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Western Animation / Batman: Assault on Arkham

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"Assemble Task Force X. We have another suicide mission."
Amanda Waller

Batman: Assault on Arkham is a 2014 animated film from the DC Universe Animated Original Movies; it is based on the Batman: Arkham Series universe, and takes place within said universe after the events of Batman: Arkham Origins Blackgate.

After The Riddler steals top-secret information from Amanda Waller, she summons Harley Quinn, Deadshot, Killer Frost, Black Spider, King Shark, and Captain Boomerang to form the latest iteration of "Task Force X" — better known as the Suicide Squad. Their mission, whether they want to accept it or not: infiltrate Arkham Asylum and steal back the information from the Riddler. Getting in proves easy for the Squad; when the Joker gets involved and Batman starts investigating, however, getting out alive becomes an altogether different matter.

Kevin Conroy, Troy Baker, C.C.H. Pounder, and Nolan North reprise their respective roles from Batman: Arkham Series as Batman, The Joker, Amanda Waller, and Penguin. Other voice talents tapped for the film include Hynden Walch reprising her role on The Batman as Harley Quinn (replacing Arleen Sorkin [Batman: The Animated Series, Batman: Arkham Asylum] and Tara Strong [Batman: Arkham City, Batman: Arkham Origins, Batman: Arkham Knight]), Conroy and Pounder's fellow DC Animated Universe voice actor Jennifer Hale reprising the role of Killer Frost, Neal McDonough (Desperate Housewives) as Deadshot (replacing Chris Cox [Batman: Arkham City, Batman: Arkham Origins]), Matthew Gray Gubler (Criminal Minds) as the Riddler (replacing Wally Wingert [Batman: Arkham Asylum, Batman: Arkham City, Batman: Arkham Origins, Batman: Arkham Knight]), Giancarlo Esposito (Breaking Bad) as Black Spider, Greg Ellis (Dragon Age) as Captain Boomerang, and John DiMaggio (Futurama) as King Shark.

You can watch a trailer for the film on YouTube. You can find the character page for this film under Miscellaneous in the Rogue's Gallery.

Following the reveal of Suicide Squad: Kill the Justice League, which reveals complete redesigns/personality overhauls of both King Shark and Captain Boomerang, alongside them still being alive, it's very likely Assault on Arkham falls into Canon Discontinuity.

Batman: Assault on Arkham provides examples of:

  • Action Dad: Deadshot has a daughter, whose picture he looks at frequently throughout the movie. At the end of the film, he manages to reunite with her.
  • Adaptational Badass:
    • This movie really plays Deadshot up as a Consummate Professional and leader of the Suicide Squad. Compare that to his status in the games as an optional encounter who, in Arkham City, is an Anti-Climax Boss taken out in a single sneak attack.
    • The Joker's fighting ability varies drastically from adaptation to adaptation, but in the Arkham series he's generally been capable of extreme violence but folds pretty quickly against a competent opponent. In this film he proves highly skilled with guns, knives, and various improbable weaponry, and absolutely dominates in combat against anyone who isn't Batman, which is especially impressive since everyone he ends up fighting lacks the compunction against killing him that Batman has.
  • Adaptational Skimpiness: Harley's main outfit exposes her arms and shoulders as well as shows off a lot of her midriff. Compare this with her originally conservative jester outfit that covered everything from head to toe with the exception of her face.
  • Adaptation Species Change: In the comics, King Shark is a real ocean-dwelling humanoid shark that came into existence through magical means. In the film, he appears far more like a reskinned Killer Croc with a cybernetic jaw.
  • Affectionate Nickname: Harley calls Deadshot "Cowboy" throughout the movie.
  • Air Vent Escape: The Riddler tries to wriggle through the nearest vent with his hands cuffed, but gets hauled back by Batman.
  • Alas, Poor Yorick: The Joker talks to Black Spider's head after he loses it.
  • Alliterative Name: Killer Frost's real name, Louise Lincoln.
  • Amazon Chaser: King Shark really likes Killer Frost's feisty nature, especially when she kicks his ass.
  • Antagonist Title: A non-villainous example. The title is officially named after Batman, but he spends most of his screentime as the Hero Antagonist to the Suicide Squad.
  • Anyone Can Die: It isn't called a suicide mission for nothing. KGBeast, King Shark, and Black Spider definitely don't make it out alive, they never showed the body of Killer Frost or The Joker,note  and Waller herself may or may not have been killed by Deadshot at the end of the movie.
  • Arson, Murder, and Jaywalking: Waller lists four reasons to kill the Squad members with explosives: running away, ending up captured, disobeying an order and giving a right answer too slowly.
  • Artistic License – Gun Safety: When calling Deadshot's bluff about not having any more bullets in his gun, Joker points the gun at his own face to look down the barrel. Granted, it's the Joker...
  • Artistic License – Prison: Correction officers are not issued weapons, particularly firearms, in Real Life for precisely the reasons shown in the film — Harley Quinn and Joker are both able to easily acquire a CO's handgun after incapacitating them (granted, the guard in Harley's case was Deadshot in disguise). Joker is able to initiate a mass breakout at the asylum after tear-gassing a guard and stealing his gun.
  • Ascended Extra: Deadshot's prior appearances in the games have him as just one of the many Rogues Batman has to apprehend. In City and Origins, encountering him is even delegated to sidequests. In this movie, he's a primary character and is exceptionally more competent than he is in the games.
  • Asshole Victim: Every one of the named characters who die (or are implied to have died) are unrepentant murderers.
