Batman: Assault on Arkham

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Batman: Assault on Arkham
'Batman Assault on Arkham' cover.jpeg
Home video release cover art
Directed by
Produced by James Tucker
Written by Heath Corson
Based on Batman: Arkham
by Rocksteady Studios
DC Entertainment
Music by Robert J. Kral
Edited by Christopher D. Lozinski
Distributed by Warner Home Video
Release dates
  • July 25, 2014 (2014-07-25) (San Diego)
  • July 29, 2014 (2014-07-29) (Digital)
  • August 12, 2014 (2014-08-12) (Physical)
Running time
76 minutes
Country United States
Language English
Box office $4,571,025[1]

Batman: Assault on Arkham is a 2014 direct-to-video animated superhero film that is part of the DC Universe Animated Original Movies.[2] Jay Oliva and Ethan Spaulding direct, with a script by Heath Corson, and James Tucker producing.[3] The film was screened at the 2014 San Diego Comic-Con International on July 25, 2014, and it was released digitally on July 29 and on physical media on August 12.[4]

The film is set in the universe of the Batman: Arkham video game franchise, occurring after Arkham Origins,[5] though Jay Oliva states it takes place about two years before Arkham Asylum.[6] The story focuses primarily on the Suicide Squad, particularly Batman villains Deadshot and Harley Quinn with Batman in a supporting role. In the film, a Suicide Squad of six criminals is dispatched by Amanda Waller to break into Arkham Asylum, where they must contend with the asylum's inmates and Batman as they attempt to complete their mission. The film stars Kevin Conroy as Batman/Bruce Wayne (reprising his role as Batman from the DC Animated Universe, among other numerous DC properties, including the Arkham series), Neal McDonough as Deadshot/Floyd Lawton, Hynden Walch as Harley Quinn/Dr. Harleen Quinzel (who reprises her role from The Batman) and Matthew Gray Gubler as Riddler/Edward Nygma. In addition, Troy Baker, C.C.H. Pounder, Nolan North, and Martin Jarvis reprise their roles of Joker, Amanda Waller, Penguin/Oswald Cobblepot and Alfred Pennyworth from Arkham Origins (with North and Jarvis also appearing in Arkham City), while Jennifer Hale reprises her role of Killer Frost from the DCAU and other properties.


Batman rescues Riddler from a black ops assassination ordered by Amanda Waller, returning him to Arkham Asylum. Invoking Priority Ultraviolet, Waller captures criminals Black Spider, Captain Boomerang, Deadshot, Harley Quinn, KGBeast, Killer Frost and King Shark forming the Suicide Squad. Their mission is to break into Arkham Asylum and recover a thumbdrive in the Riddler's cane. While in Waller's employ, Riddler copied information on the squad, and is planning to make it public. She forces them to comply by threatening to detonate nano-bombs implanted in their necks. KGBeast, who believes the bombs are a bluff, walks out on Waller and is killed as an example to the others.

The six are deployed to Gotham City, where Penguin has been hired by Waller to give them arms, equipment, and a place to stay. While at his club, Killer Frost receives a personal mission from Waller to kill the Riddler, and Harley has a one night stand with Deadshot. Tensions immediately arise among the group, particularly between Deadshot and Captain Boomerang, who resents Deadshot's assumption of the leadership role on the team. As part of the mission, Harley breaks into a doll store and begins trashing it. Batman arrives, demanding she tell him where Joker hid a dirty bomb. Batman has been ransacking the city in search of it, even resorting to interrogating Riddler for answers. However, Harley denies knowledge of the bomb's location, and Batman has her sent back to Arkham.

At Arkham, Joker's taunting of Harley causes her to attempt shooting him. This distraction allows the Suicide Squad to successfully infiltrate Arkham in a variety of disguises, and proceed smoothly with their mission by playing the previous day's footage. Although some problems and fights arise, the team gets by with relative ease and finds the cane in the storage room as well as Harley's mallet. Batman arrives and fights each member of the squad, which ends in a duel with Black Spider. Batman defeats Black Spider and switches costumes with him, joining the Suicide Squad without their knowledge. Meanwhile, Deadshot learns that the cane contains no data and that Killer Frost is missing. Killer Frost locates Riddler, but decides not to kill him when she learns that he knows how to defuse the bombs implanted in their necks. Though angry at Harley, Joker realizes her assault weakened his cell, and he escapes.

The Suicide Squad agree to spare Riddler in exchange for his help, and most are able to deactivate their bombs with the use of a device intended for electroshock therapy. Black Spider, who wasn't with the group due to Batman, and King Shark, whose skin was too thick, however, are gruesomely executed by Waller when she learns what the Squad has done. As "Black Spider" is still alive, Riddler deduces him as Batman, and tries to shoot him. The four remaining members of the Squad try to escape, before Harley reunites with an angered and abusive Joker. Joker then takes Harley and frees all of the asylum inmates. Joker reveals that his dirty bomb was hidden within Harley's mallet, which was stored at Arkham, and that he will detonate it in the city. Chaos spreads across Arkham Island as police sortie with super-criminals, and teamwork in the Suicide Squad collapses as Killer Frost and Captain Boomerang abandon Deadshot.

