Batman: Assault on Arkham
Batman Assault on Arkham cover.jpeg
Home video re-release cover art (2016)
Directed by
Written byHeath Corson
Based onCharacters appearing in comic books published
by DC Entertainment
Produced byJames Tucker
Starring
Edited byChristopher D. Lozinski
Music byRobert J. Kral
Production
companies
Distributed byWarner Home Video
Release dates
  • July 25, 2014 (2014-07-25) (San Diego)
  • July 29, 2014 (2014-07-29) (Digital)
  • August 12, 2014 (2014-08-12) (Physical)
Running time
76 minutes
CountryUnited States
LanguageEnglish

Batman: Assault on Arkham is a 2014 direct-to-video animated superhero film that is the 20th film of the DC Universe Animated Original Movies.[1] Jay Oliva and Ethan Spaulding direct, with a script by Heath Corson, and James Tucker producing.[2] The film was screened at the 2014 San Diego Comic-Con on July 25, 2014, and it was released digitally on July 29 and on physical media on August 12.[3]

The film is set in the universe of the Batman: Arkham video game franchise, occurring after Arkham Origins;[4] Jay Oliva states it takes place about two years before Arkham Asylum.[5] The story focuses primarily on the Suicide Squad, particularly Batman villains Deadshot and Harley Quinn with Batman in a supporting role. In the film, a Suicide Squad of six criminals is dispatched by Amanda Waller to break into Arkham Asylum, where they must contend with the asylum's inmates and Batman as they attempt to complete their mission.

The film stars Kevin Conroy as Bruce Wayne/Batman (reprising his role as Batman from the DC animated universe, among other numerous DC properties, including the Arkham series), Neal McDonough as Floyd Lawton/Deadshot, Hynden Walch as Dr. Harleen Quinzel/Harley Quinn (who reprises her role from The Batman) and Matthew Gray Gubler as Edward Nygma/Riddler. In addition, Troy Baker, CCH Pounder, Nolan North, and Martin Jarvis reprise their roles of Joker, Amanda Waller, Oswald Cobblepot/Penguin and Alfred Pennyworth from Arkham Origins (with Pounder previously appearing in the DCAU and Superman/Batman: Public Enemies and North and Jarvis appearing in Arkham City as well) while Jennifer Hale reprises her role of Louise Lincoln/Killer Frost from the DCAU and other properties.

Plot

Batman rescues the Riddler from a black ops assassination ordered by A.R.G.U.S.' director Amanda Waller, returning him to Arkham Asylum. Invoking Priority Ultraviolet, Waller captures wanted supercriminals Black Spider, Captain Boomerang, Deadshot, Harley Quinn, KGBeast, Killer Frost, and King Shark for the Suicide Squad. Their mission is to break into Arkham and recover a thumbdrive in Riddler's cane containing sensitive knowledge about the squad. She forces compliance by threatening to detonate nano-bombs implanted in their necks, and KGBeast is killed when he attempts to walk out on Waller. The remaining six are sent to Gotham City to get equipment from the Penguin, and while staying the night at the Iceberg Lounge Harley and Deadshot sleep together. The next day Harley commits a crime to lure Batman out, who is looking for a dirty bomb the Joker had hidden in the city. Harley is taken back to Arkham.

At Arkham, the incarcerated Joker taunts Harley, which causes her to fire a gun at him in a rage. While this is happening, the other members of the squad infiltrate the Asylum and loop the previous day's security camera footage to keep both Batman and Waller from noticing them. The team finds Riddler's cane and Harley's mallet, but the cane contains nothing. Batman arrives after having noticed the security camera ruse and fights the squad. He defeats them one by one before being seemingly beaten by Black Spider. Killer Frost splits from the group and goes to Riddler's cell; Waller secretly ordered her to carry out the real mission of the squad, to kill Riddler. Riddler reveals that Waller can't detonate his neck explosive because he knows how to disarm them, and the squad agrees to help him escape if he can disarm theirs. Meanwhile, Joker notices a weakness in his cell walls from Harley's attempt to shoot him and short-circuits the door to escape.

Riddler hooks the squad up – minus Black Spider – to an electro shock machine to fry the explosives. Riddler turns on the machine as Waller calls for an update; seeing the bombs' signals fading and learning of the squad's betrayal, she activates them. Harley, Deadshot, Boomerang, and Frost survive, but King Shark's head explodes due to his thick skin blocking the electricity. The group questions how Black Spider's bomb didn't detonate, and Riddler realizes that "Black Spider" is Batman in disguise; Black Spider had just been killed by the bomb detonation on his neck by Waller moments ago. After revealing himself, Batman demands the squad explain why they're in Arkham. Joker arrives and attacks Batman, providing a distraction for the squad to escape. Joker, enraged at Deadshot for "touching his stuff" by sleeping with Harley, intercepts them, but Harley sweet-talks him into forgiving her. As the remaining squad members flee, Batman encounters them and deduces from Deadshot that Joker has hidden the dirty bomb in Harley's mallet, which he then activates. Joker releases Arkham's inmates (including Two-Face, Bane, Scarecrow, and Poison Ivy) as a distraction to allow him to escape.

