8/16/16

BATMAN: ASSAULT ON ARKHAM - REVIEW


Set before the Arkham Asylum video game but after Arkham Origins, Batman: Assault On Arkham is an animated feature by DC which sees the Suicide Squad attempt to retrieve The Riddler's cane from Arkham under Amanda Waller's orders.

Two years before the Suicide Squad live-action movie, we got this animated adventure focusing on the dysfunctional team of villains which, this time, includes Deadshot, Harley Quinn, Captain Boomerang and new recruits Killer Frost, Black Spider and King Shark. They are assembled after Batman (voiced by Kevin Conroy) captures The Riddler who may be holding information on the Squad he's planning to release to the public. Along the way, the team encounters Batman and The Joker (Troy Baker) who has his own agenda as he is plotting to unleash a dirty bomb in the city, just to make things more difficult for everyone. This is a busy little film with a lot of main characters to keep track of but it somehow holds together better than Suicide Squad.

The story is a bit too scattered to the point where it's easy to lose interest in what's actually going on but the action is relentless enough that there's always something fun taking place. Like the new film, this Suicide Squad is hit-and-miss with most of them not really having any personality and Harley Quinn saying maybe one annoying jokey line too many. Unlike the new film, however, the plot at least includes some genuinely enjoyable set-pieces as well as lots of Batman action, a Joker subplot that makes sense and a really cool third act in which all the villains locked-up in Arkham are let loose. This one's a bit different than most of the other Batman animated films in that it's clearly trying to be a little edgier with more sex and violence but that frankly just feels gratuitous.

While no masterpiece, Assault On Arkham remains an entertaining adventure with less discrepancies than the live-action Suicide Squad movie. It's a cluttered story but it's cluttered with fun elements so it works. Fans of the villainous super-team and the Batman games should have a ball with this one.

Worth a watch.

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