The Suicide Squad frantically and separately try to escape, but only Deadshot is successful (Captain Boomerang is captured while Killer Frost appears to be killed in an explosion after Bane destroys the police car she was trying to escape in). Deadshot travels to Gotham City by stolen helicopter (which he fought with Captain Boomerang over), but discovers Joker and Harley were stowing away with him. As Deadshot battles Joker in the helicopter, Harley is unable to take a side, and instead, she accidentally steers the helicopter into a skyscraper. In the aftermath, Deadshot finds himself alone with the Joker, while Batman chases after Harley. Batman easily defeats Harley and defuses the bomb hidden in her mallet, saving the city. A heavily wounded Deadshot is likewise able to defeat the Joker and pins him in the helicopter, which tips over and out of the building. It is later mentioned that the police never find his body.

An epilogue shows Batman confronting Amanda Waller over the Suicide Squad program, which caused collateral damage in Arkham and cost the lives of many, all because Waller wanted the Riddler dead (The ensuing chaos gave him the opportunity to escape Arkham). Waller assures him that she and her agents will capture him next time, but Batman claims there will be no next time and warns her to avoid such action in the future. The much too arrogant Waller, however, dismisses his advice. After Batman leaves, Deadshot—now a free man and reunited with his daughter—is shown about to assassinate Waller with a sniper rifle. The film ends before he pulls the trigger.


Some characters from the Arkham games appear in non-speaking cameos, including Bane, Two-Face, and Poison Ivy.


Batman: Assault on Arkham (Music from the DC Universe Movie)
Film score by Robert J. Kral
Released July 30, 2014
Length 51:21
Label WaterTower Music

The soundtrack to Batman: Assault on Arkham was released on July 30, 2014, with music composed by Robert J. Kral.[11]



Scott Mendelson of Forbes roundly praised Assault on Arkham for its action, artstyle, humor, voices, and characters, calling it one of the best films of DC's direct-to-video lineup. He described it as a "gleefully immoral" heist film which, having "no real [plot] arc to speak of", relies on its violent action and clever character dynamics within the Suicide Squad to carry it. Due to its villainous protagonists, dark comedy, and sexual content, Mendelson considers the production of Assault on Arkham an experimental decision by DC, and a successful experiment as it tells a style of comic book story that would never get approval as a live-action project.[12]

Seth Robison of Newsarama was far more critical, considering the animation, characterization, and storytelling in the film poor. He had particular dislike for the voice acting, which he believed squandered a talented cast by delivering a "disjointed" performance, and for Assault on Arkham‍ '​s interpretation of Amanda Waller, which he believed simplified her into merely another villain. He further found Deadshot's sympathetic characterization opaque to non-comic readers and Harley Quinn's crazy act obnoxious. Overall, Robison deemed the experience of the film "superficial" and thought it compared unfavorably to those offered by the Arkham video games and the Justice League Unlimited episode "Task Force X".[13]


  1. ^ "Batman: Assault on Arkham - DVD Sales". The Numbers. Nash Information Service. Retrieved January 29, 2015. 
  2. ^ Gallagher, Brian (July 20, 2013). "COMIC-CON 2013: 'Son of the Batman' and 'Batman: Assault on Arkham' Announced for 2014". MovieWeb. Archived from the original on July 22, 2013. Retrieved May 5, 2014. 
  3. ^ a b c d e "Warner Bros. Brings "Batman: Assault On Arkham" To DVD/Blu-Ray August 14.". Comic Book Resources. May 7, 2014. Archived from the original on May 7, 2014. Retrieved May 7, 2014. 
  4. ^ Sneider, Jeff (July 8, 2014). "Comic-Con: Warner Bros. Bringing Peter Jackson's ‘Hobbit’ Finale, ‘Mad Max’". The Wrap. Archived from the original on 2014-06-18. Retrieved June 18, 2014. 
  5. ^ Reiner, Andrew (May 16, 2014). "Batman: Arkham Assault Movie Releasing On Blu-Ray, DVD This Summer". Game Informer. GameStop. Archived from the original on May 16, 2014. Retrieved May 16, 2014. 
  6. ^ Get a Sneak Peek at Batman: Assault on Arkham in a New Featurette -
  7. ^ a b c Vieira, Anthony (April 20, 2014). "‘Batman: Assault on Arkham’ Trailer – The Animated Movie Based on the ‘Arkham’ Games". ScreenRant. Archived from the original on April 19, 2014. Retrieved April 20, 2014. 
  8. ^ Miereanu, Gary (June 4, 2014). "It's @HyndenIsHere voicing equal parts of crazy, vicious & hilarious as #HarleyQuinn in #BatmanAssaultonArkham". Twitter. 
  9. ^ a b Miereanu, Gary (June 13, 2014). "@UniversoDC1 @DallasLKinard @TheJohnDiMaggio IMDB is incorrect. Also rightfully credit @jhaletweets as Killer Frost. #BatmanAssaultonArkham". Twitter. 
  10. ^ Miereanu, Gary (July 17, 2014). ".@Android00154 Actually, @nolan_north does double duty in #BatmanAssaultonArkham as both KGBeast & Cobblepot in distinctly different accents". Twitter. 
  11. ^ "Batman: Assault on Arkham - Music From The DC Universe Animated Movie". WaterTower Music. 
  12. ^ Mendelson, Scott (August 6, 2014). "Review: 'Batman: Assault On Arkham' Is Among The Best DCAU Films Yet". Archived from the original on August 5, 2014. Retrieved August 6, 2014. 
  13. ^ Robison, Seth (July 31, 2014). "Batman: Assault on Arkham Review: Bat-Fans, Look Elsewhere for Your Arkham Fix". newsarama. Archived from the original on September 4, 2014. Retrieved August 9, 2014. 

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