Assault on Arkham Review

 

Violence. Sex. Crude Humor. When DC’s Suicide Squad comes out that’s exactly what I am expecting to see. Nothing more, nothing less. Why? Well, simply because a story about villains isn’t interesting if it’s serious. It is interesting, but it usually isn’t for kids. Some kids can watch villains such as Kingpin from Daredevil and not be phased by it really. I could when I was younger. Most kids though, or should I say most parents, don’t want to expose their kids to such dark corners of humanity. It’s why we have parental controls on televisions (as we should.) So, we’ve established that villains aren’t for kids. What makes almost anything on television for children? Comedy. DC is a business. They don’t want to get pounded by Marvel in the movie department. As much as both companies swear on their company’s success that they don’t try to compete, but rather “execute their own vision,” they’re lying. DC has to make this movie funny, or the villains come off as pure evil. Violence and sex are a given. It’s a superhero film so violence is second nature. Sex mainly due to the marketing of Margot Robbie as Harley Quinn. I’m not mad at them for spinning it that way (because it is working. People on the internet love her already. Would they be saying that if her butt wasn’t showcased in every tv spot? I don’t know.) So those three things are going to carry the Suicide Squad to the finish line. I’ll be the first to admit I’m not on the hype train for this film. The ONLY reason I’m even watching the hype train leaving the station is because of the timing of the film. It’s a DC Summer right now. Marvel doesn’t have anything planned and other than Civil War II and Black Panther, I’m not interested in any Marvel comics right now. DC holds every fan in the palm of their hands right now. The main reason I’m not on the hype train is because of BvS. I am completely aware they are two different films, tonally, direction wise, characters, plot, everything. But BvS still left a bad taste in my mouth. That being said, I’m still going to see the movie, twice actually, and enjoy it for what it is. Your casual fan does not know who the Suicide Squad is. The DC animated movie Assault on Arkham is a perfect snippet of the Squad, as well as a hint as to the plot of the movie. Marvel owns cinematic movies right now. DC has owned the animated movie scene for quite some time.

If you have never seen a DC Animated movie, I envy you. Watching them all for the first time is something special. My two favorites are Justice League Doom and Batman: Under the Red Hood (which I’m reviewing this Friday!!) The DC Animated movies don’t waste time. They dive right into the plot because most people who watch these movies know the characters like the back of their hand. No need for setup or origins, just a nice plot. Assault on Arkham is no different. The movie opens up with the Riddler being the Riddler. He’s toying with Amanda Waller, who is the person who organizes the squad. She sends a team to capture Riddler, but Batman intervenes. Waller is pissed and says “Assemble Task Force X.” This is where we get our introduction to the team. Now, only three members from this animated movie are in the upcoming film, but they’re probably the most important. The new members are Black Spider, Killer Frost, KGBeast, and King Shark. The three original members are Deadshot, Harley Quinn, and Captain Boomerang. We get a upbeat dubstep anthem as the squad is being introduced in the film. Like I said earlier, they’re criminals, so any light heartedness, including the music, helps. The squad is brought to a room where Amanda Waller greets them. She gives them a rundown of what they are going to do. The job is simple. Break into Arkham to get a drive from Riddler’s cane. Don’t want to do the job? Too bad. Waller tells them they all have trackers and explosives planted in them if they try to escape. KGBeast smells bull crap. He tests Waller and is killed seconds later when he tries to leave. This will probably be in the upcoming movie. I don’t see why they wouldn’t put it in. The story moves on nicely from here. The crew gets Harley sent into Arkham (where Batman makes a cameo) and the games begin. It’s a nice sequence with some solid action pieces. We’re introduced to Joker in Arkham. He’s locked up. To anyone who is not familiar with Joker and Harley’s twisted relationship, you need to see this movie so you’re not caught off guard. I’m so used to their nonsense, it’s second nature to me. Some people however may be caught off guard if Joker starts to beat Harley Quinn in Suicide Squad. It reeks of a rapist and victim relationship which is shielded by comedy. It isn’t easy to watch sometimes because Joker is nutty, but at the end of the day, Harley is a messed up soul. Joker goes too far no doubt, but it can be argued that Harley does in fact want it. After they get past Joker, the squad engages in a fight with Batman. He’s trying to find a bomb the Joker has. A cool part happens in the film where Batman beats Black Spider and switches costumes with him. The squad has no clue. Deadshot finds the cane, but nothing is there. They all realize that Killer Frost is gone. Earlier in the film, Amanda Waller was in her ear saying she had a special mission in mind for Frost. This will more than likely happen too. The Suicide Squad is filled with a bunch of criminals. Most criminals don’t do well in teams. This is the reason Waller implants the bombs in their necks, and the reason the squad fights with each other throughout the film. I would be surprised if DC doesn’t put these elements in the film in August.

