This will be the first DeaconsDen flashback review. These will be reviews that I didn’t cover at the time of their release, but are perfect to revisit for an upcoming release.
Since the month August will see the release of the movie Suicide Squad, I’m going back to take a look at the 2014 animated film, Batman: Assault on Arkham.
One could see this as a test to see how audiences would react to these characters be given the spotlight in any cinematic format. Considering that we are getting a live action film, this must have passed the litmus test.
This film takes place as part of Batman: Arkham universe. It comes after the events of Batman: Arkham Origins. In the film, Amanda Waller gathers a team of criminals that include Deadshot, Harley Quinn, Killer Frost, King Shark, Black Spider and Captain Boomerang. Their mission is to break into Arkham Asylum and steal a thumb drive hidden in the cane of The Riddler. During their mission they will cross paths not only with the Dark Knight, but the diabolical Joker as well.
Although this is an animated flick, it certainly contains mature content. It carries a PG-13 rating, but it makes the most of what it can do with that rating in regards to its violent and sexual content. Because of that, this is one of the better entries in the animated DC canon. Batman is in the title, but he is not the focus. The Squad takes precedence here and the film doesn’t let you forget about it. They are not heroes and don’t act like it. What’s their motivations? Complete the mission so they don’t die at the hands of Waller. So they do what they need to complete the task. The film never forgets that. Also the somewhat grounded plot (as grounded as a comic book movie can be) is a relief as it’s mostly an infiltration/espionage type mission.
From a technical standpoint, Assault on Arkham has some nice fluid animation to match its equally talented voice cast. Kevin Conroy once again is Batman.Neal McDonough is Deadshot and Hynden Walch as Harley Quinn both do admirable work and capture each character well. C.C.H. Pounder voices Amanda Waller just as she did on Justice League Unlimited. Troy Baker, who played the Joker in Arkham Origins, returns in the role here.
Batman: Assault on Arkham is a quality animation that shifts the focus from Batman to the criminals he interacts with. The movie reminds you that these are not good guys, but it never revels in it. Rather you just enjoy the ride of these bad guys being bad.
Final Rating (4/5)