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X-Files, The: I Want To Believe
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by Mel Valentin

"See it for Mulder + Scully, skip it for the B-movie storyline."
3 stars

Six years after "The X-Files" went off the air and ten years after the first (and only) feature-length film, "The X-Files: Fight the Future," creator and executive producer Chris Carter, co-writer and co-producer Frank Spotniz, and series stars David Duchovny and Gillian Anderson are together again for another (probably last) feature-length film, "The X-Files: I Want to Believe." Eschewing the alien conspiracy/mythology storyline from the series and earlier film and focusing on a standalone “monster-of-the-week” one, "The X-Files: I Want to Believe" plays out like an extended episode of the television series with a slightly higher budget. "The X-Files: I Want to Believe" should make diehard fans of the television series happy. Casual fans and regular moviegoers won’t be impressed with the lackluster, B-movie storyline and the shortage of action or suspense.

The X-Files: I Want to Believe picks up more or less in the present. For moviegoers unfamiliar with the conclusion of the television series, Fox Mulder (Duchovny) and Dana Scully (Anderson) are no longer with the FBI. Scully works as a medical doctor in a pediatrics ward of a Catholic hospital, Our Lady of Sorrows and Mulder lives as a recluse, still collecting newspaper clippings of strange, unexplained phenomena. He’s also facing criminal charges that, luckily for him, the FBI refuses to pursue. When, however, an FBI agent goes missing from her home, two FBI agents, Dakota Whitney (Amanda Peet) and Agent Mosley Drummy (Alvin 'Xzibit' Joiner), stumped by their inability to find the missing agent, call in Scully and Mulder, promising Mulder a free pass on the criminal charges in exchange for his help.

Whitney wants Mulder on the case due to the involvement of a defrocked Catholic priest, Father Joseph Crissman (Billy Connolly), who contacted the FBI, claiming he’s had visions of the missing agent and the two men (Callum Keith Rennie and Fagin Woodcock) who abducted her. Due to Crissman’s criminal past, Scully responds with aversion to him. Willing to take a chance and eager to be working again, Mulder responds more openly. While the investigation continues, the two men kidnap another woman (Nicki Aycox). Scully struggles with Mulder’s renewed interest in the paranormal and her own faith, religious or otherwise, as she treats a young boy, Christian Fearon (Marco Niccoli), whose only hope of surviving a terminal disease, is through a radically new, radically experimental, painful treatment.

To say more about the storyline would be to give away spoilers, something Carter and Spotniz have worked hard to avoid (they’ve succeeded as far as that goes). Unfortunately, Carter and Spotniz came up with a central mystery and payoff that rely heavily on sci-fi/horror B-movie clichés, cultural, ethnic, religious, and sexual stereotypes (all of them outdated and offensive). In an hour-long television series, the occasional clunker episode is forgivable, since there was always the possibility of a better episode in a week’s time. But when you’ve been waiting six years for another visit to the X-Files universe, a derivative, unimaginative storyline with a weak payoff isn’t what you’re expecting, but that’s exactly what Carter and Spotniz decided to give their fans and the casual moviegoer who decides to give The X-Files: I Want to Believe a chance at their local multiplex.

If "The X-Files: I Want to Believe" has any redeeming value, it’s in the chemistry between David Duchovny and Gillian Anderson. Even after six years away from their career defining characters, they still work well together. They act like a couple that’s come to a mutual understanding about each other’s strengths and weaknesses. To their credit, Carter and Spotniz are at their best when they’re focusing on Mulder and Scully’s interactions. Their dialogue is as crisp, biting, and clever as ever. The whole religion (or religious belief) versus science or rationality theme that runs through "The X-Files: I Want to Believe" becomes uncharacteristically heavy-handed and tiresome. That leaves exactly two reasons, David Duchovny and Gillian Anderson, for recommending "The X-Files: I Want to Believe." For most, non-X-File-o-philes, that won’t be nearly enough. Sadly, "The X-Files: I Want to Believe" looks the end for the "X-Files" franchise, at least in film or on television.

link directly to this review at https://www.hollywoodbitchslap.com/review.php?movie=17268&reviewer=402
originally posted: 07/25/08 03:20:32
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User Comments

2/13/17 morris campbell trash once again stick with the tv show 1 stars
5/15/11 stephen nettles Not that bad 3 stars
12/27/08 TreeTiger A major disappointment for X-files fans. 2 stars
12/21/08 Faraz J Shit ass boring movie. Watch the news instead. 1 stars
12/05/08 Jack Sommersby While not an "X-Files" junkie, I found it slight but taut and suspenseful. 3 stars
12/03/08 cate89 Good for fans , could've used more action. 4 stars
11/14/08 HarryT Dissapointing, lacks drive and interest 2 stars
10/01/08 Roger G.C. McGregor Yep, poor Gillian Anderson! -- an unimpressive actress and UGLY to boot! 3 stars
10/01/08 Ashley Nicole Hendershot-Wetherington Ending leaves too much hanging + Gillian Anderson's character none too likeable. 3 stars
9/24/08 Tiffany Carriker Wish I'd seen 'em while they were still files,&seen if they were any better than as exfiles 2 stars
8/02/08 markgse Mulder and Scully 3 stars
7/28/08 mary mcmuray I am a big fan of the series and really enjoyed seeing Mulder and Scully again. 4 stars
7/28/08 JimD Surprisingly good watch. Does offer some substance rather than just nostalgia. 4 stars
7/26/08 mr.mike You may subtract one star for non-fans. 4 stars
7/26/08 Brian Mckay Good to see M&S again, but this is a mediocre TV episode with an extra hour and a budget. 3 stars
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  25-Jul-2008 (PG-13)
  DVD: 02-Dec-2008


  DVD: 02-Dec-2008

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