The X-Files - I
Want To Believe
It's been six years since the TV
series The X-Files limped off television after losing both of its
main stars and most of its ratings luster. It's been ten years since the show last attempted to
upgrade to movie theaters with the somewhat underwhelming X-Files
movie and even longer since the series was a real buzz title. I find
it hard to believe that much of anyone, even former fans of the old series,
has been waiting around for The X-Files: I Want To Believe.
Therefore, it is rather
surprising that this film was ever made. This is made doubly confusing
because the complicated (or convoluted) conspiracy mystery which was such a
vital part of the series and never
cleared up back then is not really delved into here. They briefly
touch on Agent Fox Mulder's sister's alien abduction and a few other things
from the series, but mostly I Want To Believe is a stand-alone story
which could have just as easily been an extended episode from any point in
the series' run with just a little tweaking.
As it turns out, it would
have been a relatively good extended episode of the series - but it still
feels like there is no real reason that this should be a movie, rather than,
say, a made-for-TV special. The moving to the cinema does not really
add anything here. The violence is not really any more
graphic than an average episode of the show, and the additional sex is
limited to one short shot of a headless corpse's breasts - a shot which
easily could be trimmed without losing anything. Hell, the movie is rated
PG-13. How can you have a serial killer film which is rated PG-13?
And if you do, why not just make it a TV movie? But I digress.
X-Files: I Want To Believe was released to theaters. However, I
expect it will really capture its audience, if it ever does, upon the video
release.For whatever the reason,
The story starts years
after agents Mulder and Scully have left their government jobs. Scully
has taken a job as a doctor for a Catholic children's hospital. Mulder
(Duchovny) has become an essential hermit, holed up in a tiny shack,
exploring his conspiracy theories and essentially being anti-social to
everyone but his old partner.
A series of serial murders
has the Agency reach out to Scully because they need Mulder's paranormal
expertise. A disgraced former priest/pedophile has been having visions
of the crime. Scottish comedian Billy Connolly brings extraordinary
depth and insight into this distasteful character - he is certainly the most
interesting new character here by far. (Amanda Peet and rapper Xzibit
are pretty much wasted in underwritten roles as the pregnant local sheriff
and a bristly FBI contact.)
The plot gets a little
overly dense - touching on scandals of the Catholic Church, the Russian mob
and black market organ transplants. There is also a completely
superfluous subplot of Scully insisting on using experimental surgery to
save an ill young boy. Despite some atmospheric setup, the actual
reason behind the crime is a bit of a disappointment. It is basically an old
urban legend brought to life.
If you liked the X-Files
series, then you should enjoy this return to the well. If you never
got the series, nothing changes here. The X-Files - I Want to
Believe is, more than anything else, a film made specifically for the
fans. I hope for the filmmakers' sake that there are still enough of
those fans around to make it worth the effort.
Jay S. Jacobs
Copyright ©2008 PopEntertainment.com. All rights reserved.
Posted: November 28, 2008.