The Batman Arkham video game series is my favorite of all time. Arkham Asylum was the reason I bought a PS3, and Arkham Knight will be the reason why I buy a PS4. So naturally I was excited when DC Entertainment announced that they would be making an animated film based in that universe.
If it’s one thing that WB and DC Comics can do right with their properties, its their animated films. Assault on Arkham is the 21st in the series and I don’t see them slowing down. In the past they have had a little difficulty when releasing ones that didn’t feature their two heavy hitters, Superman and Batman. Of course there is nothing wrong with the other films, in fact Wonder Woman is one of the best of the lot, but the sales just weren’t there. So most movies as of late have had the Justice League, Batman, or Superman stamp on them. Fine. Whatever works.
Funny thing about Assault on Arkham? It’s NOT a Batman movie. Yes the caped crusader is in the film and plays a big role, BUT this movie is a Suicide Squad movie and that is just damn amazing! If you are unfamiliar with what the Suicide Squad is you can click the link for a little background. The basics are, Amanda Waller is a government big chief who will go to any extreme to complete her mission. So she will “draft” supervillains to her cause, normally “promising” a lesser sentence or something like that. Of course as the name says, these missions are suicide missions and the survival rate is very slim. A mainstay of the group is Floyd Lawton, aka Deadshot. In the comics, on TV, this film, he is always the man for the mission and ends up being the leader. Deadshot is the main character in this movie and I have no problem with it. Along for the ride are Harley Quinn, Killer Frost, King Shark, Captain Boomerang, and Black Spider. Harley Quinn, who is voiced by Hynden Welch, is my second favorite on the team, she cracks me up quite a few times! The question is how does Waller control these misfits? Well she implants them with an explosive that will blow off their head if they don’t comply with orders. Great deal, eh?!
The premise of the film is that The Riddler is on Amanda Waller’s hit list, but Batman puts a stop to this and locks him up in Arkham Asylum. So this forces Waller to send in the Suicide Squad to finish the job. But things aren’t as they seem, and soon our band of villains are in over their head! I won’t spoil too much for you, but this movie has it all! Action, humor, sex, not to mention it’s a heist movie! I LOVE HEIST MOVIES! It is a great introduction to the characters and the idea of the Suicide Squad. WB is currently planning a film based on the team, and if it’s anything like this then it will be amazing! This is the way you treat a film that is based around villains!
Batman: Assault on Arkham is easily in my top five of the DC Animated films. I like that they have decided to deviate a little from their new universe of films. The return of Kevin Conroy as Batman is triumphant and needed. Sorry Jason O’Mara, but Conroy IS Batman in my book. Troy Baker is the Joker and he continues to impress me with his ability to sound like Mark Hamill. He has some lines that made my jaw drop! I love that these films are made for adult viewers and it doesn’t candy-coat things, it’s a bloody fun romp through Gotham City! Jay Oliva knows how to properly direct animation and he is only getting better at delivering an excellent visual experience. Included EXCLUSIVELY on the Blu-ray is a featurette called “Arkham Analyzed” and also a commentary track. Other special features include a sneak peek at the next animated film Justice League: Throne of Atlantis, a Harley Quinn featurette, and as usual four bonus cartoons!
Batman: Assault on Arkham is now available everywhere! You can pick it up on Blu-ray, DVD, or Digital Download!