Review: The X-Files: I Want to Believe

***SPOLIER ALERT*** I don't consider myself to be the best movie reviewer so there may be snippets of plot revelations below. Read at your own risk.

I scheduled Friday off from work to see The X-Files: I Want to Believe at 11:30am. My intention was to see the movie, be blown away and immediately go back out to buy another ticket to see it again. Then go see The Dark Knight and possibly Wall-E. Friday was supposed to be a day of guilty pleasure sitting in a dark theatre all day being entertained and in someone else's fabricated reality. Sadly the X-Files movie didn't even come close to my very high expectations.

Sitting through the previews before the movie started was pure torture. I found myself rolling my eyes at every preview, shifting in my seat with uncontrollable anticipation while muttering under my breath "C'mon! C'mon! Start already!!"

At the first glimpse of the logo on the screen, you could say a slight shiver went down my spine. I simply couldn't believe 10 years have passed since seeing The X-Files: Fight the Future and I was completely excited to experience this heavily anticipated movie.

Sadly, it hit me about 15 minutes into the movie that this wasn't going to be a good movie. Everything just felt completely wrong. Scully was a doctor working in a creepy Catholic hospital fighting with the administration to save the life of a twelve year boy with a rare disease. My thoughts were racing ahead trying to figure out if this boy was really William (Mulder and Scully's son they had to give up twelve years ago), but realizing it couldn't possibly be because this movie wasn't supposed to deal with any of the show's mythology.

Scully gets approached by an FBI agent Mosley Drummy (played by rapper Xzibit of MTV's Pimp My Ride fame) asking for her help in tracking down Mulder. The FBI has an agent missing and need Mulder's help. If he cooperates, all charges will be dropped against him.

Since this movie was not about The X-Files mythology, the stand alone story meant that you didn't have to be a rabid fan to appreciate the nuances of the Mulder/Scully relationship nor have any knowledge of exactly what types of cases these two former FBI agents solved in the past.

When the audience sees Mulder for the first time he looks akin to Theodore Kaczynksi's Unabomber sitting at his desk with a pair of scissors cutting out newspaper articles and pasting them to his wall. Scully convinces Mulder to help the FBI investigation and away they go.

This is where I'm supposed to explain to you the plot of the movie. I can't say too much because if you do want to see the movie, I'd prefer you to come up with your own conclusions about how well Chris Carter did bringing a second movie to the screen. I can tell you it's about missing women, homosexuality, severed body parts, Russian doctors, a pedophile psychic priest and stem cell research.

I never particularly enjoyed the religious aspects of the X-Files, but I did appreciate this distinction between Mulder and Scully. I loved how Scully would have a keen sense of when to challenge Mulder about scientific evidence vs. faith even as the show strongly morphed into government conspiracy, alien presence and Mulder's stubborn refusal to give up his quest to find his abducted younger sister Samantha.

This movie tries too hard to offer the viewer some of the same flavor of the TV series without the confusing mythology, but sadly fails. I wasn't creeped out, I wasn't scared, I wasn't biting my cuticles waiting for the next scene and most importantly, I wasn't lost in the experience of watching an X-Files movie. Instead I found myself inwardly groaning over very contrived humor, a forced 'break-up' of Mulder and Scully and disappointed that Skinner makes an appearance almost towards the end of the film. Not fair!

Fans of the X-Files deserve so much more than this movie offered. Shame on Chris Carter for directing and writing a movie that was just so completely irrelevant to what made this TV show so special for millions of fans. I'm hearing that if this movie does well, he may make a third movie that focuses on the alien invasion which was supposed to happen on December 12, 2012. He should have skipped making this movie, saved the $30 million bucks the studio gave him and hold out for anotherfour years. The long wait could have been worth it. By doing so, I'm sure he could have tied up all the loose ends to the mythology in a nice package and end the franchise on a proud yet satisfying note.

The one thing this movie accomplished was to inspire me to keep plugging away watching all the shows through season nine in sequential order.  That's where the magic is and gratefully I can go at my own pace because I own all nine seasons on DVD. Also,  I own the first movie and I can watch it again and again and again and love nearly every minute of it - except that near perfect moment when Mulder leans down to kiss Scully. Damn those bees to hell!

Incidentally, I was so upset walking out of the movie that I strode right past the ticket counter and didn't buy my ticket to see The Dark Knight.  I've heard such amazing things about this movie and I didn't want to go in to it being irritated and distracted about all the things that were wrong with The X-Files movie I had just watched.  I wanted to give the movie my full attention and I just wasn't ready to step into another world.  Instead, I drove myself to Northboro and went blueberry picking at Tougas Farms. I settled myself on the ground near a blueberry bush and took out my frustration on the berries. Turns out squishing over-ripe berries is a great way to work through agression.  Who knew?

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  1. Anonymous8:03 AM

    Sorry that you couldn't tell that this movie was gonna be assmeat. Non X fans could smell this big farty stinker a mile away.