  • An Asskicking Christmas: While more subtle about it compared to Arkham Origins, the film likely takes place during the Christmas season as well. At one point a Christmas tree can be seen near one of the desks in Arkham Asylum, and the Joker is even heard humming "Jingle Bells".
  • Avengers Assemble: After Waller gives the order to assemble a new Task Force X, we get a montage of each 'recruit' using their skills in a crime and getting captured in the process. Except Harley and Boomerang, who are already incarcerated. So is Deadshot, who is captured trying to escape.
  • Ax-Crazy: Everyone, but Harley and Joker in particular.
  • Badass Normal: Quite a few of these running around. Batman, Harley Quinn, Deadshot, Captain Boomerang, Black Spider, the one member of the hit squad that lasts a few minutes in a fight with Batman (Waller got her money's worth from that guy), and Joker all count.
  • Barbie Doll Anatomy: Both Harley and Killer Frost are seen topless from the front with enough of their breasts exposed to where the viewer would certainly see their nipples if this trope weren't in effect.
  • Batman Gambit: Not from the Trope Namer himself (though posing as Black Spider might count), but from Amanda Waller. Batman even calls her on it at the end of the film. Waller knew the convicts would go rogue once in Arkham, and was counting on that as a diversion for a lone assassin to go after The Riddler. She knew if she sent the whole team with the objective of killing The Riddler, it would arouse their suspicions as to why. However, despite "breaking a lot of eggs to make an omelette", Batman points out the flaw in her plans by calling her "a messy cook", as Riddler got away.
  • Batter Up!: Harley's weapon until she tracks down her hammer.
  • Beneath Suspicion: Deadshot uncuffs himself and takes down several black-clad Gas Mask Mooks, only to get taken down by a drug syringe In the Back from the middle-aged labcoat-wearing pencil-pusher he ignored.
  • Berserk Button: Oswald Cobblepot hates being called "Penguin". He also hates the Joker or anything related to him, like Harley Quinn, since the Joker trashed one of his shipments for a laugh.
  • Big Bad Ensemble: The Joker and Amanda Waller.
  • Big Blackout: The Batman cometh...
  • Blood Bath: King Shark leaps out of a bathtub full of blood when he's caught.
  • Bloodier and Gorier: Continuing the tread of recent DC Animated movies, the film does not shy away from showing blood flying.
  • Blood Is Squicker in Water: A guard that King Shark drags underwater gets this treatment.
  • Bloodless Carnage: Despite all the very bloody tropes above, the signature Suicide Squad detonating heads are rather clean. If blood is shown at all, it only flies through the air and doesn't actually splatter onto the surroundings.
  • Bodybag Trick: This is how the team sneaks Killer Frost into Arkham.
  • Boomerang Comeback: How Boomerang takes out one of the guards on the tower: sending the boomerang past him to hit him on its return.
  • Butt-Monkey: Captain Boomerang gets no respect, a lot of Amusing Injuries, and is basically the go-to guy when someone needs to be made a fool of.
  • The Brute:
    • King Shark is a classic example.
    • KGBeast would've been, too, if he'd not assumed Waller was bluffing about the explosive implants.
  • The Cameo:
    • Bane, Two-Face, Poison Ivy, and the Scarecrow are seen in Arkham when the Joker opens all the cells.
    • Earlier in the film, Zsasz is briefly seen holding a woman hostage before being taken out by Batman. This taking place in the Arkham setting, he's dispatched with a single hit.
    • Penguin also has a minor role earlier in the film.
    • Alfred briefly appears when Batman communicates with him after dealing with Zsasz. He's notably missing his mustache.
  • Camera Spoofing: After the Suicide Squad seizes control of the main security room at Arkham, they fix the cameras to play yesterday's footage. When Batman views the footage, he instantly realises what they have done when he spots two guards who don't work Fridays.
  • Canon Discontinuity: Initially set in the universe of the Arkham games, a few details in later games would establish the movie's place in the setting as this. Black Spider and King Shark are both killed by their neck bombs in this film, but the Red Hood DLC in Arkham Knight would establish that the titular Red Hood kills him years after this game, while King Shark appears alive and well (with a more comic-accurate design and a completely different personality to boot) in Suicide Squad: Kill the Justice League.
  • Can't Live with Them, Can't Live Without Them: Joker delivers the following line when Harley is trying to kill him.
    Joker: Women! Am I right, officer? Can't live with them, can't kick them out of a moving car.
  • Cannibal Larder: King Shark has human bodies hanging up in his hotel room like sides of beef in a butcher shop.
  • Car Cushion: During the drop, Killer Frost's chute malfunctions and she grabs onto King Shark; the two of them end up crashing onto a car. More justified than usual in that it's a harder-than-normal landing of two people using one parachute rather than a free-fall impact.
  • Cardboard Prison:
    • In one scene, the Squad wakes up restrained hand and ankle to a series of chairs. Everyone, that is, except Black Spider, who promptly appears with a knife to Captain Boomerang when he begins shooting his mouth off.
    • Ironically, Arkham itself is, for once, not one, and has a positive reputation where security is concerned, judging by the Squad's reaction to finding out their mission. The asylum is depicted with fairly reasonable security measures — Black Spider, Killer Frost, and Captain Boomerang are nearly caught during their disguised entrances to the facility, for example. At least until The Joker reveals you can open every single cell with one lever.
  • Car Fu: During the breakout, Bane starts tossing police cars as weapons.
  • Casual Danger Dialogue: The Joker and Deadshot are fighting in the back of a helicopter, while Harley (who can't fly) takes the stick:
    Joker: You know she's going to kill us, right?
