This is great:
10 Ways Skyfall Borrows From the Dark Knight Playbook
Rumors that Skyfall would borrow the playbook from Christopher Nolanís Batman trilogy and serve up a ďdarkĒ James Bond left some people fuming and others positively buoyant.
The reality is better than either camp had reason to expect: In Skyfall, we get the gritty realism that defined Nolanís bat-flicks and the previous Daniel Craig-starring Bond films, coupled with a colorful villain, a well-rounded protagonist and the compelling storytelling director Sam Mendes brought to American Beauty and Revolutionary Road.
Skyfallís winning combination of sweeping cinematography, keen dialog and the requisite heroís journey, along with traditional 007 staples like a rich score and gorgeous title sequence, let Bond soar to new heights. And even though Mendes has flip-flopped on whether The Dark Knight Rises influenced Skyfall ó first he said it did and then he said it didnít ó thereís an undeniable whiff of bat clinging to the latest 007 film. And thatís a good thing.
Here are some ways the PG-13 Skyfall, which opens Friday in the United States, parallels the Dark Knight trilogy. Some are trivial, others speak to the power of both film franchises.
(Spoiler alert: Plot points from Skyfall and Christopher Nolanís Batman movies follow.)
Pulse-Pounding Opening: Start with a bang. Itís a classic cinematic power play, and a Bond staple. Both The Dark Knight and The Dark Knight Rises hit viewers hard with intense opening sequences that signal, ďYouíre about to see an epic movie.Ē Skyfall does the same, coming out of the gate with a stupendously inventive chase sequence that will make you glad youíre watching the latest Bond on a big screen. (I wish Iíd seen it in Imax.)
Give Mr. Grim a Sense of Humor: For the first time, Skyfall made me actually care about Craigís heretofore dull-eyed take on Ian Flemingís superspy ó the actor loosens up in this film, cracking wise and showing a human side. Itís similar to the way The Dark Knight Rises added a little humor to Christian Baleís scowl-and-cowl performance, but much more effective.
Bring Good Guy Back From the Brink to Save His City: At the beginning of The Dark Knight Rises, Bruce Wayne is depicted as a crippled-up recluse who gimps around his mansion with a cane. Later, he miraculously recuperates from a broken back (while doing a stint in yet another dark hole). In Skyfall, Bond goes missing and is presumed dead, but heís really licking his wounds and playing killer drinking games on a beach somewhere. Heís beaten down and only gets pulled back into the game after a terror attack on his beloved London. (Batmanís motivation, as always, is to save Gotham.)
Put Your Hero in a Hole as a Boy: Bruce Wayne fell into a cave full of bats as a boy, a traumatic experience that made a mark on his psyche. A young James Bond, as revealed in Skyfall (although not actually shown on screen), spent two days in a priest hole after his parentsí death. When he emerged, he was changed forever.
Prove That Orphans Make the Best Crime-Fighters: In Skyfall, spymaster M proclaims that orphans make the best recruits. Anybody who knows Batmanís origin story would have to agree.
Make Him Lord of a Manor: We all knew about stately Wayne Manor, but who knew James Bond had a mansion in the family? In Skyfall, 007 returns to his boyhood home ó a large estate on the Scottish moors. Itís in disrepair, was sold when Bond was missing and presumed dead, but thereís a definite bat-echo in these scenes.
Give the Hero a Hot Set of Wheels: Nolanís Batman has the Tumbler and the Batpod; Bond keeps a vintage Aston Martin DB5 in a secret garage. The first glimpse of the immaculate automobile will get 007 gearheads revving.
Make the Villain Memorable: Can you even remember the names of the villains in Casino Royale and Quantum of Solace? I canít without a little Wikipedia memory boost. Casting Javier Bardem as psychotic cyberterrorist Silva might not have been the master stroke of putting Heath Ledger in the Jokerís smeared makeup, but itís damn close: Bardem plays Skyfallís big bad with the same sort of relish, turning Silva into a Bond villain for the ages. This twisted character might have been all camp in a lesser actorís hands. I only wish Bardem had gotten more screen time.
Give us a Peek at Family Gravestones: Both The Dark Knight Rises and Skyfall show their heroesí family burial sites.
End With a Wink at the Future: At the end of The Dark Knight, Nolan played the Joker card. In the final minutes of The Dark Knight Rises, we got a hint at a possible bat-future with a last-minute character reveal. The same sort of thing happens in Skyfall, giving us a glimpse of the franchiseís promising future.