Animé and Toons
Batman: Assault on Arkham
By Hervé St-Louis
September 15, 2014 - 10:34

Studios: Warner Bros. Animation, DC Entertainment
Writer(s): Heath Corson
Starring: Kevin Conroy, Troy Baker, Matthew Gray Gubler, CCH Pounder, Greg Ellis, Giancarlo Esposito
Directed by: Jay Oliva, Ethan Spaulding
Produced by: Sam Register, Benjamin Melniker, Michael Uslan
Running Time: 76 minutes
Release Date: August 12 2014
Rating: PG (Parental Guidance Suggested)
Distributors: Bros. Home Entertainment

Amanda Waller seeks a destructive device that the Joker hid in Arkham Asylum. She sends the Suicide Squad to fetch the weapon from Arkham. Waller captures several villains for her Suicide Squad – Deadshot, Harley Quinn, Captain Boomerang, Black Spyder, Killer Frost, King Shark, and the KGBeast. Waller has had bombs implanted in the neck of the villains to force their cooperation. It’s up to Batman to stop the villains who release the Joker from his prison cell. What else can go wrong?

This is not the first time that Amanda Waller has been in cartoons. She was important in Batman Beyond and the Justice League cartoons in the early 2000s. She was also in Superman/Batman Public Enemies and Young Justice. In the DC Comics reboot from 2011, Waller lost weight and some years. Although Arkham Asylum is set in the 2011 New 52 reboot, Warner’s animation team kept the older and larger character.

The movie starts as a caper with character introductions explaining who they are. The villains in this film are not exactly the same as the comic book. For example, King Shark is a human with a mechanical jaw. The movie plays with a new love triangle that DC Comics introduced in the Suicide Squad comic book. Harley Quinn dates Deadshot which renders the Joker jealous. This aspect of the film makes Harley Quinn one of the central characters of this movie. Deadshot is also a central character. Viewers can see the film from his perspective.

What I like about this movie is that villains in the Suicide Squad die. Do not get too attached to any of them! Batman is smart in this movie but some of his motivations do not make much sense. He has many opportunities to take down the Suicide Squad but lets them get ahead in their evil scheme. The Joker is bonkers as usual. One his best line is “Denzel!” Don’t ask. It was too funny. Deadshot’s rivalry with Captain Boomerang from the first Suicide Squad from

Some of the editing is a bit too tight to make sense. For example, how Waller guessed the Riddler’s riddle using Google didn’t make much sense. There wasn’t enough time to Google his riddle. I tried! Also how Batman changes costume in Arkham doesn’t make much sense. Why keep an arboretum in a place where Poison Ivy stays? Why is Bane pumped with his drugs?

The character design no longer uses Phil Bourassa’s style anymore. Instead Jon Suzuki and Steve Jones provide the new designs. I like them although they depart from the established style used for DC animations. The animation is great. Moi Animation Studio in Korea worked on the project.

The extras on the Blu-Ray and DVD explore the world of the Suicide Squad and Harley Quinn. There are also bonus episodes from past DC animation projects related to the characters seen in Batman: Assault on Arkham. I did not feel that Arkham Asylum was much of a character in this film. The setting did not drive the intrigue. The characters did.

Rating: 8.5/10

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