  • Catchphrase: Harley Quinn has one: "Yahtzee!" It's a Share Phrase with the Joker.
  • Chekhov's Gun:
    • Harley gets caught by Batman while looking for her huge mallet. She later finds it in the evidence locker. And Joker was hiding his dirty bomb inside it.
    • When Harley flips out and unloads a pistol at the Joker, she aims through one of the air holes and fires several times, creating a slight hole in the wall. Joker later discovers that this spot is exactly where the door wiring runs.
  • C-List Fodder: KGBeast, Black Spider, and King Shark are not very prominent villains. They all end up dead.
  • Close-Call Haircut: In her fight with Batman at the toy store, Harley dodges a couple of batarangs. Though they miss, one clips the left tail of her jester hat, slicing off the ball at the end.
  • Company Cross References: Harley is introduced while watching the Warner Bros. animated series The Looney Tunes Show on her cellphone.
  • Conservation of Ninjutsu: Batman vs. half a dozen mooks with automatic weapons; no problem. One mook with a knife; problem.
  • Continuity Nod:
    • The Joker mentions having worked with Deadshot before.
    • The Iceberg Lounge is shown, including the walkway balcony from which the Penguin will end up shooting at Batman a few years later.
    • Bane is, again, dispatched by being dumped into the Gotham Bay. Likewise, Poison Ivy creates a giant flower and brainwashes a large number of the Arkham staff. And once the situation is under control, Batman leaves via Batwing to deal with another criminal that has escaped to Gotham.
    • Several of the rooms seen in the game are identical to how they appear in Arkham Asylum (Without the obvious damage the game's event causes on them). In particular, the room containing the Joker's cell (Circular room lined with high security cell, electrifyable floor and a tower in the middle - in the game it is where Batman captures Harley Quinn), and the underground ruin room where the team re-joins Killer Frost and the Riddler.
    • Some of the things Batman does refer to the Arkham games:
      • In particular using his cloak to strike an opponent when facing a knife wielding mook, which is how the player deals with blade-enemies in the game.
      • He also uses explosive gel, an Arkham mainstay, by shooting some in Bane's face and detonating it.
      • The entire fight against Waller's team in the opening is very similar to the games' Freeflow combat system in its execution to the point where as mentioned above, some of the moves are lifted straight up from the games. Batman moving from foe to foe, vaulting over some, attacking them all - with the occasional gadget, till they are all down is very familiar to anyone who has played the games.
      • Batman uses electric knuckle dusters, similar to the gauntlets he got off Electrocutioner's body in Arkham Origins.
      • Batman rides the back of Bane for a moment, as he stumbles and strikes things and inmates blindly. Batman pulls this move against most large enemies in the games, including yes, at one point, Bane himself.
      • He briefly uses a version of Detective Vision, which lets him see who is riding away from Arkham in the Helicopter. Unlike the games' it doesn't give him the outline of their skeletons, but does show their pulse and makes his eyes glow when he uses it like in the game.
      • And of course, Batman uses his grapple gun to get to the Batwing, which is how he gets in it every time in Origins when it is not landed.
  • Cool Sidecar: The KGBeast rides a motorbike with a sidecar that detaches to become a missile he uses to blow open the gate of the army base he is attacking.
  • Correlation/Causation Gag: Joker points a gun at the back of Black Spider's head. Before he can even pull the trigger, Spider's head explodes due to Waller choosing that moment to trigger his explosive leash. After a beat, Joker looks at the weapon and says "Best gun ever!"
  • Cover Innocent Eyes and Ears: At the very end, Zoe is seen playing with her teddy bear while her dad aims a sniper rifle at Waller literally on the same rooftop, with only headphones to protect her innocent ears.
  • Crazy Jealous Guy: The Joker enjoys himself taunting Harley's attempt to kill him, until she mentions having a new boyfriend. He later tries to kill that boyfriend.
  • Curb-Stomp Battle: Batman vs. the Suicide Squad was essentially him making the Squad look like a bunch of amateurs.
  • Curse Cut Short: At the end.
    Amanda Waller: MOTHERFU—
    Deadshot: Bang.
  • Curtains Match the Windows: Killer Frost is the only one to fit this.
  • Dark Action Girl: Harley Quinn and Killer Frost, full stop.
  • Dark Is Not Evil: Batman, of course. Black Spider also only kills criminals.
  • Deadpan Snarker: Killer Frost is definitely one of these, particularly when the Squad is discussing the operation. When Deadshot asks Harley how she'll react to being near Joker:
    Harley: I'm fine. We're done. He's a jerk. Whatever.
    Frost: [Beat] Well, I'm convinced.
  • Death by Irony:
    • King Shark's super-tough skin prevents the electroshock machine from shorting out his nano-bomb. This costs him his life when Waller detonates it.
    • On Killer Frost, maybe. She develops a good friendship with massive and superstrong brawler Shark, who saves her life. Only later for Bane, another massive and superstrong brawler, who prevents her escape and appears to have killed her.
  • Decoy Protagonist: The title suggests that Batman is the protagonist and the very beginning of the film seems to support but it is not a Batman movie. The film starts to follow the Suicide Squad after a few minutes and Deadshot is clearly the protagonist.
  • Defeat Means Friendship: This applies to King Shark after Killer Frost takes him down on their first meeting without using her frost powers. She apparently reciprocates until Shark's head-shattering kaboom.
  • Demoted to Extra: Batman gets far less screentime and far less plot relevance in this movie, since he isn't the central character (or even a Supporting Protagonist, as in Son of Batman). It feels like he's only in the movie for advertisement purposes.