Frost is killed in the chaos by Bane, and Deadshot subdues Captain Boomerang to board a helicopter and escape. Batman notices three heartbeats coming from the helicopter and realizes Joker and Harley have stowed away in it. He follows them in the Batwing while Deadshot and Joker fight. The helicopter collides into a building; Batman knocks out Harley and disarms the bomb. At the same time, Deadshot pins Joker inside the helicopter, which then falls to the ground and explodes.

In the aftermath, Batman confronts Waller over the incident. He clarifies that her actions allowed Riddler to escape from Arkham, and warns her to discontinue the Task Force X program. Waller dismisses his warning and taunts that Joker's body was not found in the helicopter crash. Once Batman leaves, Waller notices a laser trained on her. Deadshot is shown to be the source, reunited with his daughter, and the movie ends before he pulls the trigger, leaving Waller's fate uncertain.[N 1]

Voice cast

Some characters from the Arkham games appear in non-speaking cameos including Bane, Two-Face, and Poison Ivy.

Soundtrack

Batman: Assault on Arkham (Music from the DC Universe Movie)
Film score by
ReleasedJuly 30, 2014
Length51:21
LabelWaterTower Music

The soundtrack to Batman: Assault on Arkham was released on July 30, 2014, with music composed by Robert J. Kral.[10]

Track list

Batman: Assault on Arkham (Music from the DC Universe Movie)
No.TitleLength
1."Nigma's Confrontation / It's Batman"3:10
2."Criminal Montage"3:06
3."Task Force Indoctrination"2:41
4."Dropping Down"2:00
5."Gearing Up / Beer Room Challenge"1:51
6."Harley Arrested to Arkham"3:01
7."Infiltrating Arkham & Joker Assault"5:33
8."Killer Frost's Kiss & Black Spider's Microwave"1:59
9."Harley Bait & King Shark's Work"1:27
10."Suicide Squad in the Big House"3:44
11."Batman's Gotham & Property Room Access"2:59
12."Batman Fights Suicide Squad"2:12
13."Joker's Out / Suicide Squad vs. SCU"3:34
14."Joker Attacks Batman"1:40
15."Prisoners Released"2:45
16."Chopper Fight / Poison Ivy / The Batplane"2:03
17."Chopper Crash"2:24
18."Final Confrontations"2:08
19."Batman - Assault On Arkham End Credits"3:04
Total length:51:21

Reception

Critical reception

The film has a aggregated score of 75% on Rotten Tomatoes based on eight reviews.[11]

Scott Mendelson of Forbes roundly praised Assault on Arkham for its action, art style, humor, voices, and characters, calling it one of the best films of DC's direct-to-video lineup. He described it as a "gleefully immoral" heist film which, having "no real [plot] arc to speak of", relies on its violent action and clever character dynamics within the Suicide Squad to carry it. Due to its villainous protagonists, dark comedy, and sexual content, Mendelson considers the production of Assault on Arkham an experimental decision by DC, and a successful experiment as it tells a style of comic book story that would never get approval as a live-action project.[12]

Seth Robison of Newsarama was far more critical, considering the animation, characterization, and storytelling in the film poor. He had particular dislike for the voice acting, which he believed squandered a talented cast by delivering a "disjointed" performance, and for Assault on Arkham's interpretation of Amanda Waller, which he believed simplified her into merely another villain. He further found Deadshot's sympathetic characterization opaque to non-comic readers and Harley Quinn's crazy act obnoxious. Overall, Robison deemed the experience of the film "superficial" and thought it compared unfavorably to those offered by the Arkham video games and the Justice League Unlimited episode "Task Force X".[13]

Sales

The film earned $5,820,248 in domestic home video sales.[14]

Suicide Squad: Kill the Justice League (2023)

Main article: Suicide Squad: Kill the Justice League

A Suicide Squad game was first considered a possibility following the endings of Batman: Arkham Origins and Batman: Arkham Origins: Blackgate, featuring post-credits scenes with Amanda Waller (voiced by Pounder) recruiting various supervillains. In the years since Batman: Arkham Knight released, there had been rumors suggesting the studio has been working on a Suicide Squad game, but no official announcement was made from the development team or publisher.[15] In December 2016, Jason Schreier from Kotaku revealed that the title had been cancelled, and WB Games Montreal had shifted their focus to the next Batman game (later revealed to be Gotham Knights.[16]) As a result, Rocksteady Studios took over as the main developer of the game. While concept art from cancelled versions of the game surfaced,[17] the finished game's official artwork was revealed by Rocksteady on August 7, 2020.[18] The first trailer for the game premiered at DC FanDome. As the game is set in the "Arkhamverse", plot threads established in the Batman: Arkham series would continue in Suicide Squad: Kill the Justice League.[19] The game will feature four playable characters: Harley Quinn, Deadshot, Captain Boomerang, and King Shark, who are tasked with defeating Brainiac when he attacks Metropolis and enslaves the Justice League with his mind-controlling technology.[20]

With the inclusion of King Shark, the game retcons Assault on Arkham as well as several subsequent comics. Amanda Waller is portrayed by Debra Wilson, replacing Pounder.

