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DVD Review: Batman: Assault on Arkham

Batman: Assault on Arkham Movie Poster
Batman: Assault on Arkham Movie PosterBatman: Assault on Arkham Movie Poster

Batman: Assault on Arkham

Rating:
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The straight-to-DVD release series of DC Entertainment characters and properties very rarely disappoints, and this, the latest installment, is just another example of how the world's greatest superheroes truly are the best of the best. Or, in this case, the world's greatest super-villains are the worst of the worst. Some might be a little disappointed with the fact that even though Batman gets top billing, has relatively little screen time in his own movie. Misleading title and premise aside, this film does a great job bridging some gaps and expanding several mythos, all the while embracing fan favorite characters and moments and introducing a new generation to a concept that dates back to the 1980s. Fans of DC Comics, the Batman: Arkham series of video games, or even the 1990s animated series will enjoy this thrill ride. But be warned: as is the case with almost all of the direct-to-DVD DC releases, this film is not suitable for children. There is an abundance of violence, suggestive themes, and some mild language.

A PG-13 rating is accurate, if nothing else, for the premise of the story. Batman chases the Riddler to his hideout and captures him. But unbeknownst to him, Amanda Waller wants him dead, sending in the Suicide Squad to make sure he doesn't survive his stay at Arkham Asylum. Enter the ragtag group of misfits, psychos, and killers. Led by Deadshot, the Wall's team consists of Harley Quinn, King Shark, KGBeast, Captain Boomerang, Black Spider, and Killer Frost. Fellow Gothamites Alfred Pennyworth, James Gordon, the Penguin, the Scarecrow, Bane, Poison Ivy, and Two-Face all have fun cameo appearances. But, as per usual, the show is stolen by the ace in the hole, the king of crazy, the clown prince of crime: the Joker.

Reprising their respective roles, Kevin (Batman: Mask of the Phantasm, Justice League) Conroy and C. C. H. (The Shield, Sons of Anarchy) Pounder lend their voice talents to the likes of Batman and Amanda Waller. Joining the ranks this go-around are veteran voice actors Neal (Red 2, 88 Minutes) McDonough, Hynden (Teen Titans, Adventure Time) Walch, Matthew (Criminal Minds, 500 Days of Summer) Gray Gubler, Troy (the Metal Gear Solid series, The Last of Us) Baker, Chris (Family Guy, The Avengers: Earth's Mightiest Heroes) Cox, John (Futurama, Princess Mononoke) DiMaggio, Giancarlo (Breaking Bad, Once Upon a Time) Esposito, Greg (Titanic, the Pirates of the Caribbean series) Ellis, Jennifer (Justice League: The Flashpoint Paradox, Wreck-It Ralph) Hale, Martin (The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, The Grim Adventures of Billy and Mandy) Jarvis, Nolan (the Ultimate Avengers series, TMNT) North, and Christian (the Call of Duty series, the Resident Evil series) Lanz. Co-directors Jay (Batman: The Dark Knight Returns, Justice League: War) Oliva and Ethan (Son of Batman, Avatar: The Last Airbender) Spaulding do the source material justice and deliver on the movie's tagline. As instructed, we are to "get ready to root for the bad guys." And throughout the entire film, no matter how much of a fan of truth, justice, and the American way you might be, you will find yourself doing.