The word “prequel” does not exactly inspire happy thoughts; the world of movies has suffered enough from backstory explanations taking away from the tantalising mysteries that cinematic stories have previously held. They can ruin narratives, wreck deliberate ambiguity and are, for the most part, shoddy and pointless. You only have to look at the drab and boring second “Star Wars” trilogy or the excruciating “Dumb and Dumberer: When Harry Met Lloyd” to see that prequels can majorly suck anus when handled badly (as they usually are). But when handled with care and attention, they can enlighten a story and give it more weight and meaning, shining a light on the unknown pasts of major plotlines and characters.
Last Friday (August 5) saw Rupert Wyatt’s sci-fi “Rise of the Planet of the Apes” hitting US cinemas, the film serving as an explanation of how the apes, well, rose and sparked “Planet of the Apes” (1968). The film has received quite a bit of critical acclaim, evidently one of the few prequels that have been managed with that care and attention. To mark this, I’ve taken a look at the top five prequels that successfully expand upon the stories of their predecessor(s), instead of inhaling the contents of their forerunners’ bowels. [Read more…]