The Batman Arkham Universe includes Batman: Assault on Arkham, the direct-to-video release from 2014.
I didn’t know what to expect and but I enjoyed the movie – the characters and the setting were Arkham through and through and it added more life to the universe, seeing the characters interact in this way in settings I had come to know from my play-throughs of the games.
Assault did a great job of bringing you back to the environments and set pieces of Arkham Asylum and City, from Iceberg Lounge and Penguin’s Museum to Pioneer Bridge and the Gotham skyline – it was all familiar and had the feeling of returning. I liked seeing the places and vehicles that I had been in the games and it was a nice touch.
Since Assault on Arkham is set before either Asylum or City I enjoyed seeing Batman’s interaction with these locations, feeding into the story that both the Dark Knight and his enemies have been involved with Arhkam prior to the mentioned games.
The personalities that get some more treatment include Deadshot; he plays the brooding part of Batman for most of the film when the Dark Knight is absent. In the games proper he doesn’t seem to be this formidable or serious, but it does work well for the film.
We also get some more attention paid to the Harley/Joker relationship and several of its destructive angles. Nothing new here but we’re always fascinated when two people are together, no matter what form that takes.
I mentioned this when going through the Arkham Unhinged comic series but I’m always impressed by how much the Arkham universe can take on; it can handle pretty much all of the Batman mythos – including Suicide Squad – and just fold it in and have it make sense.
Not an easy thing to do and shouldn’t be taken for granted; Batman: Assault on Arkham is worth the watch if you want to future enjoy the Arkham Universe.