Sunday, August 24, 2014

Batman: Assault on Arkham

Released digitally July 29th and on DVD/Blu-Ray August 12th, 2014
1 hr 16 mins
Not Rated


Director: Jay Oliva, Ethan Spaulding


Kevin Conroy - Batman / Bruce Wayne
Neal McDonough - Deadshot / Floyd Lawton
Hynden Walch - Harley Quinn / Dr. Harleen Quinzel
Matthew Gray Gubler - Riddler / Edward Nygma
Troy Baker - Joker
C.C.H. Pounder - Amanda Waller
Greg Ellis - Captain Boomerang / George Harkness
Giancarlo Esposito - Black Spider / Eric Needham
John DiMaggio - King Shark
Jennifer Hale - Killer Frost / Louise Lincoln
Nolan North - KGBeast / Anatoly Knyazev, Oswald Cobblepot / Penguin
Eric Bauza - Security Guy
Chris Cox - Commissioner James Gordon
Martin Jarvis - Alfred Pennyworth
Peter Jessop - Watch Commander
Christian Lanz - Scarecrow / Jonathan Crane
Andrea Romano - Woman
Travis Willingham - Morgue Guy
Mick Wingert - Joker Security Guy

Review by Stephen M.

Batman: Assault on Arkham follows on the tails of Son of Batman as a direct to video release by DC Comics well known for their animation movies.  We get Kevin Conroy returning as the Bat, who has a long history playing him in the animated television series as well as various animated movies.  But despite the title, and appearances by Batman, this movie is all about Task Force X aka the Suicide Squad.

Task Force X or Suicide Squad if you're not familiar with them is a black ops team created by Amanda Waller comprising of super villains pressed to service against their will in the hopes of reduced sentence time.  If they refuse or go awol, nano explosives in their necks go boom.  Since DC Comics can't go off killing the likes of Lex Luthor or the Joker for an extended time at least, the roster usually consists of C list villains that you wouldn't miss too much.  The most well known in this lot would be Harley Quinn (Hynden Walch) so you never expect her to be in any real danger.

The animation, acting and overall story line is quite average.  Not particularly bad, but nothing to write home about either.  The main character, if you can call him that is surprisingly Deadshot (Neal McDonough).  He's led the team in the comic books on several occasion, but in this incarnation, has a new costume that reminds me of his roots.  Not much is given to his background or any of the other characters.  And from that you don't build any bond with the characters.  What makes the comic book and concept great is that you have these different villains thrown together against their will, each with their ego and own agenda.  Because of this, you know conflict in the group is inevitable but fun to watch as well.  But at the end of the day, some will die and some will bond due to mutual hatred of their jailer.  Assault on Arkham completely misses the point on this as yes, it does become a free for all, but the mutual comradery is overall skipped over.

Overall, unless you're a big Suicide Squad fan, I would skip this until you can catch it for free.  There are just better DC Comics animations out there.  The movie is not without its bright spots and moments.  For example, I love the scene where Deadshot has to subdue Harley at the prison when she comes across the Joker's cell.  But a rather predictable story line and unimpressive voice acting (despite the stellar cast) makes this easily forgettable especially compared to the last film, Son of Batman.


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