- Directed by Jay Oliva and Ethan Spaulding
- July 25, 2014 (San Diego) / July 29, 2014 (Digital) / August 12, 2014 (Physical)
- Bruce Wayne / Batman-Kevin Conroy
- Floyd Lawton / Deadshot-Neal McDonough
- Harleen Quinzel / Harley Quinn-Hynden Walch
- Edward Nygma / Riddler-Matthew Gray Gubler
- Joker-Troy Baker
- Amanda Waller-CCH Pounder
- George Harkness / Captain Boomerang-Greg Ellis
- Eric Needham / Black Spider-Giancarlo Esposito
- Nanaue / King Shark-John DiMaggio
- Louise Lincoln / Killer Frost-Jennifer Hale
- Anatoli Knyazev / KGBeast, Oswald Cobblepot / Penguin-Nolan North
- Commissioner James Gordon-Chris Cox
- Alfred Pennyworth-Martin Jarvis
- Jonathan Crane / Scarecrow, Victor Zsasz-Christian Lanz
Batman is searching for a bomb planted by the Joker while Amanda Waller sends The Suicide Squad to retrieve vital information stolen by The Riddler.
I need to say something first. I am probably in the minority of people that enjoyed the live action Suicide Squad (or at least will admit to it). In my opinion what would have helped the movie would have been a plot involving less than saving the world. Something like this for example. A relatively simple mission that gets out of control. There was no way to avoid saving the world in that live action film. Here the beginning is kept simple enough that such a story is easily avoidable.
In the comics the Suicide Squad is a team made up of criminals considered disposable and forced to work for the government in exchange for time off their prison sentence. The team is led by the dangerous and devious Amanda Waller. In this story the assembled team is out to retrieve a bit of information for Waller. What starts out as a relatively simple mission for them gets out of hand with the intersection of Batman and a bomb built by the Joker.
Batman is in the title of this movie, but truth be told he is barely in it in comparison to other characters. He is a presence lurking off camera more often than not. His name was tacked on to give the much less marketable Suicide Squad animated film that this is a boost. I think that was a misstep on the part of the minds at Warner Bros. animation. Do not be afraid to put the actual stars front and center in your title. Be brave. Let Batman be a supporting character.
We get a nice introduction to all the supporting characters. The only flaw is to show how dangerous Amanda Waller is they kill KGBeast shortly after the team is assembled. His presence in the film truthfully would have been a bit redundant. I honestly cannot remember if he got his own brief character introduction or not. He is this films Slipknot (Adam Beach) from the live action film. In a concept where it is supposed to be shocking because anybody could die, having obvious clues as to who is up first is a big mistake.
This is a more mature cartoon. We get to see some heads severed by small explosives as well as a sex scene involving Harley Quinn and Deadshot. This is a bit of growth in the content of the DC animated films. Previously they were mature but family friendly. Now I am not too sure if you can sit down and watch them with your seven-year-old without screening it first.
And there is nothing wrong with that. Animation should not be solely for family friendly or kid friendly material. No form of entertainment should. Be creative. Do some things different. Push the boundaries and give us something fresh.
As usual the animation is fantastic. The DC films rarely fumble that. Some are better than others but it is rare that it is a complete letdown. The designs are based on the Arkham videogames (never played them) and they look great in animated form.
The Joker, as expected in a film containing Batman shows up, and is a is well portrayed here. He is definitely off his rocker. He is a homicidal clown with lethal punchlines to his jokes. His hold on reality is appropriately questionable and homicidal.
They even manage an oddly sweet romance between Killer Frost and King Shark. In a few moments they craft a relationship between the two and that is something that some cannot do in the length of a film.
In reality in this story Waller is out to assassinate the Riddler who at some point worked for her but figured out how to disarm the explosives in the neck. There are other twists and turns in this movie. Nothing too shocking or surprising but enough that it will keep you entertained. And as I said earlier it starts out as a simple mission that just seems to get out of hand because of secret agendas.
There is plenty of action and excitement here to hold film fans attention. There is a good plot that is more intriguing and better executed than many feature films. I am not trying to over sell it here. This is not an amazing or groundbreaking film. Just a very good watch.
Batman: Assault on Arkham is not so much a Batman film as it is a Suicide Squad film with Batman in the title to boost viewership. Regardless it is a very entertaining entry into the DC catalog. This is definitely a watch it.