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The X-Files: I Want to Believe: movie review

Submitted by on August 9, 2008 – 10:35 pmOne Comment

xfilesiwantobelieve So Fox “Spooky” Mulder and Dana “I don’t believe you” Scully are back together again in the long-awaited sequel to the 1998 X-Files film. I am not going to lie to you (or infer something that doesn’t happen) and tell you that they are back working together for the majority of the movie, because that simply isn’t true. In fact, bar from what seems like a couple of initial (and ending) scenes, both David Duchovny and Gillian Anderson are in different locations. I recently posted news regarding how few Europeans were going to see the X-Files: I Want to Believe and I assured you all I would discover why. So this is an attempt to ascertain why The X-Files doesn’t “do it” for us EU’s anymore!

Firstly, after the first ten minutes I am confused. By the end of the movie I am still confused. In any other movie this would not be a good thing, but in an X-Files movie, if you are confused, then Chris Carter is doing his job! In fact, throughout the series, they have always claimed that the “truth is out there”. That seems ironic then, that whilst watching this film you realise the truth should “be in here” with you. Nevertheless you accept the movie for what it is: a one way trip down the lane of confusion and onward for ten miles into ambiguity-ville.

So Mulder and Scully (last names only please) are joined by a few new faces. One of them being who is not afraid of taking a less popular role as a paedophile. The last actor I knew to do that was Kevin Bacon in the quite excellent (but scary) movie The Woodsman. Sadly he was not recognised for this role and hasn’t done a great deal of anything good since. Let’s hope then that Connolly’s anorexic Santa Claus looking priest doesn’t harm his career. The fact that Connolly plays a pervert though, is completely moot with regards to the plot. He sees visions. Yes, the Scotsman is running around in cold weather seeing dead people. Unfortunately you never get to see these “visions” from his perspective as the director wanted to keep the ambiguity level up.

Another addition to the cast is that of “X to the Z Alvin “Xzibit” Joiner” who seems to feel completely naked without his vast amounts of adorning his neck and the “pimped out rides” that he loves so much. He plays a very minor role (unfortunately) and is one of the few doubters of the whole process. It seems then that after a six year hiatus the whole of the FBI has decided to believe everything that Mulder has to say and poor old Xzibit is left despairing a . It is a shame then that Xzibit’s role was as an FBI agent. FBI agents (stereotypically) are not exactly known for their range of emotions. Perhaps it would have been better for “X” to play the paedophile and Keanu “Wooden” Reeves to play the agent; a role this writer feels was made for him. Xzibit is accompanied by the only to call Mulder by his first name. She is played by Amanda Peet. In truth, I could have looked up her character profile in the movie but it is one that is as pointless as the next sentence that will follow this. Are you still listening?

So Mulder looks like Rolf Harris initially and has swiftly fallen into eccentricity. He’s only a week off of permanently wearing a string vest year round whilst riding in a yellow convertible exclaiming he knows the inner thoughts of all zebra. He “reluctantly” leaps back into the swing of the X-Files with as much restraint as an escaped convict. He is still with discovering the truth about his sister which seems pointless as in one scene, she walks straight past him. Scully is obsessed about a boy with Sandhoff disease in a story arc that has absolutely no relevance to the whole . Xzibit pouts a lot, as does the character played by Ms Peet (whilst she shows her professional interest in Mulder) and Billy Connolly rants a great deal about death, blood, dogs and visions.

Initially the movie plays as if it is a retelling of Silence of the Lambs with Connolly as the Hannibal Lecter role and the FBI as the er…..FBI. Sadly this doesn’t last long and a new (but ultimately less interesting) story progresses. This new storyline continues with Connolly randomly quoting from the bible and that quotation directly referencing an address. In any other movie this is laughable. In fact, even in this movie it’s laughable. What amazes me is that people follow these nutters around wholeheartedly without much questioning at all. Most of us would say “Scully: you are breaking into a mailbox because someone quoted the bible at you. It’s time to see the men in white coats”.

This film is nowhere near as good as its predecessor. It is nowhere near as good as the best of the X-Files series. However it is better than the awful finale we were given in series nine and so in that , it is worth a watch by fans. It’ll never convert a new generation into the world of Mulder and Scully but then I don’t believe that was the intention. I have a great deal more to say about this film (mostly negative). Unfortunately this criticism includes spoilers so with regret, I’ll end it here.

I have an additional request though. If anyone can explain to me why the X-Files tune is played over a scene with Mulder and Scully looking at a portrait of George W Bush, I would appreciate it. To me it’s as if the director was implying that Mr Bush is an alien. Perhaps not.

3.1 out of 10 (Mulder and Scully are not working back together. The Poster lied. the extra “.1” is due to the fact that Gillian Anderson is still an attractive woman and I keep hoping that she’ll see sense one day and look me up).

I can tell you why very few are going to see The X-Files: I Want to Believe (and it has nothing to do with the colon in the title). It is because the only ones interested in X-Files still haven’t forgiven Chris Carter for letting us down in the Final episodes of season 9.

Rating: 3 out of 5

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