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Batman: Year One is a 2016 remake of the Batman film series. It is meant to be a stand-alone version of the Batman story.

Plot

Young Bruce Wayne, the son of Gotham millionaries Thomas and Martha Wayne, falls down a hole into a cave on their property and is attacked by a swarm of bats. He is rescued by his father, but develops a fear of bats as a result of the incident.

A short time later, the Waynes are walking home from the movie theatre when they are cornered by a lowly street thug, Joe Chill, who attempts to mug the couple and then murders them by shooting them, also instilling a Bruce a hatred of guns. Chill flees the scene and Bruce is left alone with his parents' corpses.

23 years later, Bruce returns to Gotham after being away training across the globe in martial arts, stealth, and most of all, fear. He informs his loyal butler Alfred Pennyworth of his plan to become a symbol, something which will become incorruptible. However, he is unsure of how to go about it. One night, as he sits in Wayne Manor alone, he catches a glimpse of a bat flittering in the moonlight, giving himinspiration.

Bruce poses as a millionaire playboy, and takes an interest in taking back over Wayne Enterprises. He and Alfred discover an entrance into a large underground cave hidden beneath Wayne Manor and set up a workshop, where he creates the identity of 'Batman.'

Meanwhile, police sergeant James Gordon is transferred to Gotham from Chicago with his pregnant wife Barbara. he is partnered with the unscrupulous detective Arnold Flass. Flass is in fact on the take from crime boss Carmine Falcone, the biggest mobster in Gotham. Gordon tries to rid the police force of corruption, but is attacked by a gang of thugs on orders from Commissioner Gillian B. Loeb. Suddenly, a shadowy, caped figure appears and leaps to Gordon's defense, beating down the thugs before vanishing into the night.

Later, a dinner for various corrupt politcians and crime bosses is interrupted by Batman, who warns them of his presence and that he will be coming after them. Loeb orders Gordon to take Batman down by any means necessary.

While snooping around one of the shadier areas of Gotham in a thin disguise, Bruce is approached by teenaged prostitute Holly Robinson. He is soon drawn into a brawl with her violent pimp and meets another prostitute, Selina Kyle. Bruce later follows Selina and learns that she is in fact a notorious cat burglar, 'Catwoman.' He confronts her as Batman and they wrestle on a Gotham rooftop before she escapes.

Bruce continues to investigate Falcone and learns that many years ago, a younger Falcone ran for city council, against Bruce's father Thomas Wayne. He uncovers a connection between Falcone and Joe Chill and learns that Falcone hired Chill to murder Wayne and cover it up as a mugging. This intensifies Bruce's vendetta against Falcone.

Bruce tracks down Chill and confronts him, chasing him into an abandoned chemical factory, which is in fact a front by drugs manufacturing by Falcone. During their struggle, Batman deflects a bullet from Chill and it ruptures a pipe, which sprays and injures Chill. The thief stumbles and falls over a rail into a chemical vat, killing him. Loeb decides to use this to incriminate Batman, stating that he murdered a lowly criminal and turning the public opinion against him.

A police manhunt soon begins for the Bat, who goes into hiding. Bruce faces a dilemma but Alfred persuades him to continue as Batman, reminding him that the people need a symbol. Along with Catwoman, Batman recovers evidence which incriminates Loeb and other corrupt officials. He hands the evidence over to Gordon and he sets out to arrest Loeb, but Loeb is waiting and a shootout begins, which culminates in Gordon being forced to shoot Loeb.

As Batman prepares to take down Falcone, Gordon's wife goes into labour and soon gives birth to a son, James Gordon Jr. Batman and Catwoman go after Falcone and try to intercept his drug shipment, resulting in the ship itself exploding. Batman is left for dead by Catwoman, wishing to save her own neck, and is attacked by a wounded Falcone. However, Catwoman then returns and throws Falcone into the flames and rescues Batman. 

Shortly thereafter, Gordon is returning home from work at a cleaner and nearly corruption free police department, but becomes suspicious and senses that all is not right at his home. He finds Flass with a gang of thugs, who have taken his family hostage. Gordon manages to shoot the thugs but Flass escapes with the baby. Bruce, who is on a motorcycle, also rushes to help. Gordon pursues Flass to a bridge and they fight, with Flass knocking Gordon's glasses off before Flass falls over the edge with James Gordon Jr. Bruce leaps over the rail and saves the baby, while Flass falls to his death. Gordon realises that their saviour is Batman, but tells him that he is blind without his glasses and cannot see his true identity, allowing Bruce to safely escape.

In the final scene, Batman, now a public hero, meets Gordon on a rooftop and Gordon reveals the Batsignal, a large skylight which he can use to summon Batman whenever he is needed. Gordon has been promoted to commissioner and thanks Batman. He then reveals to Batman that a criminal has been leaving playing cards at crime scenes, calling himself the Joker. Batman agrees to investigate the new threat and disappears into the night, as Gordon's final monologue states that he has a new friend; Batman.

Cast

Armie Hammer - Bruce Wayne/Batman

John Hurt - Alfred Pennyworth

William H. Macy - James Gordon

Mila Kunis - Selina Kyle/Catwoman

Bryce Dallas Howard - Holly Robinson

Joe Mantegna - Carmine Falcone

Brian Cox - Gillian B. Loeb

Jeff Bridges - Arnold Flass

Production

It was decided by Warner Bros. and DC Comics that the Batman film series should be relaunched, but where unsure of how to do so. A script was written based on the widely successful and critically acclaimed Frank Miller storyline Batman: Year One and it was decided that the script would be adapted and filmed.

The project was announced in late 2014 and was filmed throughout 2015. Armie Hammer was the first cast member to be announced, followed by William H. Macy as Gordon. Mils Kunis, Brian Cox and Jeff Bridges were soon found to be part of the project, but their roles were unknown. They were announced with a full cast list later on, shortly followed by the first trailer.

Reception

The film received favourable reviews and is considered one of the better Batman films. Armie Hammer's performance received critical acclaim. The creators have hinted that it is possible that they may one day make a sequel.

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