Margot Robbie’s take on Batman villain Harley Quinn somehow managed to transcend the s**tshow that was Suicide Squad, thanks to a combination of Robbie’s bratty, vulnerable charm and a trailer park babydoll take on the character design that was iconic before the movie even opened.
Now she’s leading a new film starring some of the female (anti-)heroes of the DC universe. Birds Of Prey is a long-running series originally focused on Black Canary (Green Arrow’s pal Dinah Laurel Lance) and Oracle (Barbara Gordon, Batman’s favourite hacker) – except now it’s actually all about Harley Quinn, of course.
Look at this hot mess.
— Warner Bros. Pictures (@wbpictures) November 20, 2018
Yes, that’s the real title: Birds Of Prey (And The Fantabulous Emancipation Of One Harley Quinn).
“Fantabulous” is the kind of non-word you usually see on your aunt’s Facebook ads for handcrafted fairy-themed Christmas decorations.
"Birds of Prey and The Fantabulous Emancipation of One Harley Quinn" pic.twitter.com/KrbUsPdVuP
— Jennifer (@jennwaitiblum) November 20, 2018
And the faux-old-fashioned super-long title is a really tired trope, not to mention a bigger pain in the arse than the Justice League fanboys who petition Rotten Tomatoes to take down negative reviews. We have to type that whole monstrosity out? We’re not even out of the whole Fantastic Beasts And Where To Find Them 2 The Crimes Of Grindelwald Oh God I Need A Nap Just From Reading The Title news cycle yet.
Birds of Prey and the Emancipation of Harley Quinn: Because Harry Potter Doesn’t Have a Monopoly on Long Titles
— Justin Carter (@GigawattConduit) November 20, 2018
This movie is almost certainly only getting made because Wonder Woman destroyed at the box office, convincing DC that people will actually go and see movies that don’t star primarily men.
Female-led superhero movies already have a hard enough time at the box office – why saddle this one with a title that’s exhausting just to read?
Birds of Prey (And The Fantabulous Emancipation of One Harley Quinn): Based on the Novel "Push" by Sapphire or (The Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance)
— Jacob Shamsian (@JayShams) November 20, 2018
Don’t get me wrong – the cast rules (Mary Elizabeth “Ramona Flowers” Winstead, Jurnee Smollett, Rosie Perez and Ewan McGregor as the villain, Black Mask) and it could still be absolutely killer. Some of my favourite movies have absolutely rubbish titles. (Shout out to Edge Of Tomorrow.)
This is just the kind of early sign that doesn’t fill us with hope.