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It’s been a minute since we last visited the DC Extended Universe, but now fans can travel back there starting tonight via Birds of Prey (and the Fantabulous Emancipation of One Harley Quinn). Featuring the return of Margot Robbie’s Harley Quinn and introducing characters like Huntress and Black Canary to the big screen, Birds of Prey has been getting a lot of positive press over the last week, to the point that it’s now one of the highest ranked DCEU movies on Rotten Tomatoes.
Audiences may still have hours to go to see Birds of Prey, but plenty of reviewers got to see it early. Following the initial wave of social media reactions last week, the embargo on Birds of Prey reviews broke yesterday, and with 124 reviews counted so far, the movie currently ranks at 87% on the review aggregation site among critics.
That makes Birds of Prey the third highest-ranking DCEU movie on Rotten Tomatoes, trailing behind Wonder Woman’s 93% and Shazam’s 90%. The rest of the DCEU lineup includes Aquaman at 66%, Man of Steel at 56%, Justice League at 40%, Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice at 28% (I suspect that score would be higher if the Ultimate Edition was being reviewed instead of the theatrical cut) and Suicide Squad in last place with 27%.
Keep in mind that even with so many Birds of Prey reviews in, more will trickle in, so that score will adjust. That could mean there’s a chance for it to overtake Shazam! for 2nd place in the DCEU Rotten Tomatoes rankings, or maybe its score will just drop a bit. However, with so many reviews already tallied up, Birds of Prey has already been Certified Fresh by the website.
It’s no secret that the DCEU got off to a rocky start, with its first offerings receiving polarizing reactions, especially Justice League, which was heavily altered following the departure of director Zack Snyder, to the point that clamor for the “Snyder Cut” is louder than ever. Following Justice League’s underperformance, the interconnectivity among these movies, akin to what’s been done in the MCU, was toned down in favor of emphasizing unique filmmaker visions.
Since then, the DCEU has been getting into a more stable groove with its movies, and clearly Birds of Prey is keeping that streak going. While Margot Robbie’s Harley Quinn was introduced in 2016’s Suicide Squad, it’s clear from the Birds of Prey advertising that you don’t need to be familiar with her time in Task Force X to follow along with her latest adventure.
Fresh off her breakup with The Joker, Birds of Prey sees Harley Quinn teaming up with Huntress, Black Canary and Renee Montoya to protect Cassandra Cain from Black Mask, as the young girl stole a diamond belonging to the Gotham City crime boss. Along with Margot Robbie, the cast includes Mary Elizabeth Winstead, Jurnee Smollett-Bell, Rosie Perez, Ella Jay Basco, Ewan McGregor and Chris Messina. Cathy Yan directed and Christina Hodson wrote the script.
We’ll have to wait and see how Birds of Prey performs commercially in its opening weekend, but assuming it pulls in enough money, don’t be surprised if Warner Bros announces a sequel is in the works. At the very least, Harley Quinn isn’t leaving the big screen anytime soon, as she’ll be back for next year’s The Suicide Squad, and there’s still talk about making Gotham City Sirens, which would see Harley alongside Poison Ivy and Catwoman.