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My Take on Black Mask and Victor Zsaz in 'Birds of Prey'

Brett Nichols

Posted on July 18, 2020 02:05

2 users

My take/rant on the treatment of Batman villains Victor Zsasz and Roman Sionis on the new DC film Birds of Prey. While being a good film, certain elements (spoilers below) made me feel that the film didn't respect its source material. However, that originality may be what makes the film so interesting in the first place.

When I first saw the new DC film Birds of Prey, based on the famous series, I found the film had an interesting twist of wacky comedy and dark humor (seeming to still capitalize on that whole 'DC movies are darker' motif). Unlike the generally weak story and limited space for character development found in Suicide Squad, Birds of Prey really offers an interesting narrative that allows the characters, especially Harley Quinn, to breathe.

This film has some pretty familiar characters/star power as well, with Margot Robbie reprising her role as Harley Quinn as well as Ewan McGregor making a first-time appearance as Roman Sionis (a.k.a. Black Mask). They also incorporate the nefarious serial killer Victor Zsasz. Black Mask and Zsasz are like Harley Quinn in being notable enemies of Batman. However, Harley is now seen as the protagonist, more like an anti-hero of sorts, where the other two take the mantle as the main villains of the film.

Where I found Sionis and Zsasz's contributions to the film's overall arc to nicely serve the plot (we are now heading into spoiler territory), I feel that the characters' closing moments seemed to happen out of nowhere. Perhaps that is part of the overall wacky style of the film, but I personally felt the villains mentioned needed to go out in style.

As I advised a moment ago, I will be discussing some major plot points from this point on for Birds of Prey.

It blew my mind when at the three-quarter through the movie, Victor Zsasz was swiftly taken out in less than a minute or two by a poison dart. It wasn't built up, the film didn't even know provide a motive of why someone wanted to kill him (at least I think that's true in hindsight) until after he was dead. What is the thematic justice in that!? (Rant mode activated.)

However, Zsasz is small potatoes in comparison to Roman Sionis's death out of nowhere. Again, this may play on the movie's zany theme — I mean the whole film is narrated by Harley Quinn for goodness sakes, but I just don't think such a formidable foe such as Black Mask should have been taken out in the way he was at the end of the film.

At the end of the film, Black Mask has a kid that stole his diamond at gunpoint as a hostage so that Harley Quinn won't kill him. However, we find out the kid put an unpinned grenade in his pocket. He proceeds to panic and lets the girl go; Harley with an opening flips him into the ocean and he unceremoniously (and graphically I might add) explodes over the water. They even add a Wilhelm scream in there just to add even more shame to his death.

Even though he is straight-up looney in the film, I think Black Mask deserved better. It should have been calendar man or maybe kite man to go.

Brett Nichols

Posted on July 18, 2020 02:05

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Source: GameSpot

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