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The Batman investigates Mitchell's death

The Batman is a 2022 crime thriller movie co-written, co-produced and directed by Matt Reeves. It focuses on one of the Batman's earliest cases, with the investigation of murders committed by the Riddler. It also paved the way for the spin-off series The Penguin.

Synopsis for "The Batman (Movie)"

The Batman investigates Mitchell's death

On October 31, 2021, in Gotham City, New York, Mayor Don Mitchell was murdered in his home by the enigmatic serial killer known as the Riddler, and the obsessive, vengeful vigilante detective known as the Batman was summoned by the Bat-Signal when his body was discovered. He and Jim Gordon, a hard-boiled police lieutenant who worked closely with the Batman on several cases, investigated Mitchell's body, with the head duct-taped and "NO MORE LIES" written on it in red and an envelope addressed "TO THE BATMAN", which contained a cipher and invited the Batman to "play a game" with the Riddler. The Batman and Gordon investigated as much as they could before Commissioner Savage arrived and ordered Batman off the crime scene.

Bruce and Alfred

The Batman returned to his home of Wayne Tower in his civilian identity of billionaire Bruce Wayne, where he pondered whether he was truly making a difference after two years of nights fighting criminals in the city and telling them he was vengeance, and thought about whether it was really worth it for his murdered parents, Thomas Wayne and Martha Arkham, his reason for becoming the Batman. While he examined the cipher, Bruce was approached by his butler and legal guardian, the protective and wry Alfred Pennyworth, who told Bruce he needed to take control of his family's company, Wayne Enterprises, for it was in danger of collapse from his neglect of it. Bruce snapped at Alfred, telling him he didn't care about anything but his mission as the Batman, and Alfred merely looked at his quiet and depressed adoptive son, unable to help or protect him any more than he already had.

The Penguin looks over Annika's photos

Later, Bruce and Alfred solved the cipher to reveal the word "DRIVE", which Bruce took to mean he should investigate the mayor's car. As the Batman, he and Gordon found a thumbdrive in the USB port of Mitchell's car, which contained images of the mayor with a woman he was cheating on his wife with outside the Iceberg Lounge. The Batman went to the Lounge to talk with its owner, the smarmy and ruthless Penguin, about the woman, who he later discovered was Estonian prostitute Annika Kosolov. The Penguin didn't tell him anything, but Batman noticed bartender Selina Kyle listening in on their conversation with rapt intensity, and so he followed her to her home, where he discovered Annika was her roommate. Selina then changed into a black leather outfit and made her way to Mitchell's home, unaware the Batman was following close behind.

Selina infiltrates Mitchell's home

In Mitchell's home, Selina attempted to steal Annika's passport from Mitchell's safe, but the Batman arrived to stop her. She explained to him that Mitchell had taken Annika's passport, and that she needed it to get out of the country for reasons she wouldn't tell Selina. Realizing Selina would do anything to protect those she cared about, Batman began to feel attracted to her, and decided to come back with her to their apartment to ask Annika why she was scared enough to leave the country.

Riddler's message to Gotham

When they returned to the apartment, however, it had been torn apart in a struggle and Annika was gone, along with Selina's cellphone. While Selina looked around, the television, which was still on, showed Batman that Commissioner Savage had been murdered by the Riddler, who then posted a message to social media that was played on the news. He explained that Gotham City was corrupt to the core, and that he wished to expose the lies and conspiracy that plagued the city and kept ordinary citizens down while the rich and powerful thrived. The Riddler then leaked images of Savage's drug dealings outside the Iceberg Lounge to the press, leaving the Batman to ponder not just how to stop the Riddler, but about the wider conspiracy in Gotham.

Selina then agreed to help the Batman infiltrate the Iceberg Lounge to help him learn more about its patrons, if only to help her find Annika. Wearing a special video-recording contact lens and an earpiece connected to Batman, Selina went into 44 Below, the club's lower level that doubled as a mob hangout. There she met District Attorney Gil Colson, and used his attraction to her to get him to tell her about "the rat", a confidential informant in the massive drug bust of Salvatore Maroni who the Riddler seemed to know about. The Batman pressed Selina to get him to tell more, but when he discovered she knew ruthless gangster Carmine Falcone, he pressed her for information about their relationship, making her uncomfortable enough to remove the contact lens and earpiece and leave Batman alone.

Trying to save Colson

The next day, Mayor Mitchell's funeral was crashed by Gil Colson, who had been forced by the Riddler to drive his car into the church with a bomb around his neck, a ringing phone taped to his hand, and a letter on his chest once again addressed to the Batman. When the Batman arrived, he finally came face-to-face with the Riddler via a video call. The Riddler then played a game of riddles with Colson, promising to release him if he answers them all correctly. However, out of fear for his family, Colson refused to reveal the identity of the rat, and out of fear for what they would do to him if he gave it up, allowed his bomb to be detonated, killing him. After this, the Batman and Gordon came to the conclusion that the rat was the Penguin, and so tracked him down to bring him to justice and stop the Riddler.

