a critiQal film review The X-Files: I Want To Believe (2008)

  • DVD
  • Blu-Ray

Plot: With an agent missing and a possible psychic (Connolly) their only lead, the FBI calls in a man known for his work in the paranormal at the Bureau: ex-agent Fox Mulder (Duchovny). Of course, Mulder wants to bring his old partner, Dana Scully (Anderson) in with him - but she isn't sure if she wants to get back into that type of work.

632 words (Est. Reading Time 3m 9s)
  • ...despite having Mulder and Scully together again on the big screen, this 2nd film of the popular TV show will probably disappoint.

Despite the hype of so many films this summer ( being the latest), there was one film I was looking forward to above all others: The X-Files: I Want To Believe.

Having received the complete series of the TV show on DVD recently, I have spending the past few months catching up on the series. While I originally wanted to finish the tv series before seeing the film, recently I’ve been concentrating more on moving than watching DVDs, and was only able to make it up to midway through season 6 before the film hit theaters.

Since I never actually got to watch the last 2 seasons of the show when they originally aired, I thought going in I might be a little confused. But, since this film was being promoted as a “stand-alone” (ie.. you need not watch the series to understand the film), I figured I’d be okay.

So, despite a little disappointment in not finishing the TV series first, Heather and I headed to the theaters to check out The X-Files: I Want To Believe. Would a nearly 10-year hiatus be devastating for the cast – and the characters – or would Duchovny and Anderson rise once again to the occasion?

Duchovny and Anderson, looking a bit older, seem to have lost some of the passion in their characters that made the show such a success. Duchovny’s Mulder does give the viewers occasional glimpses of the man he used to be, but Anderson’s Scully has definitely moved on with her life. With them branching out into different areas (Mulder still stuck on his sister, Scully moving more into the medical field), the dynamic and camaraderie these 2 evidenced on screen week after week is largely a thing of the past.

New characters appear with much more abundance in this new film than in , among them Amanda Peet, Billy Connolly and Xzibit. While Billy Connolly is decent in his role, it’s not up to his impressive performance in the darkly hilarious , while Amanda Peet and Xzibit do nothing to make their characters really stand out.

Unfortunately, the plot is where The X-Files: I Want To Believe seems to falter the most. While the original premise of pulling Mulder and Scully back into the FBI shows at least a little of the flair the old series had, the ultimate plotline does little to distinguish this new film from the myriad of recent horror/thriller films. If it weren’t for Mulder and Scully, the filmmakers would have been hard-pressed to label this an “X-Files” film at all, as none of the panache and fun of the show is evident in this rather pedantic story.

Sadly, The X-Files: I Want To Believe is not the film fans of the series have been waiting all these years for. While it does put Mulder and Scully back together on screen, the film fails to deliver the freshness and originality that so marked the show’s best episodes. Rather than being something new and different, the film comes off as just another copycat – a sad state of affairs for the series’ 2nd foray onto the big screen.

Unfortunately, The X-Files: I Want To Believe does a good job that, rather than getting the creative juices flowing again, the long hiatus has undermined the writers’ ability to connect with these characters, and seems to spell the end of the “X-Files” impressive run.

Fans may go to see The X-Files: I Want To Believe just to see Mulder and Scully back together on the big screen – unfortunately, the magic of the show otherwise is largely absent.

If you’re a fan craving more “X-Files,” check your TV listings for reruns. If you’re new to the series, there are lots of better places to start than with The X-Files: I Want To Believe.

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