing Robin from SUICIDE SQUAD. I just don’t buy the fact that anyone would be willing to work with someone involved in killing Batman’s partner. She would be one of the most infamous people in Gotham City and everyone would be afraid of what she could do while the police and Batman would be after her.

Harley also has no agency as a character to start the film and Joker is the one who breaks up with her so it’s not exactly empowering. I don’t buy into the idea that Joker breaks her out of Bell Reve to end SUICIDE SQUAD and then breaks up with her afterwards. Once Batman finds out she isn’t with the Joker anymore, then he would have went after her to get information and bring her in for being involved in killing Robin.

The TV show on DC Universe is much better than the film. Harley is the one who breaks up with the Joker which allows her to become her own person.

The biggest issue for me in BIRDS OF PREY is the character Cassandra Cain. I’m baffled at that interpretation of the character. Her first line set the stage for the character and I was stunned.

The film is unintentionally ableist with her and I truly don’t understand what the writer was thinking since it is disrespectful. It also doesn’t make sense why she was used in the first place. Her entire arc from the comics is going from a young girl who is mute and illiterate while being a trained assassin into someone who learns how to communicate from Barbara Gordon while discovering a real family. She also is the only one who truly believes in Bruce’s vision with being Batgirl and wanting to take up the mantle as Batman later in life.

In the film, she is just a regular teenage girl who pick pockets people while being impressed by Harley and is a damsel in distress who can’t fight back. Her great arc is now gone. That character matters because of what she overcomes. I don’t get how fans of the character can accept it and I’m surprised that some who claim to be fans of the character have praised the movie so much.

It would be like seeing Spider-Man be the Punisher from the fairly recent “What If” comic in his first live-action appearance where it’s just jarring and wrong.

I’m just very disappointed in the film and I didn’t buy into a lot of what was happening. I had low expectations going in, especially with the trailers, and the reviews didn’t sway me with raising my expectations. I thought I was prepared for the film and Cassandra’s portrayal, but it managed to be worse for me than I expected.

I know it’s a better made film than JUSTICE LEAGUE and SUICIDE SQUAD, however, I would rather watch those movies instead of BIRDS OF PREY again since at least a great character wasn’t ruined like Cassandra Cain.

Have a good one, Rob. Maybe STAR TREK: PICARD will improve, but I am not holding my breath with that show either.

– Dan V

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