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The Dark Detective is a 2008 superhero film and sequel to The Batman Begins helmed by Sam Mendes. The film stars Eric Bana, Christina Hendricks, Bryan Cranston, Crispin Glover and Michael Fassbender.

Plot

The film begins with a group of armed men wearing clown masks storming the Gotham bank, which is in fact used by the mob to launder money. The robbery was engineered by a criminal named the Joker, who hired the thugs but secretly told them to double cross each other in return for a larger slice of the loot. During the robbery, the bank manager opens fire with a hidden shotgun, killing one of the group, before he is shot and wounded. As he crawls for his gun, the last two thugs discuss the Joker's double cross plan, but one of them tells the other than his mission is not to kill him, but the bus driver. Puzzled, the remaining thug asks him what he means but a bus crashes through the wall and kills him. As the driver gets out, he too is shot down. The masked thug approaches the wounded bank manager, who warns him that he has hit a mob owned bank. The thug reveals that that was what he had intended and the manager realises that he is the Joker. The Joker places a small capsule inside of the manager's mouth and cracks it open before climbing into the bus and driving away with the money. When the police arrive, they find the manager dead with a twisted grin on his face.

Lieutenant James Gordon meets with Batman to discuss the new District Attorney, Harvey Dent, and if they should bring him in on their plan to eradicate the mob after he successfully sends down Carmine Falcone. In Batman's life as Bruce Wayne, Dent is something of an enemy as he is courting Vicki Vale, his former love interest.

Sal Maroni, another crime lord, has Falcone beaten to death in prison and takes over the mob, working in contusion with Tony Zucco and Johnny Vitti. They meet to discuss the robbery of their controlled bank by the Joker, and Maroni introduces Chinese accountant Lau, who has taken their remaining funds and hid them in a secret location and will soon leave for Hong Kong until things blow over. The Joker suddenly bursts in and laughs off Lau's plan, trying to convince the mobsters that Lau is a squealer. He offers his services to kill the Batman in return for half of their money, but the mob refuse his offer. Vitti, uncooperative and angry especially after the Joker insults him, puts a bounty on the Joker's head as he is unable to kill him immediately, the Joker wearing a bomb vest. 

As Lau prepares to leave for Hong Kong, Batman pursues him and captures him, placing him in Gordon's custody. Two men visit Vitti and reveal that they have killed the Joker, throwing his body on Vitti's pool table. Once his bodyguards have let their guard down, the men reveal themselves as the Joker's men and they gun them down with out mercy before the Joker reveals that he is alive and savagely beats Vitti to death with a pool que, laughing maniacally and cracking jokes while doing so. A missing cop is then found dead, dressed in a Batman costume with a knife in his chest and a disc on his corpse. The disc reveals to feature a recording of the Joker, with the cop dressed and tied down, telling Batman to unmask himself or people will die. 

That night, Bruce throws a party at his penthouse which Harvey attends with Vicki. During the party, he gets her alone and proposes. Meanwhile, the Joker murders a judge and the police commissioner, and then arrives at the penthouse to kill Harvey. Bruce realises what is happening and hides Harvey before changing into Batman and confronting the Joker and his thugs, after they kill some of the party guests. The Joker is smitten by Vicki when he stumbles upon her in the crows and shatters a window, threatening to throw her out unless Batman unmasks himself. Knowing full well he won't, the Joker shoves Vicki out and Batman dives after her. The Joker then announces to his men that they will not take Harvey tonight and leave.

The next day, at a memorial service held for the late Commissioner Loeb, the Joker and his men infiltrate the honour guardsmen and shoot at Mayor Hamilton Hill, although Gordon jumps in the way and is shot instead. Batman chases the Joker across several rooftops before he escapes.

In the ensuing chaos following the shooting, Harvey manages to locate one of the Joker's men amongst the crowds and drags him away to be interrogated by beating him. Batman intervenes and prevents Harvey from loosing himself and beating the man to death, which Harvey thanks him for. Batman tells him that the only way he can stop the Joker is to give into his demands. He tells Harvey to organize a press conference, which he will attend and reveal himself. The next day, before Bruce can step forward, Harvey exclaims that he is Batman and is arrested. Vicki is upset that Bruce didn't interfere and gives Alfred a note for Bruce.

The truck transporting Harvey is intercepted by the Joker and a chase ensues, which Batman joins in his Batmobile. He crashes but the Batcycle bursts out the front and he continues the pursuit. Batman manages to flip the Joker's truck over so the wounded criminal crawls out and tries to shoot Batman, who is forced to swerve to avoid hitting the Joker, refusing to kill. One of the Joker's masked henchmen sneak up on him and knocks him down, revealing himself as Gordon. The Joker is arrested. 

