Therefore, it is not surprising that in our comic obsessed world that a lot of comic book characters have been given their own origin story movies. However, we are now also seeing a slew of origin tales being released that are not just comic based, some of which are even being developed into full 10 episode television series. And I supposed that it has prompted me to wonder whether all of these origin stories are really all that necessary?
Ultimately, the answer lies in one simple question: What kind of characters really do deserve to have a origin story made about them? In my mind, the types of characters that deserve to have an origin story (or prequel) are the ones that we feel like we want to understand better than we have been able to so far. If there is nothing to be gained or explained from going back to the source of it all, then I would say that means that there is no need for an origin tale about that character.
Furthermore, if a director decides to do an origin tale then they cannot afford to half arse the story; in short - if you are going to tell it you have to tell it all, respectfully and faithfully to any previously established information. I have wasted precious time watching origin films that were not only underwhelming in their delivery but also undermined previously developed storyline and character arcs by changing the game. The worst ones of all didn't add anything to what I had already gleaned from previous films and left me feeling less connected to the storyline or character by the end, which is just completely pointless filmmaking in my opinion.
However, when an origin film is made well, it is a pleasure to watch and it will deliver some much needed insight into a character's psyche and behaviour, evolve plot lines and elevate the story telling to greater heights. And to that kind of origin movie, I say a very loud yes!
Here are my top ten favourite origin films that really got the recipe right, proving that sometimes when we go back, we can actually move very far forward with our understanding.
- The Hobbit : An Unexpected Journey
- The Godfather 2
- Casino Royale
- Back to the Future
- Red Dragon
- Kill Bill Vol 2
- X-Men: First Class
- Monsters University
Release Date: 2021
Rating: PG - 13
Running Time: 134 mins
If you have ever wondered how Cruella De Vil became the evil tyrant that we all know her as today, then this is the movie for you. In what can really only be described as a Disney origin tale, Cruella delivers an enjoyable romp into the ultra bitchy world of fashion design and showcases some of the most iconic clothing and music choices of the '60s and '70s punk rock scene in London at that time.
Long before she'd ever thought of skinning and wearing dogs, Cruella De Vil was a genius rebel child called Estella. Estella was a lovable misfit who found herself orphaned because of three Dalmatians and a well dressed bitch with a dog whistle. Fast forward a decade and Estella just wants to be a fashion designer and finds her opportunity in a most surprising place.
Directed by Craig Gillespie, the film although long, does travel at breakneck speed with lots happening all of the time. Ultimately, it's a revenge tale with Emma Stone and Emma Thompson duking it out with great style and flair in the fashion arena; attempting to out dress and outwit each other at every turn and they are both genuinely terrific in their roles.
I actually had a lot of fun watching this film. It's got a very cool punk rock vibe that will appeal to both pre and post teenage girls (as well as every girl in between) and it cannot be denied that the costuming alone is worth tuning in for.
Go in with an open mind and just have fun with it.
FINAL SAY: And now I wanna be your dog!
3.5 Chilli Peppers