  • Destructo-Nookie: Deadshot and Harley Quinn get intimate at one point. We don't see most of it, but the sounds of crashing and furniture breaking are audible from outside.
  • Did You Just Punch Out Cthulhu?:
    • Captain Boomerang says it best (to Deadshot):
      Captain Boomerang: Mate, you just out-crazied The Joker.
    • Harley does this when she expresses disbelief that Black Spider took out Batman in a fight. She was right to not believe it.
  • Disney Villain Death: Well, the Joker exits this installment cackling as he falls off the side of a skyscraper inside a crippled helicopter, which explodes when it hits the street. But of course, we all know how that always works out.
  • Disproportionate Retribution: When a nurse takes away Harley's iPhone because Harley is supposed to be focusing, Harley responds by biting the woman's ear off.
  • Domestic Abuse: Joker over Harley, as usual, both physically and psychologically.
  • The Dreaded:
    • As usual, the mere mention of Batman's name causes expressions of fear to appear on these hardened criminals and killers.
    • The Joker, as well. The Arkham's security guards are absolutely terrified when they learn that he is free.
    • Also, they are terrified when they see Poison Ivy free and walking to them.
  • Dumbass Has a Point: King Shark plays the role of the Squad's Dumb Muscle, but he's the one who gets the idea to play old footage on the security cameras so Batman won't immediately realize there's trouble at Arkham Asylum. (Too bad Batman knows the guard rotation by heart and realizes it's the wrong shift.)
  • Ear Ache: When a nurse takes away Harley's iPhone because Harley is supposed to be focusing, Harley responds by biting the woman's ear off.
  • Empty Quiver: The Joker has stolen a dirty bomb and hidden it somewhere in Gotham City.
  • Even Evil Has Loved Ones:
    • Deadshot is a caring and loving father; it's implied that his daughter is his Living Emotional Crutch.
    • Killer Frost and King Shark develop genuine feelings for each other during the course of the film.
  • Even Evil Has Standards: Despite evidently having no feelings for Harley Quinn (even after a quick romp in the sheets, which comes after he offered to kill her if Penguin wanted him to), Deadshot is not amused when Joker pistol-whips her.
  • Evil Versus Evil: The Squad are all murderous criminals who are forcibly "recruited" to deal with an issue caused by The Riddler. After Joker takes over as the Big Bad, the big climax is a fight between him and Deadshot.
  • Exactly What I Aimed At:
    • Batman aims a grapple at Zsasz while the latter is holding a woman hostage, hitting the wall behind him. Zsasz silently gloats, but then Batman gives it a good tug and takes him out with a chunk of wall. This is a nice Shout-Out to that moment in the opening fight from Batman Returns, where he does this to a clown holding Selina Kyle hostage.
    • Deconstructed minutes before, when Captain Boomerang misses a guard, gets called on it, goes "Wait for it..." and the boomerang curves around and does manage to hit the guard... but not before he has time to call for backup, which causes them quite a bit of trouble throughout the rest of the movie.
    • An ambiguous version with Harley's attempt to kill the Joker. She fires a "stray" bullet at a junction box during the Gun Struggle, exposing a wire and enabling Deadshot to tap into the security lines. But several shots she fires directly into the Joker's cell also expose a cable enabling him to escape. Was she trying to kill him, or did she help her Puddin' escape like she claims afterwards?
  • Explosive Leash: Powerful nanotech explosives are injected into the necks of the Squad, which allows Waller to track them—and kill them, if necessary. This is such a big deal that the mission is ordered specifically because Riddler has figured out that they can be destroyed with electroshock treatments.
  • Eye Cam: Happens twice to Deadshot on waking up, when he opens his eyes after being being drugged by Waller and induced in the Suicide Squad.
  • Fatal Family Photo: Inverted. Deadshot shows off his daughter's picture so much that it almost becomes a running gag. But he not only stays alive until the end, he's the one who actually gets the last laugh by reuniting with his daughter.
  • Fat Bastard: Oswald Cobblepot qualifies, as usual, but this movie also shows one of the least sympathetic iterations of Amanda Waller.
  • Flat Scare: After escaping from his cell, Joker simply walks out of the shadow toward a warden and says "Boo." This being The Joker, of course, the warden seriously freaks out.
  • Flipping the Bird: Killer Frost does this when the SCU tells her to surrender.
  • Foregone Conclusion: Since the film takes place before the events of Arkham Asylum and Arkham City, any character who appears in either game is naturally going to survive. This means that out of Task Force X at least Harley and Deadshot will make it out alive, Waller's plan to have Nygma assassinated will naturally fail, and the Joker survives his Disney Villain Death at the end, with Waller even bringing up how the body hasn't been found.
  • Freeze-Frame Bonus: When Harley is digging through the crate of Joker evidence, she throws the "Dopey" mask from The Dark Knight and a laughing fish to the side before finding her mallet.
  • Full-Frontal Assault:
    • Killer Frost is naked (or at least topless) as she rises out of her bodybag and kills the morgue attendant.
    • King Shark is similarly naked when fighting the cops during his arrest scene at the start of the movie.
  • Genius Ditz: Harley Quinn knows the layout of Arkham, the passwords used by the wardens, and how to rig the security cameras to loop previous footage. She's also as ditzy as she is in the main games.
  • Get into Jail Free: Harley Quinn breaks into a doll store so she will be captured and sent back to Arkham.
  • Groin Attack:
    • Killer Frost uses this twice, once on King Shark, then on Captain Boomerang.
