birds of prey trailer breakdown

The Birds of Prey trailer has dropped, and it’s absolutely fantabulousMargot Robbie reprises her role as Harley Quinn after she stole the show in 2016’s Suicide Squad. Now she’s emancipated from that abysmal movie and her toxic relationship with the Joker in Birds of Prey.

With a new girl gang by her side and a host of colorful, much more comfortable costumes, Harley Quinn is ready to take Gotham by storm. But she and fellow female vigilantes Black Canary (Jurnee Smollett-Bell), Huntress (Mary Elizabeth Winstead), Renee Montoya (Rosie Perez), and Cassandra Cain (Ella Jay Basco) first must face one of the city’s most formidable crime lords, Black Mask (Ewan McGregor).

See our Birds of Prey trailer breakdown below.

The trailer opens upon the cityscape, with Harley Quinn confidently strutting down the street with her new sidekick Cassandra Cain. But as the purple neon lights in the foreground seem to suggest, the specter of the Joker still follows her.

We’re introduced to our first members of the Birds of Prey, a team that in the comics traditionally consisted of all-female superheroes like Black Canary, Oracle, and Huntress. While Oracle (née Batgirl) won’t be showing up in this film, we get our first glimpse at one of the original members, Smollett-Bell’s Black Canary, singing at a nightclub with some illuminating decor (it’s the eyes. Look at the eyes).

We get an introduction to a woman in prayer at a small church. At first I thought this was Renee Montoya (Perez), but as she has straight hair and appears in a later shot, perhaps not.

“You know what a harlequin is?” Harley cynically rambles to Black Canary while they commiserate at a bar. “A harlequin’s role is to serve. It’s nothing without a master. And no one gives two shits who we are beyond that.” It appears that Black Canary is a dissatisfied hired grunt for…someone.

Harley Quinn is cutting ties with her past — literally. Harley chops off the pink and blue-tipped hair that was a major part in her “harlequin” costume in favor of a shorter cut. And it’s a fun play off of women who cut their hair after a break-up.

Yes, Harley and the Joker are officially broken up, Harley says. And she’s looking for a fresh start. Harley doesn’t seem to have any love left for the psychotic clown, making a dagger-throwing target out of him on her bedroom wall. Though it looks like she didn’t bother to draw his “DAMAGED” tattoo.

We get a silhouette introduction to Renee Montoya, who is investigating a mysterious fire. The Gotham Police Department detective is not traditionally a member of the Birds of Prey either, though she is a recent Gotham staple who is most frequently associated with Batwoman. But what is the building that caught fire? Could it be Arkham Asylum? Harley’s old prison? Harley’s very cute apartment?

We get our first glimpse at Ewan McGregor’s Black Mask watching Black Canary perform, with a strange rack focus on a martini glass full of olives.

Looks like the investigation into the fire did not go well, as Renee Montoya is seen packing up her desk and leaving her job at Gotham PD. Perhaps she uncovered a city-wide cover-up and evidence of corruption — which would make sense considering Black Mask is an infamous crime lord.

Our first shot of Huntress (Winstead) comes with her trusty crossbow, which she seems to be wielding at Harley, or at least at someone just past Harley.

Harley looks ready to party, not fight. But who is she reluctantly fighting in the alleyway where Huntress can be seen sitting on her motorcycle in the background? One of the Black Mask’s henchmen, probably.

If we were wondering why Black Mask was such a sinister foe, this shot confirms it. He has kidnapped and strung up several women, including what looks to be the woman who was praying at the church. Perhaps that woman has a connection to one of the Birds of Prey, starting the heroes on the mission to take down the Black Mask.

The Black Mask consults with his henchman Victor Zsasz (a bleach-blonde Chris Messina), who in the comics is a deranged serial killer who carves a tally mark on his skin for each victim he claims. He’s appeared once before in a cameo in Christopher Nolan’s Dark Knight trilogy, but this is our first proper introduction to the Batman rogue. They’re talking seriously in front of a (very fashionable) woman who Black Mask refers to as a “queen.” “She bribes me,” he growls to Zsasz.

Harley and her hyena! In Batman the Animated Series and her comic book appearances, Harley has two loyal hyenas named Bud and Lou (after Abbott and Costello), but mostly referred to by Harley as her “babies.” But in Birds of Prey, it seems like Harley can only afford one hyena, although she spoils it with a bedazzled pink collar and a Twizzler.

I’m going to call this shirt Harley’s plot shirt. Because a whole lot of plot seems to be happening in the shots where Harley is wearing this shirt, which is amusingly branded with her own name. Dripping wet and guarding a scared Cassandra Cain (Basco) in some nameless storage room, she petulantly asks the goons in front of her who they are, before they begin shooting at her. Cassandra in the comics is an assassin who becomes Batgirl. Her character seems to be the most changed from her comic book counterpart, and just seems like an ordinary girl caught up in Harley’s problems.

Harley’s lost her cool branded shirt, but her pink sports bra is still as recognizable as ever. She’s been captured by Black Mask and his minions, who have her holed up at his nightclub, with the creepy eye-and-hands decor looking down at the scene.

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