Sometimes a true life starts well after the bright lights and first breath in a hospital. Pass the time by checking out some lives worth examining in these six best movie origin stories, but don’t let it smack your self-esteem around. Rest assured, everyone at the landfill thinks you’re the best Fisher Price toy finder ever.
“Kick-Ass” applies the superhero formula to the normal comic book nerd formula and strikes gold without needing to dip into the mutant well. Kick-Ass gets to be super due to his driving passion to be a hero as well as some serious nerve damage and surgical steel implanted after his smack down via car. As he gets up for the umpteenth time in his battle with a criminal gang, you realize that now the true hero has finally been born.
Iron Man, “Iron Man”.
Showing that origins don’t have to be limited to childhood, Tony Stark takes some shrapnel from weapons he helped produce, and with a little scrap metal, know-how and determination to live, he becomes the well-publicized Iron Man. Rather than forging its own path, “Iron Man” embraces the comic book history behind the character with the result of elevating a fine origin story to higher heights. The scenes showcasing his growing pains as he struggles to build a more refined and manageable suit add weight to this superhero’s flawed beginnings.
Harry Potter, “Harry Potter and the Sorceror’s Stone through The Deathly Hallows”.
In cinematic long form, the origin of Harry Potter starts off with an orphan and his cruel adoptive family and blossoms into the tale of a young man who masters his own formidable powers while conquering his need for vengeance. Potter’s origin becomes a giant puzzle as pieces get revealed and transformed, thus making it one of the best, and longest, movie origin stories. Harry turns from hero to pond scum in “Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire” as he fights the rumors swirling around about his illegal entry into the Tri-Wizard tournament.
Life for the demonic hero in “Hellboy” begins with a few strikes against him-he gets born onto the earth via a Nazi portal meant to reawaken old gods of death and destruction. Of course, his giant devilish horns don’t help either. Adopted by one of the scientists at his auspicious arrival, Hellboy is brought up in a world that needs him but would be well terrified of him if he went public. With his friends and colleagues in the Bureau of Paranormal Research and Defense, Hellboy fights for humanity, pancakes and the security of kittens everywhere, as you’ll see when he saves a box load of cats in his fight against Sammael in the subway.
The Crow, “The Crow”.
No cape, no radioactive spills, nor a dad that didn’t love him: Eric Draven becomes the Crow through a simple yet powerful blend of death, revenge and love. A year after Draven and his fiancée get brutally murdered, he returns with a symbiotic form of immortality tied to a crow that appears at the same time, and his hunt for the killers begins. Eric gets thrown headfirst down a memory flashback hell upon his return to their apartment in a scene from "The Crow” that makes it easily one of the best movie origin stories ever created.
Pootie Tang, “Pootie Tang”.
Pootie’s self-created language already sets him up as unique, but soon you get to bear witness to the speed of his omniscient father and his belt of fury as Pootie’s legend is formed. Tang’s origin takes an even darker turn when his mother dies, swiftly followed by the best death of a father since Batman’s origin: death by gorilla mauling in a steel mill. The tale of “Pootie Tang” has all the rises, falls and self-examinations a beginning could possibly have, leaving its mark as a strange and wonderful film with or without inebriants. As one of Pootie Tang’s liaisons throws his stuffed animals out of her apartment, you have to grin at the insanity of this scene and how perfectly it foreshadows his future.