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Wednesday, August 06, 2014

REVIEW: Batman: Assault on Arkham is Bad.....BAD ASS!

You can pre-order this film on

Yeah, I said it. I'm obviously a lifelong Batman fan, especially in the realm of animation.  I'm very critical of the Dc Universe films..they're very hit and miss for  me.   This film is without a doubt my favorite of the Dc Universe films to date.  Assault on Arkham has it all..violence, sex, humor and dark twisted enjoyment for all.  This one is what 'The Losers' should have been.  Its like the Expendables with Dc Comics villains.  Top all that off with tons of villain cameos and Kevin Conroy reprising Batman, the role that he owns, and you have an absolute winner.

This review will contain some, but not all, SPOILERS!  I'm not going to give you the plot points, but don't read if you don't want a few things revealed, I don't wanna have to call you a waaaaahmbulance.  

The Hero Cameos

We get a few cool hero cameos in this film.  We get a quick Gordon and a very brief Alfred appearance.   The Batmobile and the Batplane will both appear, as well.

The Villain Cameos

The brief, but fantastic, appearance of the Penguin took me by surprise.  Not that I didn't expect him to be in the film, but the entire way that he was presented was unique.  Firstly, he has a gritty british accent, like something out of a Guy Ritchie UK gangster flick.  The weird thing is that it really, really works for him.  Deadshot and the squad give him a lot of respect as a senior criminal in Gotham and you really get a genuine sense that he's a person you don't want to mess with.  Its a dignity that the Penguin doesn't often recieve these days. 

During the Arkham sequence you will get to see other villains, like Poison Ivy, Bane, Scarecrow, Two-Face and even Mr. Zsasz!  And you get to see them in ACTION.  There are also references to Scarface, Killer Moth, Mr. Freeze,Firefly and Maxie Zeus at one point.

The Joker is also a major part of this film.  Once he finally appears, he is the apex for the rest of the story arc.  The voicework by Troy Baker is so great I almost don't miss Mark Hammill!  Hey, I said almost!  You know Baker's work from some of the Arkham and Lego Batman video games.  He's dead-on and although the "Arkham" look for the Joker doesn't immediately strike me as great, it did grow on me as the film progressed.

 The Suicide Squad

Throughout this film you really get attached to the Squad, especially members like the Shark, a villain that wasn't even on my radar prior to this.  Shark is voiced by John DiMaggio, who is a phenominal voice actor and ironically a great Joker in previous Dc Universe films.  Deadshot is masterfully portrayed by Neal McDonough.  He adds an authority and confidence to the character that I've never had the pleasure of seeing before.  He is a huge part of the movie and really shines.  Killer Frost is sexy and brutal.  She is just great.  Harley Quinn is sexy and insane.  Its not often that I refer to animated characters as sexy, but I will in this case.  Hynden Walch came back to the role of Harley, which she had done so well previously in the animated series 'The Batman'.    She really brings life and so much dark humor to the role that I literally laughed out loud several times.

That brings me to the most important thing that ties this film together.  The tone.  This film is taken very seriously by the creators.  The action is there, the comedy is there, the character development is there, the plot twists are has sex, it has has it all.  I haven't been this excited about an animated film in a long time.  They do such a great job of making you like and care about the Squad that the first time you see Shark he is literally eating human beings and is covered in blood and by the end of the film, you're rooting for him.  Thats quality writing.

I cannot recommend this enough.  Watch this film, don't delay.  On Tuesday BUY it.