Set in the ‘Arkham’ universe, Assault on Arkham may have Batman (once again voiced brilliantly by Kevin Conroy) emblazoned all over, but he comes and goes. Constantly mentioned but seen in spurts.
The real stars of this film are Suicide Squad; a group of convicts rounded up and sent on suicide missions. If they complete their task they get time taken off their sentence. If they don’t…..well the clue is in the team name.
With a darkly comedic edge the film is best when the 6 members are left to their own devices. They bicker and protect each other like a highly dysfunctional family that could just as likely save you as kill you. For me the stand outs are Deadshot, Harley Quinn and King Shark (who I’d not heard of before). Neal McDonough gives Deadshot a cool, precise demeanour suitable for a hitman, whilst Hynden Walch is off the walls crazy veering from calm to manic with cries of “yahtzee!”. John DiMaggio’s King Shark is my favourite though; his simple nature and brute strength hiding a character that is at times intelligent and very protective.
This is not an animated film to sit the kids in front of. There is sex (implied) and plenty of violence (heavily shown) that would make it wholly unsuitable. It does however make it pleasing to an adult audience. I was surprised and entertained by events, with the darker tone juxtaposing well with the occasional jokes and banter.
When Batman is on screen he’s much like his ‘Arkham’ video game counterpart, this is a Batman at the height of his powers. Great to see him fleet of foot as well as brutal. He’s used just enough too.
Assault on Arkham is a worthwhile addition to the DC animated series which doesn’t need much, if any prior knowledge. With cool animation, a great voice cast and a bent sense of humour you should check it out if you’re a fan of Batman, the Arkham games, or a tale focusing on the bad guys.