by Paul Deeter
There's been a lot of discussion about the greatest opening credits sequences of all time, with lots of love for films that use soundtracks to effectively build tension or expectation during moments most of us wouldn't consider essential to the rest of the movie. The opening credits are mostly there to set the stage, pre-end credits in introducing our cast and crew, giving preliminary thanks to those who participated in the project, and goosing up the audience with the promise of the big lead names who are coming to grace our screens. However, after years, over 100 in fact, the presence of opening credits sequences has minimized due to lots of facts, most commonly the use of end credits sequences to wrap up the "thank you" and "here's to you" accolades filling in the same purpose. Some movies benefit from avoiding even a title card, because of the narrative's intent to keep us inside the film for the whole run-time. Others use title card's creatively while nixing opening credits, to impact a certain scene or a tense moment/announcement the film wants to portray. With that being said, as it has been so famously with film's like Psycho and Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory opening credits sequences can still knock our socks off when done right. Here's to seven of them, post 2000.
6. The Streets Sing - Baby Driver (2017)
This entire movie exists on tempo with the beat and rhythm of the accompanying soundtrack. There's never a missed beat or cue, and despite following one of the most unforgettable opening chase scenes ever filmed, the film finds its groove while our lead, Baby, walks down the street in one continuous shot, dancing around window-washers, cop cars and dancers in the streets all making noises to the background track Harlem Shuffle (by Bob and Earl). It proves the movie is going to keep its cool, even after showing off its deck of tricks from the get-go. Groovy.
6. Hardcore, indeed. - Hardcore Henry (2016).
What's worse than a bad movie with a killer opening credits sequence? The potential squandered with the premise of a completely first person action-shooter was so cool, I advocated for it myself in advertising the film during my time marketing for the local theater chain. I told everyone to go see it, and then I saw it, and hoo boy. It stinks! Despite (technically) pulling off the feat of the premise, this movie is a bore outside of its opening credits sequence, which features multiple close up kills, with bullets piercing heads, knives to throats and even a brick to the ear (ouch!). It's brutal, and probably sicker than the rest of the movie, but hey, it's pretty much the only moment of note in the whole film.