Summer’s over, and for thousands of children nationwide, school is once again in session. Buses are gassing up, times tables are being memorized and mountains of homework is being assigned (well, it sure feels like mountains!). We realize that education is extremely important, but whether you’re currently facing a new semester or retirement, we think everyone can agree that going back to school in the fall has never been much fun.
Of course, that would change considerably if the school year kicked off with a screening of Batman: Assault on Arkham, the latest DC Universe Original Movie.
We know what you’re thinking. Animated Batman movies may be fun, but they’re not exactly educational tools. Well, here at DCComics.com, we respectfully disagree with that assessment. In fact, we believe there are many lessons that can be learned from Batman: Assault on Arkham. But to keep this from turning into a lecture, how about we look at five?
Lesson #1 – Stay Out of Trouble
You could probably learn this lesson from any super hero movie, but Batman’s a particularly effective teacher, and Batman: Assault on Arkham may be his most effective course on the subject yet. We know that committing crimes will land us in jail, or possibly in a scary mental institution such as Arkham, but Assault introduces the Suicide Squad to the world of DC cinematic animation. We’re definitely law abiding citizens over here, but we have to admit, the thought of taking up a life of crime seems FAR less appealing when it could result in having bombs implanted in our necks and being forced on extremely dangerous missions for a shadowy government agency. Especially when those missions could put us at odds with Batman.
Lesson #2 – Quality is Far More Important than Quantity
We’re going to say this right up front. This is a Batman movie that doesn’t have a whole lot of Batman in it. Rather, this story focuses on the Suicide Squad and their mission to retrieve some information from the Riddler, who’s currently locked away in Arkham. However, that’s not to say Batman isn’t in it. Rather, the Dark Knight plays a crucial supporting role in the story…and he OWNS every scene he’s in. It’s the ultimate proof that quality is far more important than quantity. It’s true when it comes to Batman scenes, as well as everything else.
That said, don’t think for a moment that the only good scenes in this movie are the ones with Batman. The Suicide Squad is one of the most entertaining casts of characters assembled thus far, and they can kick butt with the best of them, as demonstrated in this awesome scene.
Lesson #3 – Learn to Roll With the Punches
One of the most entertaining aspects of heist movies—and Batman: Assault on Arkham is a heist movie—is that the heist almost always begins with a foolproof, well conceived plan that then gets completely blown up, forcing the characters to improvise. The same is true for this movie. Only the characters in question are the killers, crazies and brutes of the Suicide Squad. Their way of improvising typically involves a lot of explosions. Plus, you have the added drama of all of them being there against their will. Not all of them like each other and none of them hold any loyalty to the woman who “recruited” them to the Squad, Amanda Waller. You know they’re going to try to escape or turn the tables on their captor the first chance they get.
Of course, Batman: Assault on Arkham also does a good job teaching this lesson in the completely literal sense. Lots and lots of punches get thrown in this movie. We can’t imagine what sort of pain you’d be in if you didn’t learn to roll with those things. Ouch.
Lesson #4 – Continuity Isn’t Always King
Batman: Assault on Arkham is so entertaining in part due to the liberty and freedom it has concerning its characters. Most of the characters don’t carry with them a ton of expectations. However, even more crucial is that this particular animated film isn’t in the same continuity as the last few DC Universe Animated Movies. This might prompt a few of you to consider skipping it, but that would be a mistake.
Setting this movie outside that continuity gives the filmmakers a great deal of freedom. Characters die within the story, lending the movie some moments of truly genuine surprise. This is one flick that takes a few twists that you absolutely will not see coming.
Of course, that’s not to say it’s completely out of continuity. Batman: Assault on Arkham is set within the Arkham continuity. It’s the same world as Batman: Arkham Asylum, Batman: Arkham City and the rest of the games. So if you’re a fan of that series, consider this a must watch.
Lesson #5 – Avoid Rebound Relationships
We’re all looking for love and companionship, but when dating, it’s usually better to avoid rebound relationships. The last thing you want to be is a stand-in for someone’s ex. Especially when that someone is Harley Quinn and that ex is the Joker. Some things are FAR more painful than heartbreak.
See, learning can be fun? Now, your homework for the weekend is to buy or rent Batman: Assault on Arkham and watch it. Heck, you may even want to watch it twice, just to make sure you fully understand it. Then discuss it with your fellow students in the comments area below. Class dismissed!