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Harley Quinn: Birds Of Prey Is The Best DC Movie Since Dark Knight Rises | COME @ ME, BRO!

Yes, I 100% believe, with all of my being, that Birds of the Prey and the Fantabulous Emancipation of One Harley Quinn is the best live-action film from DC since 2012’s The Dark Knight Rises. To put this in perspective, I consider Birds of Prey better and more enjoyable than Man of Steel, Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice, Suicide Squad, Wonder Woman, Justice League, and Shazam! To completely transparent, I never saw Aquaman, but that could be a column of its own. Disagree? Come @ Me, Bro!

First, the concept of my column, Come @ Me, Bro, is to present a strong, unpopular opinion that I actually believe. All the opinions are not made up just to incite angry discord. Unlike Twitter users who tweet an unpopular opinion only to say, “Don’t @ Me,” I actually want to hear from you! Whether you agree, or more likely, disagree with my statements. Now, onto Birds of the Prey and the Fantabulous Emancipation of One Harley Quinn, which I will simply call Birds of Prey for the rest of this column. Even though it’s really a Harley Quinn movie… with a dash of Birds of Prey.

Since Dark Knight Rises? Doesn’t That Set A Low Bar?

Another unpopular opinion folks, I LOVE The Dark Knight Rises.

I understand that it didn’t deliver a satisfying ending, a very tricky thing to pull off at the end of any franchise. Look at The Rise of Skywalker, which is much, much worse. Batman should have died, not stock his Butler with Catwoman by showing up at Alfred’s favorite cafe every day until Alfred actually showed up. There are other cheesy elements that wouldn’t fly in The Dark Knight (2008), like Bruce Wayne instantly healing himself with a brace after using a cane for eight years. Batman also recovered way too quickly from a broken back, a back he keeps injuring trying to climb the wall of his prison to freedom. A lot of people also didn’t like the fact that Joseph Gordon-Levitt’s character happened to be named Robin all along.

I agree, The Dark Knight Rises isn’t a perfect film, but I still love it. It’s truly epic, borrowing some elements from comics Batman: No Man’s Land and Batman: Knightfall. Though there is no character as great as Harvey Dent or Joker, it still follows Christopher Nolan’s earlier vision, and Bane is a fantastic villain. It even has some of the best scenes from the entire trilogy, including following Catwoman through the sewers, the breaking of the bat, and the climb.

I could sing The Dark Knight Rises‘ praises all day, but let’s try to get to Birds of Prey.

What’s Your Beef With The “DCEU?”

What an ugly logo. I guess it is fitting the characters don’t have actors’ faces like their distinctive competition because they’re recasting all the time. But I digress. That’s not my beef with the DCEU. That’s a more recent development that follows the initial lack of enthusiasm for what I still call the DCEU.

First off, why does Zack Snyder believe every DC character deserves an even darker take than Nolan? Man of Steel had no reason to be so dark. It’s Superman! Not exactly known as a brooding character, making it obvious Zack Snyder was more interested in…

Batman. And Snyder got his chance with Batman immediately in Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice. Like skipping from Iron Man to Civil War. Look, obviously there will be comparisons to the Marvel Cinematic Universe, but I’m not one of those “DC OR Marvel fanboys. Done correctly, I love characters on both sides, and there are many rich DC stories to tell. I actually enjoy Batman v Superman: The Ultimate Cut more than any other DCEU movie, except for Birds of Prey. Yet, it’s a hard watch because it’s so long and not nearly as good as Nolan’s longer Dark Knight films. But, it still sent DC in the wrong direction.

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I doubt I need to explain to you how much Suicide Squad sucked. Wonder Woman was fine, with a bit more humor, but it still felt too dark for a Wonder Woman film, while the trailer for WW84 looks more in line for the character, and fun. Justice League was a mess, again, not worth taking the time to explain why as this column is getting wordy and I haven’t even gotten to Birds of Prey. I didn’t see Aquaman because I’m tired of would-be-kings from a giant CGI city. Shazam! was certainly an improvement in tone, but still too dark (Editor note: Wait, Shazam! is too dark?!).

And what do all these films (that I’ve seen) have in common? No matter how good the effects are for the first two acts, the finales all look like they ran out of money, with muddy and poorly designed villains (Doomsday, Ares, the Seven Deadly Sins) and grey backgrounds that make it hard to track the action.

That’s my “beef” with the DCEU, until Birds of the Prey and the Fantabulous Emancipation of One Harley Quinn.

What Makes Birds Of Prey So Great?

Birds of the Prey and the Fantabulous Emancipation of One Harley Quinnhas everything I want from a comic book film. That’s not just because it shares more in common with the MCU than the DECU. In fact, with that rating, Birds of Prey does a lot that the Marvel Cinematic Universe could ever do.

To start, the film fixes Harley Quinn, who was horribly written and used in Suicide Squad. Margot Robbie did deliver a great performance in that dumpster fire of a film, but Birds of Prey really gives her time to shine. While the Birds of Prey themselves have very little in common with their comics counterparts, Harley Quinn is very much in line with her series that really altered the character from The New 52 onward. Her hobbies, interests, and characterization are perfect. Margot Robbie still kicks ass. She’s just a bundle of fun throughout the entire film. One could argue this film learned a lot from Deadpool, but for me, it still feels original while benefiting from that.

The villain is the best the DCEU has to offer, with Ewan McGregor crushing every scene as the very flamboyant Roman Sionis aka Black Mask. And that’s really what the whole film comes down to, an R-rated, fun thrill-ride with a dark side, when needed. Even the fight scenes are unique, colorful, and fun. That’s right, the word of the day is ‘”Fun.” I also find this is the best superhero film with a strong woman empowering dynamic that doesn’t bash you over the head. What a lovely, lovely, film.

Very much unlike the rest of the DCEU, Birds of Prey stands apart visually and tonally. It’s not perfect, but I love it.


Many of you likely haven’t seen the film, so check it out on HBO Max or hack into my Vudu account, so we can discuss or argue about it. That’s right, when it comes to Birds of Prey, I want you to Come @ Me, Bro! Let’s do this!

Also, don’t forget to follow LRM‘s coverage of DC FanDome this weekend! Perhaps we’ll see more fun like Birds of Prey and the Fantabulous Emancipation of One Harley Quinn

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