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Shadow of the Batman is a 2015 American superhero film based on the DC Comics character Batman. It is a sequel of The Batman directed by Sam Mendes which stars Eric Bana as Bruce Wayne AKA The Batman, Bryan Cranston as his ally, Police Commissioner James Gordon, Patrick Stewart as Victor Fries, a scientist turned supervillain, as well as Christina Hendricks, Clive Owen, Geoffrey Rush and Billy Dee Williams in supporting roles. The screenplay was written by James Vanderbilt, with the score being provided by David Julyan. The film was distributed by Warner Bros and ties into the DC Movie Universe.

Plot

At a charity fundraiser, Bruce Wayne is introduced to Max Schreck, the owner of GothCorp, Wayne Enterprises' main rival in Gotham City. He also meets Vicki Vale, a beautiful reporter who is investigating the legend of the Batman, Gotham's protector. He is smitten with Vicki and is just about to ask her out before he is approached by his butler, Alfred Pennyworth, who informs him that the BatSignal has been activated. Bruce discreetly slips away from the party and enters the Bat Cave, hidden deep beneath Wayne Manor. He changes into the Batman and then heads out to investigate.

Batman meets with Police Commissioner James Gordon, who informs him of a police standoff unfolding at a GothCorp lab. Batman heads to the scene and enters through a skylight. Here, he meets a man wearing a cryogenic suit, who remarks that he is thrilled to be meeting the Batman in person, before attempting to blast him with a freeze gun. While Batman is distracted, the villain escapes into a back alley and commandeers a tanker lorry and attempting to flee. Batman pursues him in the Batmobile and a thrilling chases ensues, culminating in the criminal losing control and crashing.

The man is put in Arkham Asylum, while Batman and Gordon conduct a background check. Batman is introduced to the new police detective Harvey Bullock, who makes clear his disdain for masked vigilantism. They learn that the man is one Victor Fries, a brilliant scientist though to be dead following a lab accident. Batman goes to visit Fries in Arkham to learn more about him. Fries explains that he was once a GothCorp employee, and was happily married to a woman named Nora. However, Nora became terminally ill and the only way Fries could preserve her life was to freeze her. He began to obsess over finding a cure, causing him to fall behind on his work which led to him being fired by none other than Max Schreck. However, Fries continue trying to find a cure, breaking into GothCorp after dark in order to use their lab. One night, he hid away when he heard someone coming in and witnessed Shreck engaged in a fling with socialite Veronica Vreeland, who was at the time engaged to politician Quincy Sharp. On a later occassion, Shreck returned to the lab after dark and found Fries at work. Shreck threatened to shut Fries down for good, but Fries then let it slip that he had witnessed Shreck with Vreeland and was willing to let the information go public. Enraged, Shreck shoved Fries into a rack of chemicals, and the ensuing accident caused Fries to only be to survive at a temperture of zero degrees or less.

Later, Schreck is seen returning to GothCorp and meeting with his right-hand man, Ferris Boyle. He is then introduced to scientist Jason Woodrue, who has been put in charge of their new “special project.” This project is revealed to involved a man named Waylon Jones; a man suffering with atavism which has left him with reptilian traits. Jones desires to be cured, but Woodrue is secretly accelerating the mutation process.

Eventually, Jones loses his mind and kills Woodure before escaping the lab and rampaging through the streets, causing the media to dub him “Killer Croc.” Later, a gang of men go into the sewers to investigate a gas leak, but are attacked by Croc. This starts up a chain reaction which leads to a gas explosion destroying part of a railway, causing the train to derail and smash right into Arkham Asylum. Suprisingly, the damage is fairly minimal and only one criminal escapes; Fries.

Croc recovers some files from Woodrue's lab which identifies those involved with what happened to him and sets about murdering them one by one, getting around via the sewer. Meanwhile, Fries returns to his lair on an abandoned oil rig and is shocked to learn that Nora's condition has detiorated. He finds that Nora requires an organ donation if she is to survive, but due to her rare blood type, a suitable donor cannot be found.

Bruce runs into Vicki once again and successfully asks her out. After their date, they go back to Wayne Manor and spend the night together. Bruce, unable to sleep, spots the Bat Signal and sneaks out on Vicki. He meets up with Gordon and Bullock, who inform him of the Killer Croc murders. Batman decides to investigate and descends into the sewers.

He eventually encounters Croc and a fight ensues between the two, eventualy causing them to fall out of a pipeline and into the swamp at the edge of the city. Croc finally knocks Batman out with a swipe of his tail and then flees. Elsewhere, Fries breaks into Gotham General and steals a wealth of information, including patient records, and is overjoyed to find someone who matches Nora's blood type; Vicki Vale.

As Bruce is recovering from his fight with Croc, he rings Vicki and apologizes for having not been there when she woke up, and she comes round. During their conversation that follows, Vicki finds out that Bruce is Batman, but decides not to tell anyone.

While looking for someone to carry out the operation, Fries learns that Boyle was once a surgeon when he was younger, but became an alcoholic and began to perform surgery under the influence. He breaks into his home to kidnap him, when Croc also arrives to kill him. Fries convinces Croc to let Boyle live, and offers to look for a cure for Croc if he helps him save Nora.

As the two walk home for another date, Bruce and Vicki are accosted by Croc, who kidnaps her and leaves Bruce unconcious. With the information he has gathered, Batman has Shreck arrested and GothCorp shut down for it's unetchical experiments, before preparing to go and rescue Vicki.

Bruce flies to the oil rig in the Batwing, and then has a final showdown with Croc. However, a fire starts and ignites a fuel tank, causing the entire rig to go up in flames. Croc finally slips into insanity and tries to kill Batman and Vicki, knocking Fries aside in the process. Fries retrieves his freeze gun and freezes Croc solid before he can kill Vicki. Fries then tells Batman to escape with Vicki and Nora, while he tries to freeze the flames. However, a large explosion occurs which knocks Fries over the edge of the oil rig, and he plummets to his death.

In the aftermath, Vicki donates her organ to Nora, saving her life, while Bruce tells Vicki that it is too dangerous for them to keep seeing each other. Vicki reluctantly agrees and the two part ways. The film ends with Batman continuing his never ending crusade against crime.

Cast

Eric Bana - Bruce Wayne/The Batman

Geoffrey Rush - Alfred Pennyworth

Bryan Cranston - Commissioner James Gordon

Ray Winstone - Harvey Bullock

Christina Hendricks - Vicki Vale

Billy Dee Williams - Lucius Fox 

Emma Stone - Barbara Gordon

Patrick Stewart - Victor Fries/Mr Freeze

Kevin Grievoux - Waylone Jones/Killer Croc

Sequels

Shadow of the Batman was followed by Legend of the Batman which introduced Dick Grayson, who goes onto become Batman's sidekick Robin, and features two new villains in the form of Black Mask and Firefly. Later, Eric Bana reprised his role as Batman, opposite Armie Hammer as Superman, in World's Finest.

Taglines

We all live in the Shadow of the Batman.

Gotham needs him.

A chill is in the air.

Ferocity.

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