Frost is tasked to kill Riddler (that was Waller’s plan all along. She’ll more than likely egg the squad on in the cinematic version as well.) Riddler tells Frost that she doesn’t want to do that though because he knows how to get rid of the bombs in their necks. He tells them they have to be shocked. During the process, King Shark is killed. Black Spider is killed as well since he’s in Batman’s suit. It is then revealed to the squad that Batman has swapped costumes with Black Spider. An awesome sequence comes next when Joker escapes and causes a prison riot. Prisoners of all kinds try to escape including Bane and Poison Ivy. This DC Animated Universe doesn’t waste time with Easter eggs. They get right to it in terms of villains and I love that. During the riot, the squad is disbanded. The mission is a lost cause so everyone is out for themselves. Killer Frost is apparently killed as well here. Captain Boomerang and Deadshot fight for control over a helicopter to escape. Harley’s mallet has the bomb Batman’s been looking for. She decides to go with Joker, who ends up on the helicopter Deadshot steals. An interesting scene happens here where Harley can’t choose between Joker and Deadshot. Her and Deadshot had sex earlier in the film, but Joker is her puddin’. It’s a cool story but I don’t know if it will be done in the cinematic film. The movie reaches its climax as Deadshot defeats Joker. He ties Joker down to a helicopter and the helicopter falls to the street. Batman defeats Harley and defuses the bomb. Batman then confronts an arrogant Amanda Waller. He tells her enough with the Suicide Squad. She waives Batman. A red dot appears on her chest as Deadshot is shown pointing his sniper at Waller. The screen cuts to black and the credits roll, but he definitely shot her.

STAR POWER

This movie explains some of the casting for the cinematic film. Throughout the animated movie, Captain Boomerang is the funniest to me. Jai Courtney is playing Boomerang. I don’t really like Courtney but this role may be right for him. Captain Boomerang seems to be the comic relief in this movie. If they execute it right, he will be the funniest character here too. Margot Robbie’s casting as Harley Quinn makes perfect sense. The girl is coming off of some really good films such as The Wolf of Wall Street. In Assault on Arkham, Harley’s sexiness is played up as well. She continually flirts with Deadshot, and the sexual tension with her and Joker, can always be felt. Robbie is a good actor as well, so she should do fine. The casting decision that makes the most sense however is Will Smith as Deadshot. Throughout this movie, Deadshot is sort of the main character. He is portrayed as level-headed, smart, and somewhat of an anti-hero. When he is captured at the beginning, he is looking at a picture of his daughter. In the trailers, Deadshot appears to be hugging a little girl who will more than likely be his daughter too. He is probably the most likable character in the movie. At the end when he kills Waller, his daughter is with him. She doesn’t say anything, but it’s a cool moment to see him finally be reunited. Although, I think Rick Flag may serve as the “leader” in the cinematic film, the casting of Will Smith shows DC is going for the anti-hero approach here as well. Will Smith is an amazing actor and most people love him. If anyone can humanize a villain, he can.

Overall, Assault on Arkham is a great DCAU film. It isn’t the best and it doesn’t stand out to me in terms of plot or action. But it is a great introduction to the Suicide Squad. For those not familiar with the Harley/Joker relationship, this movie is a must watch. DC more than likely will follow this tone as well. A total of three characters die in the animated film. Expect at least one or two in the cinematic film. Like I said earlier, violence, sex, and crude humor are going to be the main staples of the movie. It isn’t a bad thing. The Suicide Squad is supposed to be fun. A different take on Batman’s universe (even though they aren’t all Batman’s villains.) This movie will give you a taste of what’s to come August 5th!

I hope you enjoyed this review! Follow me on Twitter @Hero_Review to stay up to date on my upcoming reviews!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s