Villains get their day in ‘Batman: Assault on Arkham’

“Batman: Assault on Arkham” is a direct-to-video animated superhero film. Kids First film critics Keefer B. and Anthony A. weigh in.

Vigorous! This is your typical, entertaining comic book film, only this time you’re cheering for, and looking from, the bad guys’ point of view.

Amanda Waller (C.C.H. Pounder) assembles a team of six criminals, called The Suicide Squad. Their mission is to break into Arkham and retrieve The Riddler’s (Matthew Gray Gubler) cane. However, it does not go according to plan.

This film is rated PG-13 for violence, sexual content, and language, and I agree with this film’s judgment. Not long ago, I wrote a blog post about the rating system and how casually the ratings are letting mature content into PG-13 films without warning. I can’t complain, since this film gives us a clear heads up! I will say, towards the end, one of the film’s characters says, “M———–” and then the audio cuts off. I don’t believe that counts as using the “F” word.

The characters are dynamic. As much as I love heroes, I adore villains. A protagonist is nothing without an antagonist and these criminals take the cake. “Batman” villains are unlike your regular, “Want to take over the world” bad guys. They are complex criminals that are assassins, deranged psychologically, destined to kill and maim for fun, and sometimes all of the above at once.

What’s even better, these characters are lesser known villains such as King Shark (John DiMaggio), Captain Boomerang (Greg Ellis) and more — all with their own vendetta both personal and business. This creates engaging conflict between the characters.

The artistry in the animation never ceases to amaze me. Batman’s universe is dark and brooding with lots of shadows and dim lights. Colors like red, green, and purple are done in darker shades instead of bright tones. The characters all have costumes and designs that define them. The brightly colored suit of the Joker (Troy Baker) stands out from the rest of the characters while still looking like a part of the world he lives in.

My favorite character is Deadshot (Neal McDonough). Deadshot is the leader who only wants to be with his daughter. He’s cunning, a sharp shooter, and deadly. He even manages to get into Joker’s mind and outsmart him. That’s impressive.

My favorite scene is when the squad is up against Batman (Kevin Conroy). This takes place in a building full of confiscated belongings from the criminals of Arkham. So if you’re a comic book fan, like me, see how many different Easter eggs you can spot. Plus this is one of the rare times you see Batman do what he does best.

I give this film 4 out of 5 stars and recommend it to 13- through 18-year-olds. As I mentioned earlier, there is content that is inappropriate for younger kids. This film is out on DVD and Blu-ray now.

— Keefer B.

Film critic Keefer B.

See Keefer’s video review here: http://youtube/HC0hWerdQsg

• • •

This movie is funny, but has a lot of action, violence, and gore. I really enjoyed this movie and I hope you will, too.

The film is all about a group of super villains called The Suicide Squad. They have to listen to a government employee named Amanda Waller who wants to kill the Riddler. If anyone from The Suicide Squad tries to run or disobey, or if they try to kill Amanda, they will die. All the members have a bomb in the back of their neck, which she can set off, and it will blow their heads clean off. So they all go to Arkham to try to kill the Riddler for her.

The main characters in this movie are The Joker (Troy Baker), Harley Quinn (Hynden Walch), Batman (Kevin Conroy), Deadshot (Neal McDonough), Killer Frost (Jennifer Hale), Captain Boomerang (Greg Ellis), The Riddler (Matthew Gray Gubler), Amanda Waller (CCH Pounder), King Shark (John Dimaggio), and Black Spider (Giancarlo Esposito). My favorite character in the movie is Deadshot, because he may be a bad guy, but he is more like a good guy. He will do anything for his daughter, even if he has to kill a few people. I guess that explains why he is in prison.

My favorite part in the movie is when The Joker gets out of jail and kills a few people, because it has a good amount of action. It also had a little gore and involves a smoke bomb. It is really cool and since The Joker’s out of jail, no one is laughing but him.

I would recommend this movie for ages 12 to 18 because it has a few bad words, killing, and gore.

— Anthony A., age 12

See Anthony’s video review here: http://youtube/IH_1raUfFFI