Fans of Harley Quinn can rejoice because, starting from next year, we’ll have two years in a row where we see the character in DCEU movies. Birds of Prey will kickstart Harley’s second coming in the franchise, with Harley now having a few more friends to join her.
Should the film be successful in telling its story, we’ll end up with a further few characters for fans to follow and wait for a potential sequel to this film. For that scenario to become a reality, Birds of Prey needs to steer clear of the mistakes we found in Suicide Squad, which introduced Harley in a lukewarm presentation. So, if you want to know how the film can be a success, here are 10 things it needs to avoid.
10 Adding The Joker
As of now, there’s no word that the Joker will be appearing in any form in Birds of Prey, with Harley mentioning her and Joker broke up before the film’s events. However, there could easily be a swerve and we could see Joker show up at least for a cameo.
Having the character for even a small appearance would be a huge mistake, though, because it would steal focus away from Harley entirely. She suffered in Suicide Squad as well, where whatever she did was connected to her obsession with Joker. Plus, the fans were let down by this character the first time, and we don’t need another potential disappointment.
9 Nonsensical Team Members
Overall, just about every member of Task Force X didn’t make sense in Suicide Squad, which contributed to how laughable most of the audience found the film to be. After all, what can you expect a man “who can climb anything” to do against a demonic entity with superpowers?
In the same vein, if we watch Birds of Prey and happen to see someone like Black Canary go up against a being that can easily swat her away, then there would be no point in having her in the film at all.
8 Too Much Focus On Harley Quinn
We recently got to see the first full-length trailer for Birds of Prey, and a common criticism was how it had way too much of Harley Quinn and hardly any of the rest of the women on the team.
While Harley was the best part of Suicide Squad, she became pretty much the only reason to watch the movie, thereby making the rest of the characters largely immaterial. Even now, Birds of Prey is being seen as a vehicle steered by Harley, but that won’t help the film in the long-run if people easily forgot about Huntress, Black Canary, and the rest; they’ll become one-shot characters who’ll go ignored by the fanbase.
7 Wasting Time On Intros
As there are the likes of Victor Zsasz and the Black Mask in Birds of Prey, there’s a good chance we might see an initial recap of their exploits before the film’s events - this would be a huge mistake.
Suicide Squad wasted a good twenty minutes of its runtime going through elaborate and needless introductions for each of the characters, all of which went nowhere in establishing them. It should be part of the story where we get to know these people, without having their flaws listed down in fancy ways for it to be spelled out to us.
6 Not Delivering On The Edgy Marketing
So far, Birds of Prey is being marketed as the version of Suicide Squad we wanted, meaning it’s carrying a bunch of edginess, with the R-rated aspect of it all being highlighted most in particular. All this could come back to bite them, though, if false promises from Suicide Squad are replicated.
That film saw the trailers make it appear as if it would be DC’s version of Guardians of the Galaxy, but turned out to be a story about Amanda Waller doing her own damage control. If Birds of Prey really is about dysfunctional girls protecting Cassandra Cain, then that’s what needs to be delivered.
5 Making Characters Seem Useless
As mentioned before, we don’t know anything about the DCEU versions of the girls barring Harley Quinn, so the expectation is high that we’ll see them do some awesome stuff so the whole Birds of Prey gang comes across as legit in the eyes of the fans.
This wasn’t what happened in Suicide Squad, where guys like Captain Boomerang, Killer Croc, and especially Slipknot were absolutely useless. It undermined the idea behind the movie, and only gave haters more reason to complain. But this gripe was valid since having these characters in the film to do nothing benefited no-one.
4 All Those Flashbacks
We have Harley’s word that she and “Mr. J” split apart, and while there’s curiosity over how that happened, we don’t need any repeated flashbacks to show the life and times of Harley and Joker. In Suicide Squad, most of Joker’s scenes had been in the form of Harley either hallucinating in him or remembering their finer moments.
The same way, having flashbacks to supposed traumatizing times for the rest of the Birds of Prey is unneeded as well, especially considering the fanbase doesn’t have any emotional investment in them just yet to sit around and watch the characters’ past happenings.
3 Try To Gain Sympathy For The Characters
Deadshot was separated from his daughter, Harley was separated from the Joker, Katana and Diablo’s spouses died...and you get the point; there were just too many sad facts behind these characters, with the intention of making us feel for them.
Like we mentioned above, a movie marketed as edgy as Birds of Prey doesn’t need to hand out sympathizing backstories for its characters so that we take a liking to them - it needs to be the execution of their characterizations that win us over. One could think of Seinfeld - where the characters were pretty horrible people who we still came to like - as an example that the sympathy card is overrated.
2 Add Justice League Members That Steal Focus
Even though the Flash was in Suicide Squad for about three seconds, that one appearance took out all the hype behind Captain Boomerang, as his instant defeat made any threat he might have posed look like a joke.
In a similar sense, if we’re to get a cameo from Wonder Woman, where we see the characters getting defeated or being undermined by her, it would siphon away the potential from the Birds of Prey team. Since all these women (save for Harley Quinn) are relatively unknown to the casual audience, a big name Justice League member would steal away their spotlight without much effort.
1 Link With Other DCEU Movies
The reason for Task Force X’s formation was that Superman was dead at the time, with Amanda Waller commissioning this team to counter the loss of the Man of Steel’s protection of Earth; this angle made the film seem like a placeholder until Justice League arrived.
Other than acknowledging Harley’s association with the Joker, Birds of Prey has to steer clear of associating itself with other DCEU properties. You can take a look at Wonder Woman or Aquaman as examples, where the films didn’t make much mention of other movies in the universe, thereby making their individual films stand out in importance. Birds of Prey needs to start out focusing on its standalone story, and end the plot without needing to rely on external factors.