New To Blu: Assault on Arkham

We review the  DC blu-ray release, Assault On Arkham. 

"Did anyone see where the
plot went? I think I saw it go down
this sewer."
From the director of some of the very best DC animated films of the last several years, comes one of the most vapid, useless bores in the DC animated line. Assault on Arkham is a pointless submission offering nothing of worth to the game it follows nor the DC animated films as a whole. 

Employing the legendary voice of Kevin Conroy can't save this chore of a film. The writing is so dull, even Conroy's excellent voice is given nothing good to chew on. The same can be said for Troy Baker whose versatility is no doubt on display, yet his commendable Joker can't even crack through the dry, uninspired take on the character. Overall, the voice acting is merely adequate.

I'm really not certain why this needed to be made. The plot couldn't be any less interesting. It's like they blindfolded someone and had them throw darts at a tack board full of DC villains and tossed the selections into a hollow plot to break into Arkham. Upon entry, they are to court the Riddler and some vital data he has stored on a thumb drive attached to his cane. Sounds brilliant, I know.

Killer Frost, Deadshot, and Captain Boomerang, to name a few, are some of these villains who all are done as much justice as Batman and Joker. Having a mixed bag of DC villains would make for an interesting dynamic in a better script. Unfortunately, not a single character's trademarks are either taken advantage of in a unique way or cleverly linked to another's in order to lend some credence to the seemingly random choice in players.

The music ranged from passable to downright obnoxious. A couple of scenes broke out into abrasive
"Maybe if I put these two
wires together. Nope.
Still no story."
dubstep which didn't come remotely close to complementing the tone or energy of the moment. This is not a crack at dubstep. I like dubstep. In fact, the tracks chosen were actually pretty good on their own. When the first tune cued up, it sounded like an accident, as if someone had tripped and spilled dubstep from another film onto the animation cells.

There's next to nothing noteworthy whatsoever here, the animation being as equally dead in the water as everything else. There's no energy to the action. There's no sense of depth. The color tones offer no exciting contrast or pop. The cityscapes are rigid and lifeless. You have the freedom to go anywhere and do anything an artist's hands can create, and yet the entirety of the film felt as if the producers were pretending they didn't have a budget for a better camera or dolly. This is an animated film! Show me something that's not possible with traditional film making, maybe?

"Who me? Batman? My name
is on the cover? Yeah, I know.
I'm barely in this movie."
What I did enjoy cumulatively might run for about 10 seconds at a generous guess. One of the painfully few times any form of delight graced my senses was when Joker hits Harley Quinn with her own mallet.

Jay Oliva who has directed arguably the highest caliber DC toons made to date, including the awesome Dark Knight Returns, Justice League: War, and Flashpoint Paradox, falls far down off his mountain top and into a well of literally the worst animated DC offering in years. What happened?

-J.G. Barnes