If I had to describe Batman: Assault On Arkham in three words it would be ‘fun, violent and exciting’ and while it’s not going to be nominated for any Oscars any time soon I would highly recommend everyone give it a try. The title itself is rather misleading for what is essentially a Suicide Squad movie that has Batman starring in a recurring side-role but it is quite refreshing to see consistent villain interactions without the presence of Batman.
The plot centres around Arkham Asylum as the Suicide Squad (Deadshot, Harley Quinn, Captain Boomerang, King Shark, Killer Frost and Black Spider) are sent in to retrieve important information from The Riddler while facing opposition from Amanda Waller, the Batman and the lunatics that lurk within the asylum. There are several plot twists along the way and all those who enter the asylum do not necessarily leave it again.
I laughed out loud at least a dozen times watching this and it’s fair to say that each of the squad members get at least one truly hilarious line although fans of the KGBeast may want to avoid this particular movie. There is also romance (if you can call it that) in the form of Deadshot and Harleys relationship and, to a much lesser extent, the flirtatious relationship between King Shark and Killer Frost.
The voice acting is very good with Kevin Conroy returning as Batman and Hynden Walch reprising her role as Harley Quinn and I can’t point to a single character who I felt was robbed of a decent voice actor. Troy Baker as the Joker gives an excellent performance which adds a level of creepy that was previously lacking and even though the shoes of Mark Hamill will never be filled, he really does make a decent attempt which is very enjoyable.
The style and character designs are based on the Arkham games series and fans of them will be very pleased with the main characters and also the cameos made by many other villains including Bane, Scarecrow and Poison Ivy. The soundtrack is very fast-paced and includes a few sudden dubstep numbers which usually accompany a heavy action shot.
Assault On Arkham is not without flaw though as there are a few mild problems. Amanda Waller loses much of her threatening presence after a few scenes and becomes overshadowed by other more pressing threats which is a shame as there was more room for her character to be expanded. Also, the plot itself is not super strong and a few characters (Waller, KGBeast and Black Spider come to mind) aren’t as well developed as others. It also lacks the charm of other DC animated movies such as Batman: Under The Red Hood but Assault On Arkham is a bit of violent, dirty fun which isn’t for everyone but totally should be.
But maybe this entire review is biased because the Riddler is one of my favourite villains and this movie opens with the line ‘Riddle me this…’ or maybe it really is as good as it’s being made out to be. The only way to find out is to watch it and find out. And remember, YAHTZEE !