Blu-ray Review: Batman: Assault On Arkham

It’s been said before, by myself and others, but it’s certainly worth repeating. Marvel might be whipping the floor (and other things) with DC when it comes to their live action films, but no one touches DC when it comes to their animated features.

This film maybe called Batman: Assault on Arkham, but Batman is a secondary character in this story. Batman interrupts Amanda Waller apprehending The Riddler who has stolen something vital from her. Because of Batman, Riddler and his cane wind up in Arkham Asylum. So she puts together a Suicide Squad team together consisting of Black Spider, Captain Boomerang, Deadshot, Harley Quinn, Killer Frost, KGBeast, and King Shark.

In case you don’t know, Amanda Waller runs a black ops government squad called Task Force X, more commonly known as the Suicide Squad, which is made up of DC super-villains who are being forced to help out on what are missions regular government types won’t touch. The villains help out because bombs are planted in their necks and if they step out of line they’re dead.

So Deadshot and crew head into Arkham and things go all wrong. Harley Quinn goes nuts when she sees her ex-boyfriend, The Joker, and Waller’s plan isn’t exactly what she sent the team in for. Things take another turn when Batman figures out what is going on and shows up to stop them. Then The Joker gets out of his cell and things go really crazy from there.

It’s a non-stop action packed super-villain adventure with a little Batman thrown in for good measure. This is a fun story that really gives the viewer some good insight into what makes these super-villains tick. The back of the box mentions that some of the villains will die, and that’s not an empty promise, but I won’t give any spoilers on that front.

Like most of the last few DC animated films, this one is rated PG-13 and it really pushes the limits on what is allowed in a PG-13 cartoon. There is a sex scene, and while no nudity is actually seen on screen, it is certainly implied. There are actually a few scenes that imply female nudity, which I really wasn’t expecting from a DC cartoon. There are a couple mild cuss words thrown in, the best being one of the Joker’s lines towards the end of the film; you’ll just have to watch it yourself to hear what he says. There is even a moment when Waller says “motherf-“ and is cut off before she can finish the word.

DC keeps pushing the limits with it’s PG-13 animated films and I won’t be surprised if they start getting R ratings somewhere in the future, but if they keep making quality animated films like Batman: Assault On Arkham and those that came before it, they’ll keep making great films, regardless of the rating.

The film is presented in 1.78:1 widescreen and DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 Surround sound. This is yet another great looking DC animated film. The sound seemed a little off getting too loud and too quiet at different times. I found myself turning the volume up and down throughout as needed.

You get some pretty solid special features on this one including: Commentary, A sneak peak at Justice League: Throne of Atlantis: (9 min.), Arkham Analyzed: The Secrets Behind the Asylum: (27 min.), The Joker’s Queen – Harley Quinn (13 min.) and Four Bonus Cartoons including Justice League Unlimited “Task Force X”, Young Justice “Infiltrator”, Batman: The Brave And The Bold “Emperor Joker” and The Batman “Two Of A Kind”.

Batman may not be the main character in Batman: Assault On Arkham, but that doesn’t make it any less entertaining to watch. Deadshot, Harley Quinn and the other villains are great characters that shine in the spot light this film shines on them.

Warner Bros. presents Batman: Assault On Arkham. Written by: Heath Corson. Directed by: Jay Oliva and Ethan Spaulding. Starring: Kevin Conroy, Neal McDonough, Hynden Walch, Troy Baker and John DiMaggio. Running time: 75 minutes. Rating: PG-13. Released: August 12, 2014.

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