The trailer for “X-Men:The First Class,” though little more than a tease right now, probably won’t be any better than the average action movie.
I think people watching the X-movies will get the idea that Marvel’s mutant universe is a tangled mess of subplots with too many characters. Which makes it a pretty accurate representation of the comics.
I think I would be more excited if the “Wolverine” movie had been better.
“Wolverine” was just about how he became the movie version. So, The First Class is going to be about how we got to the first X-Men movie. Yes, I’d like to see Mystique and Magneto drift off toward villainy. And I’m morbidly curious about Kevin Bacon as Sebastian Shaw.
I’ll try to ignore the questionable cast, including Angel, a character created specifically to piss people off. Instead, I’ll talk about the difficulties facing a prequel.
People had the same criticisms of the Star Wars prequels. We already know what happens, we want to know how it happens.
As long as it’s a good story. The Star Wars prequels weren’t very good stories. “X-Men: The First Class:” probably not either.
There are ways to do prequels the right way. In essence, when a movie begins with the last scene, like in “The Usual Suspects,” the entire movie is a prequel to the first scene. The suspense involves how we get there.
Also, think about horror movies. You know that Freddy Krueger is going to be defeated at the end, and you know that he’s going to take out some hapless teenagers along the way. It’s the “how” that makes you watch it.
So, if you’re going to make a prequel, the lesson to be learned is that you still can’t skimp on story.
In Star Wars, the prequels were skipped because the story wasn’t as strong. George Lucas knew this.
If you’re writing a prequel, you have to make sure there’s enough mystery to engage the viewer. And make sure there’s a real story there, not just a bunch of things that happen to get your players where they need to be for scene one of the next movie.