BIRDS OF PREY and THE FANTABULOUS EMANCIPATION OF ONE HARLEY QUINN is out and in Cinema’s many people saying its not a good movie, but I suppose that depends on your own personal taste. The film which is the sequel to SUICIDE SQUAD and a superhero movie based on DC COMICS, BIRDS OF PREY. it is the 8th movie to get a release in what many call the DC Extended Universe. The movie was directed by Cathy Yan and written by Christina Hodson, it stars Margot Robbie (as Harley Quinn), Mary Elizabeth Winstead, Ella Jay Basco and features Ewan Mc Gregor as Roman Sionis or Black Mask. Robbie also acted as a producer on the movie and it was her who originally tried to get it off the ground by approaching Warner Brothers in 2015. The film has already received a number of positive remarks and comments from critics for its visual appearance, but the screenplay has not exactly been the flavour of the month. The musical score is by British composer Daniel Pemberton, who is a rising star in the world of film music and has already penned some brilliant scores for films such as the re-boot of THE MAN FROM UNCLE, KING ARTHUR LEGEND OF THE SWORD, STEVE JOBS, MOLLYS GAME, BLACK MIRROR, GOLD, SPIDER MAN INTO THE SPIDER VERSE and more recently MOTHERLESS BROOKLYN his style is so varied that it is hard to actually put him into a musical category, which for a film music composer is a good thing as they work on so many varying genres of film. The score for BIRDS OF PREY is another brilliantly wild and off beat affair, with the composer utilising a near spaghetti western style at times, combine this with pop and drum and bass passages, heavy rock interludes and flourishes and an operatic Morricone-esque swagger and there you have it BIRDS OF PREY, its unpredictable, edgy and most importantly innovative and entertaining. Every track serves up something that is riveting and outstanding, the styles within the score are many fold, each of them so different but at the same time they compliment and support each other, who would have thought rock guitar and soprano voice would have worked? Well it does because Daniel Pemberton makes it so. At times it is as if one is listening to a soundtrack from the 1960’s with twangy guitars and percussive elements supporting them, there is a definite nod or acknowledgement to the sound of Italian film music present also, the quirky orchestration combining female voice, with dark and ominous backgrounds, plus it has to it an operatic quality and I do not mean as in Soprano performances, there is just a grandness and an imposing and exciting sound to this score. It possesses an enticing sound that is irresistible to anyone who loves movie music and knows a little of its history. The richly dark and ominous musical lines being enhanced and bolstered by a rhythmic and eclectic array of instrumentation.
This is a score that you will listen to and then go back to the beginning and listen again and continue to do so because it is such a compellingly colourful work. I thought Pemberton could not top THE MAN FROM UNCLE well I was wrong, this is every bit as innovative and interesting, all I can say is move over Hans Zimmer, Bond 27 has Pemberton’s name on the credits. One track on BIRDS OF PREY that I will mention is WORK TOGETHER, this is a slow burner a gradual builder, that will just inspire and also evoke memories of all things spaghetti western, dark and ominous strings act as a background, the composer adding struck strings and whip cracks bells and a lilting melody that could be a chiming watch if you think about it, it is this that builds the tension, as it chimes away and repeats as Pemberton builds his strings and adds elements to the composition that intensify the taught and imposing composition. Then we have FIGHT TOGETHER (BIRDS OF PREY) which is much more in your face as in rock orientated and thundering percussion, the composer incorporating vocals that are at times verging upon manic sounding. Rock guitar and wild drums take the lead for a while, creating an almost chaotic style and a grating and sharp sound. This curtails for a short period but soon returns with a greater resolve and volume, the composer adding more and more elements as the track heads towards its climax. The first two tracks also on the soundtrack I believe will blow you away, they are show-stoppers, centre stage material, in fact awesome is the word I am looking for, I think. The first cue, FLYING HIGH is a cue that really goes nowhere as in development, but it is a simple piece, female wordless vocal, supported by synthetic or electronic backing, it kind of sets the scene for what is to follow, because after listening to it you really dont know what to expect.
Track two, well how can I describe this, I don’t know really, soprano voice, bells, grand stabs and punctuations and pounding percussion, again its affecting stuff that literally explodes out of your speakers. So all I can is have you got this score yet, what NO,,,, what have you been doing , buy it now.