    • Batman incapacitates King Shark with this while using electric fist paddles.
  • Hand-or-Object Underwear: Harley covers her breasts with her arm after doing some Toplessness from the Back to distract a guard in the Arkham basement.
  • Hate Sink: We clearly aren't supposed to like Waller in this continuity, especially with the Villain Protagonists and the Hero Antagonist.
  • Hellish Copter: Surprisingly, crashing into a building merely grounds Deadshot's stolen police chopper, as opposed to fireballing it. Sending it to street level did the trick, though.
  • Hero Antagonist: Batman uses what little screentime he gets being this for the Suicide Squad.
  • Hijacked by Ganon: Once again, Joker's plot eventually steals the development of the movie and downplays the original premise of the same.
  • Hooks and Crooks: During his fight with Deadshot on the construction site, the Joker uses a hook on a chain as a weapon.
  • Hotter and Sexier: The film has a higher level of Fanservice than other DC animated movies. It even includes the beginnings of a sex scene between Harley and Deadshot.
  • Huge Guy, Tiny Girl: King Shark and Killer Frost qualify due to the former's immense size.
  • Humongous-Headed Hammer: Harley Quinn's favourite weapon is a giant mallet whose head is large enough to cover her own head and chest. This trait is shared with most of the character's other depictions at the time, but this time it's actually an important plot point: The hammer's size makes it the perfect hiding place for the Joker's dirty bomb, which Batman spends most of the film trying to locate.
  • Husky Russkie: The KGBeast.
  • I Am a Humanitarian: King Shark is found at the beginning of the movie in a house. He has several bodies stripped and hung from the ceiling like slabs of meat at a butcher shop, plus a bathtub full of blood he was bathing in, heavily implying he was feeding on them. He also attempts to eat Killer Frost upon first meeting her. He also pulls an Arkham guard underwater after gaining entry into the asylum; blood floats to the surface a bit later.
    King Shark: I hate Italian food!
  • I Love the Dead: One of the coroners at Arkham's morgue sports a lustful grin when he sees Killer Frost's nude "corpse". Unfortunately for him, she isn't dead and soon he's the one in need of a body bag.
  • Imperial Stormtrooper Marksmanship Academy: At one point, a group of Arkham security guards armed with submachine guns have King Shark charging at them...and not one of them opens fire before he's slamming through their ranks.
  • Improbable Aiming Skills:
    • Deadshot and Boomerang's dart game.
    • Boomerang also has the distinction of somehow managing to boomerang a lunch tray.
    • Joker proves to be a crackshot with a pistol, too.
  • Interquel: The film takes place between Batman: Arkham Origins Blackgate and Batman: Arkham Asylum. According to the crew on a behind-the-scenes featurette, it takes place two years before Asylum.
  • It Works Better with Bullets: When he's held at gunpoint by The Joker, Deadshot confidently states that Joker has emptied the magazine and, once he fires and nothing happens, will get his face beaten in. Joker takes the time to check the barrel (by pointing it at his face), then fires it into the ceiling, giving Deadshot enough time to sucker punch him and steal back his Arm Cannon.
  • Jabba Table Manners: The Penguin is introduced noisily chowing down. On raw fish. And yet simultaneously he is also seen delicately sipping on fine wine.
  • Joker Immunity:
  • Kick the Dog: During the opening credits, a blink-and-you'll-miss-it shot shows that Killer Frost took this trope almost literally by freezing a bystander and her dog.
  • Kill and Replace: A non-lethal example, in that Batman knocks out Black Spider and takes his costume. However, it still turns out lethal for Spider when Waller detonates the explosive in his neck.
  • Kiss of Death:
    • Killer Frost freezes a coroner's head by kissing him, letting gravity do the rest.
    • Poison Ivy takes control of several guards and inmates this way during the mass breakout attempt.
  • Lame Pun Reaction: Also a deliberate Take That! to Batman & Robin.
    Killer Frost: That gives me the chills.
    Captain Boomerang: Ice puns? Really?
  • Late-Arrival Spoiler: This movie pretty much spoils The Stingers for both Batman: Arkham Origins and Batman: Arkham Origins Blackgate—namely Amanda Waller's presence and her building the Suicide Squad.
  • Lie Detector: When Harley claims not to know about the Joker's dirty bomb, Batman scans her physiology which reads as normal to establish that she's telling the truth. Which raises some Fridge Logic — she's just fought Batman hand-to-hand, so why would her heart-rate be steady?
  • A Lighter Shade of Black: Deadshot. While everyone else in his squad is an unrepentant murderer, batshit crazy, or just an Jerkass, he's a Consummate Professional Killer who at least tries to reduce collateral damage, stay calm at all times, and treat people with courtesy.
  • Literally Shattered Lives: Killer Frost's way of killing, freezing people's heads and letting them shatter by hitting the ground.
  • Lodged-Blade Recycling: Deadshot uses the two knives the Joker had stabbed him with to pin the Joker to the fuselage of the helicopter.
  • Malicious Misnaming: The Joker calls Deadshot "Deadhead" (or "Buckshot" once).
  • Mass "Oh, Crap!": The Suicide Squad when they see Batman, realize Batman is nearby, or pretty much at any reference to Batman whatsoever.
  • Most Common Superpower: The scene with the x-ray machine emphasizes how busty Killer Frost is by displaying her body silhouette onscreen.
  • Mr. Fanservice: Deadshot is seen in only his boxers in one scene.
  • Ms. Fanservice:
    • Harley Quinn and Killer Frost are both naked (or at least go full-frontal) at least once in the film.
