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Batman: Gotham Knight
Batman- Gotham Knight
Written by Josh Olson, David S. Goyer, Alan Burnett, Jordan Goldberg,

Greg Rucka and Brian Azzarello

Directed by Bruce Timm
Release date(s) July 8th, 2008
Running time 76 minutes

Batman: Gotham Knight is the third direct-to-video animated film of the DC Universe Animated Original Movies line released by Warner Premiere and Warner Bros. Animation. Though not connected to the DCAU continuity, Kevin Conroy reprised his role as Batman for the film.

Plot

The film consists of six interconnected vignettes, each done by a different animator.

Have I Got A Story For You

At a skateboard park, three teens regale each other and their friends with their eyewitness accounts of Batman's day-long pursuit of a psychopathic Arkham escapee equipped with high technology. According to the teens' varied accounts, Batman is either a living Man-Bat, a ghost, or a cyborg. Then, the escapee himself blasts his way into the park, with the real Batman—wounded, exhausted and very much human—in pursuit of him. The escapee tries to ambush Batman in the cloud of smoke and dust, but is knocked unconscious by a fourth teen. Batman thanks him, then disappears with the prisoner. The fourth teen is immediately surrounded by his friends, all wanting to hear what happened.

(Thematically, this vignette is very similar to The New Batman Adventures episode, "Legends of the Dark Knight".)

Crossfire

GCPD Detectives Crispus Allen and Ana Ramirez are tasked to escort Jacob Feely (the high-tech psycho) back to Arkham. On their way back, Allen grouses that the department should be working to stop the gang war that is threatening to tear the city apart, instead of "running errands for a vigilante". Angrily, Ramirez pulls the car over in a deserted construction site and starts to tell Allen how Batman has changed Gotham for the better. But they are interrupted when the rival forces of Sal Maroni and "The Russian" arrive and confront each other. There is a furious gunfight, with the two detectives caught in the crossfire. When their car is blown up by a bazooka rocket, Allen finds himself yanked to safety by a grapple line, then can only watch in amazement as Batman singehandedly disables both gangs, and rescues Ramirez from a wounded Maroni trying to use her as a hostage. Batman notices that the two detectives belong to Lt. Gordon's handpicked squad, and remarks that "Gordon is a good judge of character".

Field Test

Lucius Fox presents Bruce Wayne with a new crime-fighting gadget: a portable magnetic field generator, triggered by sound, that functions as a bulletproof shield.

In a confrontation with the warring forces of Maroni and the Russian, Batman uses the shield, which works perfectly, and enforces a temporary truce between the two gangs, until he can find evidence to incriminate them. Then a stray shot ricochets off the shield and wounds one of the Russian's thugs. Batman rushes the man to the hospital, then returns the device to Fox, saying it, "...it works too well. I'm willing to put my life on the line to do what I have to. But it has to be mine, no one else's."

In Darkness Dwells

A prominent clergyman is kidnapped, and Batman identifies the kidnapper as Killer Croc, acting under the influence of Scarecrow's fear toxin. After subduing Croc, Batman traces his path to an "army" of Arkham escapees and homeless person controlled by Scarecrow, hiding in an abandoned sewer chamber. Batman rescues the Cardinal, and hands him off to Gordon in a helicopter, declining his offer of a ride.

Working Through Pain

Chasing a lone thug through the sewer, Batman nurses a bite wound received from Croc in the previous segment. The scene flashes back to a phase of his training period, when an Indian woman named Cassandra taught him to control physical pain through mental focus. Cassandra's unique abilities make her an outcast in her little village, and she is frequently bullied. When Bruce asks her why she doesn't leave, she replies that, as painful as it is living there, the village is her home—just as Gotham, despite its horrible memories, is Bruce's. Cassandra also warns Bruce that his greatest pain is emotional, that she can do nothing for that, and that it will destroy him if he lets it.

Back in the present, Batman reaches a rendezvous point where Alfred is supposed to pick him up. In the garbage pile at his feet, Batman finds a discarded gun, and compulsively scoops it up. As he roots through the pile, he finds even more guns, and his arms are laden with them by the time Alfred arrives. When Alfred tells his master to give him his hand, Batman dazedly replies, "I can't".

Deadshot

In Wayne Manor, Alfred brings Bruce a bag filled with the guns he found, and asks him what he intends to do with it—somewhat baffled that, since Bruce will never use them, he doesn't just turn them in to the police. Bruce replies that he must know his enemy, and even he can understand the appeal of a gun to a criminal.

In another part of the city, the assassin Deadshot kills the Mayor of Gotham City with a rifle shot fired from an incredible distance.

Before long, there are rumors that Deadshot has been hired to assassinate Lt. Gordon. But when Batman, while shadowing Gordon, tracks down Deadshot, it is revealed that Batman himself is the target.

Batman corners Deadshot aboard a speeding train as it enters a tunnel. Deadshot has the advantage in such close quarters, and manages to severely wound the Dark Knight, but Batman outmaneuvers him and gets close enough to destroy his gun and dangle Deadshot off the edge of the train. Deadshot pleads for his life, before Batman knocks him out and turns him over to the police. Batman also discovers information that connects a Gotham businessman (who appeared in "Field Test") with the murder of a social worker who was causing him problems, and the business man is arrested as well.

Recovering, Batman reflects that the tunnel reminded him of the alley where his parents were killed; it seems that all his life, he has been trying to "stop those two bullets".

This segment was co-written by Alan Burnett.

Continuity

Unlike other DC original movies, the film is not a stand-alone, but is expressly linked to the contiunity of the live-action films Batman Begins and The Dark Knight, directed by Christoper Nolan. These links include:

  • James Gordon is still a lieutenant in the GCPD, following his promotion at the end of Batman Begins and before his promotion to Commissioner in The Dark Knight.
  • The characters of Sal Maroni and Detective Ana Ramirez first appear in The Dark Knight.
  • Arkham Asylum is located in "The Narrows", the island slum described in Batman Begins and separated from the rest of Gotham by a thin line of water. True to Gordon's statement at the end of Batman Begins, the entire island has been "lost" after the mass break-out staged by Ra's al Ghul and has been converted into asylum grounds, populated solely by madmen and their warders.
  • Lucius Fox plays the role defined in Batman Begins, as Batman's secret armorer.
  • Scarecrow's former role as the superintendent of Arkham is mentioned, and his illegal experiments on the inmates.
  • Batman refers to Gotham's primary prison facility as Blackgate (not Stonegate).

Cast

Actor Role(s)
Alanna Ubach Dander
Ana Ortiz Detective Anna Ramirez
Andrea Romano Martha Wayne, Dispatcher
Brian George Cardinal O'Fallon, Arman, Scruffy Man
Corey Burton The Russian, Scarecrow, Ronald Marshall
Corey Padnos Porkchop
Crystal Scales Meesh
David McCallum Alfred Pennyworth
Gary Dourdan Detective Crispus Allen
George Newbern Jacob Feely, Guido, Man, Youth 3
Hynden Walch Woman, Young Cassandra, Young Bruce Wayne
Jason Marsden Thomas Wayne, Doctor, Cop, Youth 2
Jim Meskimen Lt. James Gordon, Deadshot
Kevin Conroy Batman, Joe Chill
Kevin Michael Richardson Lucius Fox, Avery, Wounded Man, Bulky Man
Parminder Nagra Cassandra
Pat Musick News Anchor
Rob Paulsen Sal Maroni, Mole Man, Youth #4
Scott Menville B-Devil, Cop
Will Friedle Anton, Cultist, Youth #1

See also

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