Notes

  1. ^ Batman: Arkham Underworld reveals that Deadshot never pulled the trigger as Batman stopped him before he could decide to carry out Waller's assassination.

References

  1. ^ Gallagher, Brian (July 20, 2013). "COMIC-CON 2013: 'Son of the Batman' and 'Batman: Assault on Arkham' Announced for 2014". MovieWeb. Archived from the original on July 22, 2013. Retrieved May 5, 2014.
  2. ^ a b c d e "Warner Bros. Brings "Batman: Assault On Arkham" To DVD/Blu-Ray August 14". Comic Book Resources. May 7, 2014. Archived from the original on May 7, 2014. Retrieved May 7, 2014.
  3. ^ Sneider, Jeff (July 8, 2014). "Comic-Con: Warner Bros. Bringing Peter Jackson's 'Hobbit' Finale, 'Mad Max'". The Wrap. Archived from the original on July 10, 2014. Retrieved June 18, 2014.
  4. ^ Reiner, Andrew (May 16, 2014). "Batman: Arkham Assault Movie Releasing On Blu-Ray, DVD This Summer". Game Informer. GameStop. Archived from the original on May 16, 2014. Retrieved May 16, 2014.
  5. ^ Get a Sneak Peek at Batman: Assault on Arkham in a New Featurette - ComingSoon.net
  6. ^ a b c Vieira, Anthony (April 20, 2014). "'Batman: Assault on Arkham' Trailer – The Animated Movie Based on the 'Arkham' Games". ScreenRant. Archived from the original on April 19, 2014. Retrieved April 20, 2014.
  7. ^ Miereanu, Gary (June 4, 2014). "It's @HyndenIsHere voicing equal parts of crazy, vicious & hilarious as #HarleyQuinn in #BatmanAssaultonArkham pic.twitter.com/6AS74m3D3b". Twitter.
  8. ^ a b Miereanu, Gary (June 13, 2014). "@UniversoDC1 @DallasLKinard @TheJohnDiMaggio IMDB is incorrect. Also rightfully credit @jhaletweets as Killer Frost. #BatmanAssaultonArkham". Twitter.
  9. ^ Miereanu, Gary (July 17, 2014). ".@Android00154 Actually, @nolan_north does double duty in #BatmanAssaultonArkham as both KGBeast & Cobblepot in distinctly different accents". Twitter.
  10. ^ "Batman: Assault on Arkham - Music From The DC Universe Animated Movie". WaterTower Music. Archived from the original on March 3, 2016.
  11. ^ "Batman: Assault on Arkham". Rotten Tomatoes. Fandango. Archived from the original on August 2, 2014. Retrieved March 28, 2022. Edit this at Wikidata
  12. ^ Mendelson, Scott (August 6, 2014). "Review: 'Batman: Assault On Arkham' Is Among The Best DCAU Films Yet". Forbes.com. Archived from the original on August 9, 2014. Retrieved August 6, 2014.
  13. ^ Robison, Seth (July 31, 2014). "Batman: Assault on Arkham Review: Bat-Fans, Look Elsewhere for Your Arkham Fix". newsarama. Archived from the original on September 4, 2014. Retrieved August 9, 2014.
  14. ^ "Batman: Assault on Arkham (2014) The Numbers listing". The Numbers. Accessed January 4, 2020.
  15. ^ Rocksteady Announces Suicide Squad Game - IGN, August 7, 2020, retrieved August 7, 2020
  16. ^ Schreier, Jason (December 19, 2016). "Sources: WB Montreal Cancels Unannounced Suicide Squad Game, Shifts To Batman". Kotaku. Retrieved August 23, 2020.
  17. ^ "Concept art from WB Montreal's canceled Suicide Squad game". Twitter. Retrieved February 12, 2022.
  18. ^ Tassi, Paul. "Rocksteady Reveals 'Suicide Squad,' Its First Post-Arkham DC Game, Raising Questions". Forbes. Retrieved August 7, 2020.
  19. ^ Durnbush, Jonathon (August 23, 2020). "Suicide Squad: Kill the Justice League Set in Batman: Arkham Universe". IGN. Retrieved August 23, 2020.
  20. ^ Tinner, Phillip (August 23, 2020). "Suicide Squad: Kill the Justice League Trailer Reveals DC Heroes as Villains". Screenrant. Retrieved August 23, 2020.