    • And Poison Ivy, Stripperiffic as ever, shows up during the mass breakout at Arkham.
  • Mundane Solution: Waller solves the Riddler's riddles by using Google.
  • Mugged for Disguise:
    • Deadshot does this to the cop who is escorting Harley to Arkham.
    • Black Spider does this to a kitchen employee at Arkham.
    • Ironically, Batman is revealed to have done this to Black Spider in the film's climax.
  • Mythology Gag: The film has several of these.
    • The scene when Harley bursts into a doll shop in search of a Chatty Boo Boo doll bears a resemblance to the scene where Catwoman bursts in and vandalizes Shreck's Department Store in Batman Returns.
      • Cobblepot eating raw fish is another reference to the same movie.
      • Also from Batman Returns: Batman saves a female hostage from Zsasz by shooting his grapple-gun's hook into the brick wall behind them before retracting it so a chunk of the wall whacks the psycho in the back of the head.
    • The sex scene between Harley and Deadshot and their relationship in this movie is a reference to a similar sex scene between them and their relationship in the Suicide Squad title from the New 52. The rivalry between Deadshot and Captain Boomerang comes from the same title, too.
    • When Harley is rooting through one of Joker's crates in the evidence locker, she tosses out some masks based on the ones that Joker's bank robbers wore in the opening of The Dark Knight (one of which is itself a Mythology Gag that refers to Batman TV show).
      • She also tosses out a Laughing Fish.
    • The Batman costume Joker supposedly wore during the train heist resembles the Batsuit from the original animated series.
    • When Waller taunts Batman at the end of the film, she declares, "Checkmate"—which is another subdivision of Task Force X.
      • She also paraphrases The Joker in the same scene.
    • When Penguin and his goons draw their guns on Harley, it's Killer Frost who snarks, "Wuh wuh," sounding like the Penguin's chortle from the 1966 series.
  • Never Trust a Trailer: The trailers reveal that Joker gets his hands on a dirty bomb and makes it seem like that's the reason the Squad goes to Arkham. In fact, the Squad is there to (supposedly) steal a flash drive containing the names of every potential member of the Suicide Squad, while Batman is the one trying to find the bomb.
  • Non-Indicative Name: A name like Batman: Assault on Arkham would suggest that Batman is the focus. In reality, he's on screen for maybe twenty-to-thirty minutes max and spends most of that time as the Hero Antagonist to the Suicide Squad, who are the actual stars of the film, with Deadshot as the de facto leading man.
  • Noodle Incident: Apparently Joker used a Batman costume for a train heist once.
  • Not So Great Escape: Killer Frost's attempt to flee the riot in a cop car ends up this way once Bane grabs and tosses the one she tries to escape in.
  • Obfuscating Stupidity: Harley Quinn plays at being the ditz, but she's the one who knows all the passwords and layouts of Arkham.
  • Offscreen Teleportation: Even though what remains of the Squad have at least a minute's head start on him when they leave the medical bay, Joker still somehow manages to get ahead of and waylay them.
  • Oh, No... Not Again!: Harley's reaction to being captured for Task Force X.
  • Only Sane Man: Deadshot, who is the least insane of the bunch and doesn't grab the Villain Ball.
  • The Password Is Always "Swordfish": The warden uses his birthday (backwards) for most of the door codes, which makes it easy for Harley to break into the personal storage areas.
  • Pet the Dog: Deadshot brings out the best in Harley. When Joker prepares to shoot Deadshot, Harley gets in front of the Suicide Squad survivors and tells "Pudding" that she was manipulating them to free Joker. Later, when she has the option to shoot either of them, Harley decides to focus on flying the out-of-control helicopter instead so none of them die.
    • Killer Frost also warms up quickly to King Shark, despite their rocky first impression, after he saves her when her parachute fails. She returns the favor by helping him through his fear of heights to cross a bridge by blindfolding him and guiding him across.
  • Pinball Projectile:
    • When Deadshot and Captain Boomerang play darts
    • When Harley fires a gun into Joker's cell (since it causes a breach in the wall which Joker uses to escape)
  • Pineapple Surprise: After he escapes from his cell, the Joker confronts one of the patrolling guards. The guard has just enough time to realize that the Joker is twirling a grenade pin around his finger before the tear gas grenade on his belt goes off.
  • Pinned to the Wall: Deadshot uses a pair of knives (that the Joker had just stabbed him with) to pin the Joker to fuselage of the helicopter.
  • Police Are Useless: Averted. The opening shows five of the seven members of the Suicide Squad being captured by ordinary cops, not superheroes.
  • Pragmatic Villainy: After Deadshot points out that double-crossing a client would be bad for business, Penguin backs off his threat to kill Harley.
  • Precision F-Strike: When Joker and Harley see each other Deadshot's appropriate response is, "Shit."
  • Pre-Mortem One-Liner: "Bang!"
  • Prison Riot: The Joker triggers one when he unlocks all of the inmates' cells to create havoc to cover his escape.
  • Prove I Am Not Bluffing: Waller invites KGBeast to walk out of his cell when he doesn't believe her about the Explosive Leash. She's not bluffing.
  • Psychopathic Manchild: Harley is enjoying an episode of The Looney Tunes Show on her iPhone. When a social worker tries to take it away, she responds by biting off the social worker's ear.
  • Psychotic Love Triangle: Deadshot, Joker, and Harley. Harley is trying (and failing) to move on from her Mad Love with Joker by getting in a relationship with Deadshot, while Joker doesn't like Deadshot "touching what belongs to [him]".
