So, you enjoy watching movies involving D-list comic villains, whom you’ve probably never heard of, being ordered around by B-list villains whom you may recognize? Oh and you like Batman movies that really don’t focus much on Batman? Well have I got the movie for you! Batman: Assault on Arkham is the most recent DC animated film starring, nope not Batman, the Suicide Squad. I’ll give you a second to Google them .
Too lazy? Alright. The Suicide Squad is a seemingly random assortment of villains being controlled by the U.S. Government, or more specifically Dr. Amanda Waller, to carry out black-ops style missions around the globe. The entire team is expendable, members who are are able to complete the given mission and make it back alive get time shaved off of their sentence. Not too bad of a deal at first glance.
The Squad this time around in Assault on Arkham consists of seven members. They are all relatively unknown to most with the exception of Harley Quinn and Deadshot. Their mission is to break into Arkham Asylum and steal The Riddlers cane, which contains a flash drive. Sounds easy enough except they have to do this without alerting the guards at Arkham or Batman. There is also a subplot involving Batman attempting to find a dirty bomb that Joker hid somewhere in Gotham before it explodes. Typical boring stuff. Honestly the story here is pretty dull all around. The action and some of the one liners are really what you’re here to see, and in that sense it does not disappoint.
For any non believers out there who still think DC’s animated films are for kids, this movie will prove you wrong. It feels like the writers were trying to do everything they could to be non-kid-friendly, with all of the topless women (though nothing is shown) and death that takes place. Let the record show that I am in no way complaining about any of that. It was nice to see this movie go the more mature route, which does make sense since the film takes place in the Batman Arkham universe rather than the usual DC animated universe. This story is set to take place after the events of Batman: Arkham Origins.
Taking a page from the games, some of the same voice actors were re-used for this film. I can’t help but feel like someone really dropped the ball with some of the casting. Sure the greats are here: Kevin Conroy (Batman: The Animated Series) as Batman, Troy Baker (The Last of Us) as The Joker, and even Nolan North (Uncharted series) as The Penguin and KGBeast. My issue is with the casting choice for Harley Quinn. It’s not that the actress did a bad job, it’s just that her voice seemed off. Since she’s a main character, it was hard to ignore. Now I’m sure most out there aren’t as particular as me and can get beyond (BEYOND!) her voice, but for everyone else it will definitely take some getting used to.
All in all Batman: Assault on Arkham is a great film. It has plenty of action and comedy to keep you interested plus a few throwbacks for those who played the games. How can I not support something attempting to bring the Suicide Squad to the general audience. I highly recommend this to all comic book movie fans.