Batman: Assault on Arkham Review

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By Will Barber – Taylor

Amanda Waller forms the Suicide Squad where their mission is to break into Arkham Asylum and recover top secret information from Riddler. Suicide Squad member, Harley Quinn ends up freeing Joker who makes plans to blow up Arkham Asylum and Gotham City causing Batman to spring into action.

While the previous DC Animated Universe Batman film focussed on Batman and his relationship to his son, this film focusses more on the side characters that aren’t really looked at in animated features of this type. The focus is really on The Suicide Squad, an elite taskforce formed by head of The Agency, Amanda Waller. Batman, in fact, hardly appears in the film, He briefly appears twice at the beginning but then is  not seen until the middle of the film onwards. This is actually rather nice as we get to see the Squad in action and how they work.

We have the main plot with the Squad going to the Asylum to get information from The Riddler, which is pretty thin as it only serves to introduce members of the Squad to the audience. The subplot features The Dark Knight tearing up Gotham in an attempt to find a bomb planted by the Joker in an undisclosed location. The eventual meeting of both plots is a tad messy and doesn’t feel as streamlined as it could have been. It might have worked better if the Squad had been sent in to find the Joker’s bomb rather than to simply extract information from The Riddler, therefore, you could have had the same runtime and basic plot without the messy shoving together of the two plots.

Kevin Conroy is great reprising his role as The Caped Crusader. Conroy feels very much like the same Batman we see in the games. He gives off a great menacing tone which fits with the portrayal of the character in both the games and the movie. It is a bit sad that he is underused and isn’t in the film that much but he still gives a great performance with what he is given.

Though it is a brief cameo it is great to hear Martin Jarvis reprising his role of Alfred from the video games. Jarvis always brings a bit of greatness to whatever production he appears in and this is no exception. He brings the character of Alfred alive and the natural humour which goes with The Dark Knight’s butler is brought to life, if only briefly, by Jarvis.

C.C.H. Pounder is also fantastic in her reprisal of Amanda Waller. Pounder was always been the definitive Waller having first played the character in the Justice League animated series. She brings a great deal of authority to the role and also makes the character sound convincing as a hard working, public agent who wants to get the job done with the least amount of sweat and blood on her own hands. Pounder’s brief scene with Conroy is brilliant and brings back memories of episodes of Justice League that they shared together.

Batman: Assault on Arkham is an enjoyable film but it isn’t as good as Batman and Son and not as good as previous DC films such as Flashpoint or Batman: Under the Red Hood. It does, however, create some great scenes with the Suicide Squad and introduces them to the Arkham universe and keeps them in line with the video games. Though it might not be the best DC Animated Universe film it is still an enjoyable, action packed ride.

 

 

 

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