  • Put on a Bus: Despite the presence of the Squad, longtime members Deathstroke, Rick Flagg, and Bronze Tiger are nowhere to be seen. The only people from the subplot in The Stingers of Origins and Blackgate to show up here are Amanda Waller and Deadshot.
  • Race Against the Clock: Batman is racing to disarm Joker's bomb before it kills an untold amount of people in Gotham. Meanwhile, the Suicide Squad is attempting to complete a suicide mission and get the Riddler to disarm their own bombs so they can get out of Arkham before the Joker's bomb detonates.
  • Rank Scales with Asskicking: The leader of the squad sent to kill Riddler in the opening holds his own surprisingly well against Batman.
  • Ruder and Cruder: The film contains words such as "shit" and "asshole" that were never used in the Batman: Arkham Series video games, which only contain mild profanity. It also contains scenes of Harley Quinn and Killer Frost nude (albeit with Barbie Doll Anatomy) as well as exploding heads, and there is no gore (aside from the occasional blood spatter) or nudity in the games.
  • Running Gag: "Yahtzee!"
  • Sacrificial Lamb: KGBeast is recruited by Waller like the others, but when he tries to walk out on the job, the bomb in his neck goes off—which proves that Waller has control of the Squad.
  • Saved by Canon:
    • Harley Quinn, Deadshot, Joker, and Riddler all play roles in either Arkham Asylum or Arkham City (or both), which prevents any of them from dying.
    • Two-Face appears to avoid the Literally Shattered Lives fate when his head is frozen by Killer Frost.
  • Secondary Character Title: The Suicide Squad are the main characters instead of Batman.
  • Serial-Killer Killer: Black Spider was one before being recruited.
  • Secret Compartment: Harley Quinn's signature oversized mallet becomes a Chekhov's Gun late in the movie, when it's revealed that its head contains the miniature nuke that Joker smuggled into Gotham.
  • Series Continuity Error: Bane is portrayed as an inmate of Arkham Asylum. In Batman: Arkham Asylum, Bane is an inmate of Blackgate who is brought to Arkham shortly before the events of the game for research on the TITAN formula.
  • Ship Tease: Killer Frost has some surprisingly nice moments with King Shark.
  • Shock and Awe: Batman takes down Waller's squad leader by forcing his knife to stab into a console, giving him a shock.
  • Shoulder Teammate: King Shark carries Killer Frost on his shoulder while the Squad is threading through the sewers.
  • Shout-Out: Killer Frost contemptuously calls Captain Boomerang "Captain Kangaroo" one time.
  • Shown Their Work: Despite Harley's competence at fighting, the moment she gets a hold of her mallet, Batman takes her down with one move. This might seem like classic Rule of Funny, until you remember that Joker hid what must have been a decently heavy bomb inside of it. Anyone who has done martial arts and has worked with weapons can and will tell you that changing the weight of a weapon you've spent a long time training with will affect your control of said weapon.
  • Show Some Leg:
    • Killer Frost removes her top when being snuck into Arkham as a corpse. Her lack of clothing distracts the coroner long enough to let her give him a Kiss of Death.
    • Harley does the same to distract a security guard while the rest of the Squad pops open a grate to allow King Shark in. Though the guard realizes it's Harley, he doesn't avoid becoming lunch.
  • Skewed Priorities:
    • Defied by Batman. When he realizes that Joker and Harley have the bomb, he tells the Suicide Squad that he'll worry about them later because if he doesn't defuse the bomb, they're all dead. Deadshot gives him a look of Villain Respect before taking him up on that offer and running for it just as Joker releases the Arkham inmates.
    • Played straight by the other squad members, however. They all fight each other to get to the escape helicopter or car, despite the fact that if they all work together, they could take advantage of Batman's Mercy Lead.
  • Slave Mooks: Poison Ivy brainwashes a number of guards and sends them out to add to the chaos of the mass breakout.
  • So Much for Stealth: Deadshot's plan is to make a "low profile" approach to the Intensive Treatment building. Between Captain Boomerang showing off by hitting one of the tower guards on the return arc (giving him time to call for a security sweep) and King Shark charging when the security sweep shows up, they have to fight their way through.
    Deadshot: So much for "low profile".
  • Split-Screen Reaction: Showing the Oh, Crap! Reaction Shot of each member of the Suicide Squad when they hear Batman is around.
  • Spotting the Thread: Batman needs only five seconds to realize he's watching the security footage from the previous day.
  • Stealth Hi/Bye: As expected from Batman.
  • Stock Scream: One of the guards cuts loose with one when a released Bane is throwing people around like rag dolls.
  • Suicide Mission: Waller calls in the Suicide Squad for one of these, natch.
  • Token Good Teammate: Black Spider, the vigilante, is this. It becomes doubly true once Batman replaces Black Spider.
  • Too Dumb to Live:
    • The woman at the halfway house who thought it'd be a good idea to take away Harley Quinn's cellphone.
    • When Amanda Waller tells the Suicide Squad that they've each been implanted with an Explosive Leash, KGBeast accuses her of bluffing by saying they wouldn't go through so much trouble just to kill them. Waller dares him to test her warning. He does. Predictably, this costs him his life.
    • Ironically, Waller herself. Instead of just bribing a couple of Arkham guards to stealthily kill Riddler or something, she takes the Complexity Addiction route of abducting a group of known-dangerous rogues and supervillains, repeatedly demeaning and threatening them into submission, and causing a noisy riot throughout the place. Predictably, the surviving Squadmates eventually figure out how to escape their Explosive Leashes, she's now consequently on Batman's radar, and a fed-up Deadshot ultimately decides to invoke this trope's consequence on her.
