Monday, February 1, 2016

ANI-MOVIES, *Batman: Assault On Arkham

Tying into the Batman: Arkham video game franchise, Assault On Arkham takes place in the same universe happening sometime after Arkham Origins, but before Arkham Asylum. This DC Universe Animated movie isn't connected to the current New 52 titles, and is directed by former Justice League animator Jay Oliva with and Avatar: The Last Airbender director Ethan Spaulding. This was done as being a lot more mature than the traditional DC animated films, and is the first movie outing of the Suicide Squad.

The Riddler finds out some secrets from Amanda Waller, the head of a secret government agency, but Batman puts him in Arkham, so in order to get the data back, Waller assembles Task Force X. This is a select group of criminals that Waller forces to do suicide missions, otherwise they get blown up from an explosive inserted in their body. For this trip, Waller gets: Harley Quinn, Captain Boomerang, Killer Frost, King Shark, Black Spider, and Deadshot, although the non-Batman heroes that some of these villains arch are never referred to in the movie, so no cameos by Flash or Firestorm. Waller sends them to break into Arkham and steal a thumb drive Riddler had confiscated in his cane that has restricted info on it. Most of the Suicide Squad take on the appearance of asylum staff, while Deadshot disguised as a guard pretends to be bringing in Harley, but not after having a major tiff with a locked up Joker. The Squad then put on their supervillain threads and storm into the storage room, but discover that there isn't a thumb drive in it. Batman pops in knowing of the Squad's infiltration, and is seemingly taken out by Black Spider. Killer Frost ditches them to secretly kill Riddler for Waller, but he tells her and the others that the real reason they were all sent to kill him was because Riddler knew how to turn off the bombs in their heads. The bad guys go the infirmary to use electro-shock to deactivate the Squad's bombs. Meanwhile, Joker has busted loose, and busts in just at the moment the Squad is getting bomb-removal therapy. Riddler figures out that Black Spider was really Batman in disguise, and all hell busts loose as Batman fights Joker, while Black Spider and King Shark have their heads asplode by Waller. Harley makes off with Joker after loosing a face off with Deadshot, but Harley's old giant mallet she got from the asylum's storage turns out to carry a dirty bomb Joker hid in it. The remaining Squad members get lost among several Arkham escapees, and Boomerang and Frost supposedly buy it. Deadshot makes off in a police helicopter, which he didn't notice has Joker and Harley stowed away. Batman catches up to them, and the adversaries duke it out in the chopper with the bomb about to go off, with Harley crashing it into a skyscraper. Deadshot knocks Joker into the chopper before it falls to the ground while Batman stops the bomb. Deadshot escapes while being reunited with his daughter, and has his sights set on terminating Waller, even though we never find out if he really shoots her in the end.

This made for a great send up of Smoking Aces with several different bad guys aiming for a similar target, but each out for saving their own skins. Batman is more of a guest star in all this, even though it is great to have Kevin Conroy returning as the Dark Knight. There is some intense action scenes in this, and some serious mature situations(like Deadshot and Harley playing bumper cars), which makes the movie really not for your kids. It's not essential for you to have played any of the Arkham games to enjoy this because it does work as a stand-alone feature. Before you see the Suicide Squad live-action movie, give this one a peak first and see which one works for you.

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