DC Universe Animated Original Movies - BATMAN: ASSAULT ON ARKHAM

As we continue our regular look at the many DC Universe animated original movies, Matt Donabie checks out the most recent release in the series - Batman: Assault On Arkham.

Batman: Assault On Arkham is based on the very popular Batman Arkham video games, but you don't need to have played the game(s) to get a kick out of this movie.

Directed by Jay Oliva and Ethan Spaulding, Batman: Assault On Arkham focuses more on a criminal special task force created by CIA operative Amanda Waller, rather than Batman himself. However the use of the Dark Knight is done so well that you won't feel short changed by the slightly misleading title. This is quite a mature movie, with cursing, and a (tastefully done) sex scene - basically it's not for little kids, and more than ever DC are really pushing the PG-13 rating to its limit.

What we have is a black ops mission to assassinate the Riddler which is foiled by Batman, prompting Amanda Waller to assemble "Task Force X" - comprised of morally ambiguous vigilante Black Spider, seductive ice queen Killer Frost, savage brute King Shark, Australian scoundrel Captain Boomerang, crazy Harley Quinn and the cynical assassin Deadshot. These sociopathic misfits have to then put aside all their differences to work together, because you don't want to upset Miss Waller!

This group of criminals are vicious, and the movie has no trouble depicting that. Innocent people die, in fact main characters die, yet at some points you actually start rooting for (some) of the bad guys, and fear that Batman will turn up any minute and serve up his own unique brand of justice. When the Dark Knight does appear, it's with a very powerful on screen presence - his barely visible eyes staring intensely from within the cowl. Batman (voiced by the legendary Kevin Conroy) is depicted in the new look of the costume with the armoured detailing - as seen in the New 52. A look that works really well in this movie.

Overall Batman: Assault On Arkham plays out kinda like a comic book villains version of Ocean's Eleven. It's a powerful, captivating experience, one that keeps you guessing throughout with unexpected twists and turns, and keeps the tension up from start to finish. From its electronic heavy rock soundtrack to the Taratino-esque roll call opening credits sequence, you know right away you are in for a completely different animated movie. An absolute must see for any fan of comic book movies.

Justice League: The New Frontier
Wonder Woman
Green Lantern: First Flight
Superman/Batman: Public Enemies
Justice League: Crisis on Two Earths
Batman: Under The Red Hood
Superman/Batman: Apocalypse
All-Star Superman
Superman/Shazam! The Return of Black Adam
Green Lantern: Emerald Knights
Batman: Year One
Justice League: Doom
Superman vs The Elite
Superman: Unbound
Justice League: The Flashpoint Paradox
Warped Factor
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