STAR WARS PREQUEL TRILOGY (1999, 2002, 2005)
The Star Wars trilogy prequel are not bad movies, with The Phantom Menace and Revenge on the Sith especially good. Yet compared to the artistic and cultural achievements which were the original Star Wars trilogy, these prequels fail to match expectations on every level.
Although featuring credible actors such as Ewan McGregor and Natalie Portman, a combined budget big enough to feed a third world country, and high quality effects work, the Star Wars prequels could not get over due to the fact that George Lucas is not that crash hot a director.
Had he brought in Peter Jackson, Bryan Singer and old friend Steven Spielberg to handle the reigns, then maybe the tarnishing of a legacy could have been avoided. As it stands, the Star Wars prequels only benefited Lucas’s hip pocket.
EXORCIST: THE BEGINNING (2004)
This prequel to the ground breaking horror classic The Exorcist is a rarity, in that it was a retooling of an already completed work directed by Paul Schrader, of which the studio heads at Morgan Creek balked at and reshot with genre hack Renny Harlin calling the shots.
The result was Exorcist: The Beginning, an incompetent piece of work that starred Stellan Skarsgard as a young Father Merrin (played in the original by Max Von Sydow), who takes on the devil during an archaeological dig in East Africa.
Cringe worthy dialogue and even worse special effects would feature. Schrader’s version titled Dominion: Prequel to the Exorcist, would later be released on DVD, and although far from perfect it stands over Harlin’s atrocity.
HANNIBAL RISING (2007)
While Red Dragon was a prequel with bite, Hannibal Rising was lacking in every sense of the word.
Once again based on the novel by series originator Thomas Harris (who only wrote the book out of fear that someone else would), Hannibal Rising reeked of cheap opportunism with its depiction of the events that made Hannibal Lecter inspiring snores instead of chills.
With young Lecter portrayed by a charismatic free Gaspard Ulliel, and director Peter Webber unable to create anything of interest, the legacy of Lecter was forever tarnished. Thankfully no more sequels (or prequels) have been green lit since.
THE TEXAS CHAINSAW MASSACRE: THE BEGINNING (2006)
With the Texas Chainsaw Massacre remake a commercial success, it would only make sense that a sequel would be forthcoming. In its stead came the prequel The Texas Chainsaw Massacre: The Beginning, a ghastly piece of work that took full advantage of the torture porn trend while diminishing the legacy of the original.
Blood and gore featured by the bucket, overcompensating for the lack of atmosphere and dullness. The sixth film in the series, it proved that the Texas Chainsaw Massacre franchise had truly run its course.
X-MEN ORIGINS: WOLVERINE (2009)
X-Men Origins: Wolverine is not the worst film of all time, yet considering that Wolverine is far and wide the most popular character in the series, you would think that a little more quality control would be warranted.
Although starring a jacked up Hugh Jackman as the title character, with Liev Schrieber and Ryan Reynolds playing support, and then hot indie director Gavin Hood calling the shots (under the thumb of 20th Century Fox, no doubt), ...Wolverine failed to be the home run many expected it to be, receiving mixed reaction from critics and scorn from fanboys.
A sequel that would have seen Jackman team up with director Darren Aronofsky has seen fallen by the wayside. Maybe it was for the best.