Movies borrow from other movies all the time. This is common in Hollywood and it’s completely fine. As long as something isn’t a total rip off and played off as an original work, it’s usually fine by most filmmakers. Still though, when you find out about who borrowed from who, it really puts perspective on things. When I found out the Christopher Nolan borrowed from Michael Mann for The Dark Knight, I was surprised. Actually, really surprised. As it turns out
Nolan actually screened Michael Mann’s “Heat” for all his department heads before going into production, he say once: “I always felt ‘Heat’ to be a remarkable demonstration of how you can create a vast universe within one city and balance a very large number of characters and their emotional journeys in an effective manner.”
What’s interesting is that The Dark Knight is widely considered to be one of the best action hero movies of all-time. That this had anything to do with the movie Heat is kind of awesome.
This is a video from Glass Distortion that shows scenes from The Dark Knight next to scenes from Mann films such as Heat, The Insider, Collateral, and LA Takedown. You can easily spot the influence.