Believe what you want

Movie Critique

The X-Files: I Want To Believe (2008)
Cast: David Duchovny, Gilian Anderson, Amanda Peet, Alvin 'Xzibit' Joiner
Director: Chris Carter
Running Time: 104 mins

Fox Mulder and Dana Scully return to the big screen for their second X-Files film titled I Want to Believe, and fans of the highly popular TV series will love to witness the onscreen chemistry of both lead actors ignite once again after well, too long. David Duchovny and Gilian Anderson reprise their prized roles once again even though the story this time seemed somewhat if not completely detached from the first film.

Mulder and Scully who have both left the Federal Bureau of Investigations and have moved on in their careers as a Doctor and unemployed, obsessive hermit respectively, are called in to help the Bureau find a missing FBI agent who seems to be connected with a group of abductions. Psychic and former Pedophile priest, Father Joe (talk about a typecast) helps Agent Dakota Whitney (Amanda Peet) and Agent Mosley Drummy (Xzibit) find evidence regarding the abductions aided by a series of inexplicable visions. Mulder who is wanted by the FBI is offered full pardon by the Bureau in return for his assistance with the paranormal phenomenon of Father Joe's visions. Scully, the usual skeptic leaves the investigation after a series of dead ends and struggles to save the life of a young boy suffering from Sandhoff disease while Mulder quite characteristically obsesses over the case.

The film severs its ties with the paranormal, the tiresomely overcooked government conspiracies and the constantly returning theme of extra-terrestrial beings but still falls short of any mark. In fact the film is a little distant and seems more like an episode from the early seasons of the TV series than a continuation of any story. The plot was simple and the film felt like just an ordinary thriller with a few iconic characters thrown in to attract an audience. However, the film did refer to its 90's monster of the week type episodes where very few of the episodes were connected or ever referred to again. The story did have a few positive points as it posed a few moral and deeply ethical questions of the audience. The moral overtures of the plot seemed to hold a little more than a simple good guy versus the one bad guy type scenario which has flooded and dare I say plagued our cinema halls. However, considering the reputation of the TV series the film did feel much like a sickening re-union film for the sake of watching Mulder and Scully kiss again rather than the value of the story, much like the narcissistic Sex and the City film. Except of course this was not two and half hours long.

The producer of the TV series turned director of the film, Chris Carter does a decent job with the film which didn't seem to offer much in the story or plot but since he did co-write the project no sympathy will be given. The film seemed a little long even though it wasn't, principally because most of the film was downright boring and slow. One commendable feature in the film was Gillian Anderson's performance which was as, in the TV series, the best of the cast. However, she doesn't muster up enough to keep the film afloat as the directionless plot knocks the wind out of any audience member paying enough attention not to fall asleep. Duchovny hasn't seemed to change much since the days of the series and his character sees little maturity or evolution which is a good thing for Mulder fans. The change in the tempo of the Mark Snow's X-Files theme is also a very poor feature in the movie.

Overall even though the film is not completely ghastly, I feel that the story would not have independently stood strong without the addition of the two iconic FBI special agents and their on screen flare. The film is deeply disappointing from the perspective of an X-Files fan and except for the characters does little to connect itself with its target audience. The film fails to even be nostalgic as it merely feels as if the same two actors are playing different roles in a completely unrelated film. I have had the privilege (or not) of watching two of my favorite TV series put into films this week and subsequently I've been deeply hurt by both efforts.

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