3 Great Prologue scenes
3 Movies that have great Prologue openings
You may say that the beginning of most movies is a prologue, however there is a key element that makes these movies different. What makes these 3 movies special is the fact that if you were to watch these sequences on their own, they would still tell a complete story. These prologues have no relation on the rest of the movie, but are purely examples of great character introductions with 5-10 minute sequences.
Indiana Jones Raiders of the Lost Ark
Perhaps one of the most iconic prologues of all time. Spielberg was influenced by comic books and Indiana is a type of comic book hero. You can see how the opening sequence from the trek through the jungle, to the booby-trapped cave, to fleeing the natives and jumping on a plane could be portrayed in its very own issue, “Indiana Jones and the Gold Totem”. This is the first time we meet Indie and with very little dialogue we get a very good sense of who Indiana is. The intelligent explorer who definitely has experience being on sorts of adventures, he has made some enemies in the past, but we know that he is the virtuous one because he argues that artifacts, “belong in a museum”. And finally at the end of the scene, we find our hero’s Achilles heel, he’s afraid of snakes.
Obviously everything is copyrighted, so I can’t show you the clip however thanks to youtube, and to LEGO here is the opening to the LEGO Indiana Jones game. Best I could do.
Personally my favorite movie of 2011. Ryan Gosling plays the protagonist of the film and is hired by two thieves to be their driver. He explains his rules, which are really more of a life code, that he is simply a driver. This is one of the most suspenseful scenes that I have ever seen. The opening scene introduces not so much the character but more the atmosphere that will be used throughout the rest of the movie. Suspense. The opening scene will have you anxious for the driver’s next move as you wait and see if he is as in control of the situation as he seems. This feeling of suspense continues through the film perfectly. There are scenes where the tension builds so much that it is almost unbearable, but then nothing happens, it naturally is diffused, and you unclench your fist and take your first breath in minutes. However there are other scenes where the only way to break the suspense is with a shoe to the face.
You don’t get a trailer or a clip for Drive. Sorry, there are too many spoilers in the trailers, and taken out of context there is no suspense in a 45 second clip. I don’t recommend that you watch these on youtube either, but the movie is on Netflix, I encourage you to watch it, if not for just the first scene.
This last entry is a little different from the other two. Being that Dark Knight is a sequel, this prologue introduces the villain for the movie, The Joker. If you haven’t seen the Dark Knight it opens with several clowns who are en route to robbing a bank robbery.
Through the interactions between the several bank robbers we get many different views of The Joker. How he planned, what he wears, how he thinks, and all of them seem to be believable but something still feels off, like the movie is telling you a joke but it’s keeping a card up its sleeve. The answer as well as the insane genius of The Joker is revealed to us in this brilliant scene.