Gordon and the Batman found the Penguin at a warehouse running a drug deal, and discovered that Maroni's drug operation had never been shut down, and the police worked for nothing. Just as the Batman was prepared to bring the Penguin to justice, Selina Kyle appeared, prepared to steal some duffel bags of money from the Penguin, and inadvertently exposed the Batman and Gordon, just as she discovered Annika's corpse in the car of off-duty cop and Penguin's henchman, William Kenzie. The Penguin tried to escape, but the Batman chased him down with his car and brought him in for interrogation.

The truth about the Waynes

When confronted about being the rat, the Penguin denied it and helped Batman and Gordon solve one of Riddler's puzzles, which led them to the Gotham Orphanage, his old home. There they discovered that the Riddler harbored a grudge against Thomas Wayne, and that Bruce was his next target. Realizing Alfred could be in danger, Batman raced to Wayne Tower, only to discover that the Riddler had sent a packaged bomb to the tower an hour earlier that had detonated and hospitalized Alfred. With Bruce at his lowest point, the Riddler then leaked the truth about the Waynes: that Thomas had hired Carmine Falcone to murder a journalist who planned to leak the truth about Martha's history of mental illness to the world.

Bruce confronted Alfred about these revelations in the hospital, but Alfred assured him Thomas only wanted Falcone to scare the journalist, and intended to tell the police when he was killed. Still, Bruce was shaken to his core, having believed hi father to be a pure, perfect man, and his main reason for fighting crime. While thinking this over, the Bat-Signal suddenly turned on, and Bruce rushed over to it as the Batman. He discovered it had been used by Selina, who revealed that Falcone was her father, and had abandoned her after her mother's death. She discovered from Kenzie that Falcone had strangled Annika after Mitchell told her that Falcone was the rat, and that he controlled Gotham from the inside out through his drug ring. Selina asked for Batman's help in killing Falcone, but when he refused, she ran off to the Iceberg Lounge to kill him herself, with the Batman close behind.

The Batman finally confronts Edward Nashton

The Batman arrived at the Lounge in time to stop Selina from killing Falcone, but as Batman and Gordon took him under arrest outside the Lounge, he was shot and killed by the Riddler, using a sniper rifle from a nearby building. The Riddler was caught and unmasked as forensics accountant Edward Nashton, and was finally incarcerated at the Arkham State Hospital. Edward asked for the Batman to meet him in Arkham, and revealed he had been inspired by the vigilante's crusade of justice. He believed that by leaving clues and puzzles, he was in fact helping the Batman uncover the Falcone conspiracy, and that they had been working together unmasking it to the public. When the Batman angrily rejected him, Edward revealed he had placed several car bombs along the city seawall, which soon exploded and began flooding the city, all while his internet following infiltrated Gotham Square Garden to kill the newly elected mayor.

Hope for Gotham

The Batman raced to the Garden to find the flood waters rising, and Edward's followers prepared to kill the mayor. With the help of Gordon and Selina, who was forced into the Garden while trying to escape the city, Batman fought off most of them, rescuing the mayor. When he took down the last of Edward's followers, Gordon asked who he was, and the man replied he was vengeance, the same thing the Batman told every criminal he came across. The realization finally hit Batman: he wasn't making a difference because he wasn't just putting fear in criminals, he was inspiring them, and that he needed to become a symbol of hope for Gotham. As the flood waters rose to their peak, he aided in the recovery efforts, and began inspiring the citizens with hope, even in their darkest hour.

Selina and the Batman part ways

With martial law being put into effect, Selina decided to leave Gotham City, despite her and the Batman having developed feelings for one another. When she offered to bring him with her, he turned her down for his greater duty to Gotham City. Despite this, he followed her to the city limits and drove to the Bat-Signal as she drove off into the fog. As the Batman drove off to answer the call, he thought about what Selina had said about how Gotham would always be a horrible place, what with the Penguin having taken over Falcone's organization and Edward having made a new ally in Arkham with the mass murderer known as the Joker. However, despite Gotham always having crime, it would also always have a Batman to fight it for as long as Bruce Wayne could draw breath.

Appearing in "The Batman (Movie)"

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  • The Batman follows up on the events of David Lewman's prequel novel, Before The Batman: An Original Movie Novel and Paul Dano's prequel comic Riddler: Year One. The film also sets up the events of Lauren LeFranc and Matt Reeves' HBO Max crime drama spin-off series, The Penguin, and an as yet untitled sequel.[1]
  • The film was originally meant to be the solo outing for the DC Extended Universe Batman, but when its star and director, Ben Affleck left the project, Matt Reeves was brought on to replace him behind the scenes while Robert Pattinson replaced him as Batman, fashioning a film set in its own universe.
  • The Riddler's website in the movie, rataalada.com, is a real website that challenges visitor with riddles for the reward of promotional material for the film that is canon to its universe, including pictures the Riddler had used to expose Falcone in the film, the announcement of Riddler: Year One, and a deleted scene featuring the Joker profiling the Riddler for the Batman.[2]


See Also

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