Marvel may have lined up their live action movies till 2019 and DC is still far far behind. Justice League is still a vague idea for them, of course Zack Snyder is helming Batman V Superman Dawn of Justice and the Trinity has been revealed but would it end in a JLA Movie? I have my fingers crossed. Although there is one thing that DC aces everytime, the DC Universe Animated movies. Marvel’s animated movies have lacked that essential oomph factor that DC nails in almost every animated movie. Yes of course most of DC’s animated movies are based on DC Comics’ original material, and some did have a few pitfalls here and there but you have to admit many of DC Animated movies are a sheer pleasure to watch, be it Superman Doomsday, Flashpoint Paradox or the recent The Dark Knight Returns adaptation…its all top notch adding to DCs wonderful soirée.
We did get a glimpse of things to come in Arkham Origins. What was thought to be a Suicide Squad game/DLC culminated in being a DC Animated movie, Batman Assault On Arkham is the latest offering from DCU Animated and for once DC has focused on the antagonists of Gotham instead of the Dark Knight himself. Assault on Arkham is based on Rocksteady’s Arkham game franchise and its a pleasure to see the Suicide Squad organized by none other than Amanda Waller and going up against Batman for a secret mission deep inside Arkham. To make things smooth, the movie introduces the Suicide Squad members in slick intros and onto the thick of the plot. You are introduced to Harley Quinn, Deadshot, Killer Frost, Captain Boomerang, King Shark and Black Spider and it works well, initially, as a heist movie and from there on things go downhill of course. Where’s the fun without some bloodshed and fireworks aint it? Its fun to see these Gotham baddies dishing it against each other. While its not huge there’s plenty of plot twists to keep you glued to your seats till end.
One thing I love about DC animated is that they never shy away from things. This is indeed a cartoon but its never intended for kids. Its embellished with with gut loads of violence, sex (no nudity) and adult humor, once again its not over-the-top but still makes it appealing for teens as well as adults. It does get pretty whacky towards the end and it also inclines on being a little predictable but hey this aint competing for the Academy Awards, this aint even trying to be a cult classic, its just good fun and the definiteness might as well be intentional.
Kevin Conroy once again steps in as Batman. Other voice overs by Neal McDonough as Floyd Lawton / Deadshot, C.C.H. Pounder as Amanda Waller, Greg Ellis as Captain Boomerang, Giancarlo Esposito as Black Spider, John DiMaggio as King Shark, Jennifer Hale as Killer Frost were all fairly done well. Call me crazy. but cant help fall in love with Harley voiced by Hynden Walch. The icing on the cake is definitely Troy Baker as The Joker. We did get a sample of his flawless portrayal as The Joker in Arkham Origins replacing Mark Hamill and he does an awe-inspiring job here as well. This guy is gonna make it big and I wouldn’t be surprised if he lands up with a live action role soon. That familiar voice of Oswald Cobblepot / Penguin is also done by another veteran videogame/DC voice over artist, Nolan North.
Assault on Arkham features locales which will be instantly familiar to those of you who’s played the Arkham games. There are also tons of souvenirs/Easter Eggs from the movies as well as the games. Seeing one of the Joker masks from The Dark Knight did bring a smile to my face.
While its not as brilliant as The Dark Knight Returns, Batman Assault on Arkham is well written albeit with a few cliches here and there and IMHO its OK! Fluid animation compliments the great visuals and story and makes for another gem in the DC Universe Animated crown.