With the Joker behind bars, Mayor Hill decides to promote Gordon to Police Commissioner. Before Gordon interrogates the Joker, he learns that Harvey Dent has gone missing. He approaches the Joker, who pretends to know nothing. Gordon leaves but turns the lights on, revealing Batman standing behind the Joker, who beats him for information. Joker reveals that he also had Vicki kidnapped and is has placed them both at different locations, forcing Batman to choose after he discloses their locations. Batman goes after Vicki and Gordon goes to Harvey, but it turns out that Joker swapped the locations and Batman finds Harvey instead. He rescues him before the bombs go off, but half of his face is badly burned. Gordon arrives to late and Vicki is killed. At the police station, the Joker convinces the cop standing guard to take him on in a fist fight, but uses a concealed blade to take him hostage and escape. Demanding one phone call, he is given a mobile which he uses to set off a bomb inside of one of his thug's stomach, blowing the station up. The Joker frees Lau from his cell and drags him into a stolen police car and escapes.

The Joker announces that he no longer wants to kill Batman, saying that he is too much fun. He watches an alledged psychic stating that he will disclose Batman's identity live on air. The Joker threatens to blow up a hospital if the fake is not dead in an hour. All hospitals are evacuated but when Harvey is to be moved from Gotham General, the cop on duty is shot by the Joker, who then confronts Harvey and corrupts him before blowing the hospital up, kidnapping a bus full of evacuated hospital patients. Harvey goes missing and is presumed dead.

Harvey, now calling himself "Two-Face" begins to hunt down those involved in Vicki's death. He first finds the corrupt cop who kidnapped him and executes him and then the officer who kidnapped Vicki, who he lets go. He eventually comes to Maroni himself, who he also kills. At Zucco's hideout, the Joker forces Lau to reveal the location of the money and burns it after slitting Lau's throat. Zucco tries to stop him from burning the money so the Joker sets him on fire to. The Joker then goes live on air with the kidnapped patients and states that he will now rule Gotham. There is a mass panic and people try to flee, but many roads and bridges become cut off. Eventually, a large group of people are evacuated onto a ferry.

The Joker, however, has planted explosives on the ferry as well as a second prison ferry and given the passengers the ultimatum of blowing each other up. He then takes his hostages to an unfinished building over looking the harbour. Batman soon arrives to battle the Joker. A SWAT team also arrives to take out the henchmen keeping the patients hostage; however, Batman figures out that the Joker was bound the hostages and put masks on them, disguising them as the henchmen. Batman is forced to fight the SWAT team to prevent them from harming the real hostages and then fights the Joker's thugs.

The Joker attacks Batman and beats him down, pinning him under a column. As midnight, the deadline, approaches, the Joker and Batman have one final discussion. When the deadline passes but the passengers and convicts refuse to kill each other, Joker prepares to blow both of them up himself, but not before bragging to Batman about corrupting Harvey Dent. Batman shoots the spikes from his gauntlet into the Joker, stunning him and allowing Batman to flip him over the edge. Although the Joker gets a grip, Batman offers his hand but the Joker uses a joy buzzer to shock Batman, causing him to fall to his death on a police car below. Batman then sets off after Harvey.

Gordon, having been contacted by Two-Face, learns that his family has been taken to the burntout building where Vicki died. Batman also arrives and tries desperately to convince Two-Face not to kill Gordon's son. Two-Face flips his coin and shoots Batman, then decides between shooting himself or the boy. As he flips the coin, Batman lunges into him and knocks him over the edge of the building. Batman catches Gordon's son and helps him back up before losing his own grip and falling. Two-Face falls into a waterway and is swept away. Gordon races to Batman's side, who tells him that if Gotham knew of Harvey's crimes, they would lose all hope. Batman tells Gordon to hunt for him; blame the Batman for the crimes and protect Harvey. Gordon reluctantly agrees and as the police swarm the area, Batman dissappears into the night.

Cast

Eric Bana - Bruce Wayne/The Batman

Geoffrey Rush - Alfred Pennyworth

Bryan Cranston - Lieutenant James Gordon

Christina Hendricks - Vicki Vale

Billy Dee Williams - Lucius Fox

Michael Fassbender - Harvey "Two-Face" Dent

Crispin Glover - The Joker

Sequel

The film was followed by The Bat Rises.

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