    • Arkham itself suffers this greatly in the climax. For such a dangerous facility which actually averts being a Cardboard Prison; not to mention only imprisoning the most dangerous criminals in the world, and there’s a freakin lever to open ALL OF THE DAMN CELLS.
  • Too Kinky to Torture: When Riddler straps the Suicide Squad into chairs for some impromptu electroshock therapy in order to disable the explosives in their necks, most of them writhe in pain. Harley laughs.
  • Toplessness from the Back:
    • Harley does this to distract a guard in a Show Some Leg moment in the Arkham basement.
    • Killer Frost also does this after posing as a dead body while killing the coroner.
  • This Is for Emphasis, Bitch!: When Joker shows up and hurls a bunch of explosives at Batman and the Suicide Squad:
    Joker: I'm here, bitches! And I've got favors for everyone!
  • Trojan Horse: Captain Boomerang smuggles Killer Frost into Arkham by disguising her as a corpse, as her lack of body heat provides the perfect cover.
  • Trojan Prisoner: Combined with Get into Jail Free when Harley commits a robbery and allows herself to be arrested so she will be returned to Arkham. Deadshot then ties up and gags the cop taking her there, and accompanies her as her escort.
  • Two Girls to a Team: The Suicide Squad only has two women (unless you count Amanda Waller).
  • Unstoppable Rage: When Joker mocks Deadshot over his daughter when he's about to kill him, Deadshot goes berserk.
  • Unusually Uninteresting Sight: On seeing Harley has a gun and is firing on the Joker's bulletproof cell, the reaction of the guards is basically "Okay, let's break it up" like it was a drunken brawl. One guard just sits there, casually hoping that Harley really will kill the Joker.
  • Villain Ball: The villains have no reason to fight each other over the escape helicopter; it's large enough for all of them and they have better chances of reaching it by working together. But there's No Honor Among Thieves, of course. Joker is even worse for getting into the helicopter and trying to kill the pilot, but he has the excuse of being insane.
  • Villainous Friendship: Shark and Frost actually seem to get along rather well after meeting each other. Although brief, she is actually quite upset when Shark's head is blown up in the attempt to deactivate the explosive implants.
  • Villain Protagonist: The Suicide Squad (who fit the protagonist role much better than Batman does) are all technically villains. They only work for Waller because she keeps them in line with an Explosive Leash. Some of them do have sympathetic sides—see Killer Frost's friendship with King Shark, Black Spider only targeting other criminals, and Deadshot's genuine love for his daughter—but they're still an unrepentant group of career criminals.
  • Villain Respect: Batman tells the Suicide Squad he's letting them go so that he can focus on defusing the bomb. He hints that they need to run for it in case he fails. Deadshot gives him a look of thanks before taking Batman up on the Mercy Lead.
  • Vomiting Cop: When the police burst into King Shark's hotel room and find all of the bodies strung up, one of the cops can be seen spinning around about to vomit.
  • We ARE Struggling Together:
    • On seeing a helicopter that can take them out of the blast area, the Suicide Squad split up to be the first to reach it, instead of cooperating to capture an escape vehicle that's more than capable of carrying all of them.
    • Dent steals a police car, only to be frozen by Frost who wants it herself, only for her own car to be thrown into the air by Bane who's going round tossing police cars.
  • Weirder Than Usual: Batman tells Alfred that Harley was acting odd when he caught her; Alfred replies, "Odder than usual, you mean?"
  • Wicked Cultured: We first meet Penguin as he is eating fish while sipping on a glass of wine. Although a bit subverted as the fish he is eating are raw and whole, and he is drinking red wine instead of white wine.
  • What Happened to the Mouse?: The last we see of Killer Frost, she's inside a car that's flung into the side of the Asylum and exploded. Did she die or did she make it out in time? To a lesser extent, Captain Boomerang is left stranded in Arkham after Deadshot escapes in the helicopter, and no clue is left as to his fate.
  • Why Did It Have to Be Snakes?: King Shark isn't good with heights. It starts out as a one-scene gag, but pops up later when the Suicide Squad has to cross a bridge over a long drop.
  • Wiper Start: When Harley Quinn is attempting to pilot the helicopter, she goes looking for the "gas pedal" and starts randomly pressing buttons on the console. She gets this trope along with several other functions, including launching anti-heatseeker flares.
  • Wire Dilemma: When Batman finally has time to disarm the bomb, the case has a helpful label indicating that he should cut the red wire. Naturally, all of them are red.
  • Woman Scorned: When Harley and Joker reunite and after Joker taunts her, Harley grabs one of the guards' guns and starts shooting at him.
  • Wrestler in All of Us: Deadshot gorilla-press-slams Joker during their fight in the climax.
  • Wrong Genre Savvy: The Riddler may have some degree of success going up against lone superheroes (especially those who make vows to never kill) but for some reason decides it's a good idea to antagonize Amanda Waller, a government agent who can easily Google all of his riddles on the spot and has more than enough resources to trace his location and send a heavily armored SWAT team after him in a very short amount of time. The only reason Riddler even survives is because he's saved by Batman at the last second.
  • Your Head A-Splode: This will happen to any member of the Squad if Waller detonates their Explosive Leash, as demonstrated by KGBeast when he tries to leave. Black Spider and King Shark later fall victim to them.
  • Your Makeup Is Running: Zsasz's hostage and, at the end of the film, Harley Quinn.



The name all villains fear.

How well does it match the trope?

5 (21 votes)

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Main / MassOhCrap

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