Batman: Assault on Arkham (2014)

This is not a Batman film, this is a Suicide Squad film featuring Batman as he is barely in it and instead the film focuses on Amanda Waller and her secret government project, Task Force X AKA The Suicide Squad and their mission to infiltrate Arkham Asylum.

The film creates a ridiculous reason for Batman to be their, you know, instead of the obvious “If Arkham is under threat Batman will help” it expands the sub plot into a convoluted mess about his personal hunt for The Jokers “dirty bomb”. This sub plot was unnecessary and bloated the run time and had a negative effect on the pacing as occasionally the film would cut away from the interesting members of the Suicide Squad and centre on Batman and his quest.

The dialogue in this film is very wonky and poorly written, the story itself is interesting if you ignore the sub plot but somehow the dialogue feels extremely amateur and often became distracting. Combine this with the fact that besides CCH Pounder as Amanda Waller and Kevin Conroy as Batman, every other voice actor was either not suited to their role or was downright bad.

The action set pieces in the film are what save it, it’s well organised, clear, precise and the fights really seemed to matter with every punch, kick or bullet having the feeling of weight behind it.

However, the worst part of the film by far is the ridiculously unnecessary use of dubstep/electronic music throughout the film, “Here’s a montage, better throw in some awesome dubstep!” is what i can only assume the directors were saying when planning out these scenes. The use of dubstep is not only jarring and distracting, it also does not fit at all with any scene it is used with, in fact the sound was so poorly mixed you could tell the dubstep was an afterthought because in the lulls in the music you could hear punches, kicks, etc. When the dubstep cut and the logo appeared on screen it honestly seemed like i was watching a fan film on YouTube, truly awful.

The Suicide Squad is filled with various interesting members; Harley Quinn, Deadshot, King Shark, Captain Boomerang, Killer Frost and Black Beetle. They all bounced well off of each other and brought their own skills and personalities to the table and made their dynamic interesting.

The animation was well done, with the occasional blip in quality, however i do have some issues with some certain design aspects, the biggest problem being the design for King Shark was odd and not at all like I’ve come to know him look in the comics, but as is the way with comics, character designs change from artist to artist. I just would have preferred a more traditional King Shark design.

The film is 1 hour and 15 minutes long and unfortunately, the final 15 minutes are absolutely pointless. The first hour of the film is intense with some great action scenes and an interesting story and it kind of wraps itself up leaving the final 15 minutes for some unnecessary scenes between a few characters and of course, Batman’s hunt for the dirty bomb. It definitely left the film ending on a whimper instead of a bang and left me feeling bored and wishing for the end.


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