a critiQal film review The X-Files (1998)

  • DVD
  • Blu-Ray

Plot: When a terrorist bomb destroys a building in Dallas, Texas, FBI Agents Mulder (Duchovny) and Scully (Anderson) are drawn into a dangerous conspiracy surpassing anything they've ever encountered. With the dubious assistance of a paranoid doctor (Landau). Mulder and Scully risk their careers and their lives to hunt down a deadly virus which may be extraterrestrial in origin - and could destroy all life on earth.

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Before seeing later today, we wanted to go back and take a look at the first film from the highly-acclaimed TV series, The X-Files: Fight The Future.

While the new film isn’t exactly a sequel (since the first was a continuation of the TV series’ ideas of conspiracy, etc., while the new film is more of a stand-alone film set after the series ended), we still wanted to relive Mulder and Scully’s first foray onto the big screen.

Plus, as we’ve been re-watching the series recently (thanks to a recent purchase of the Series Box Set), we had reached the point in the series where the film took place (between seasons 5 and 6), so re-watched the film to keep the series’ events in order.

David Duchovny and Gillian Anderson, old pros by this point at portraying their characters on the small screen, easily made the transition to the big screen. As they were so used to their characters by that point, they were easily able to bring the same quirks and nuances of the characters to the big screen that the fans had grown to enjoy week after week on the small screen.

Other familiar faces from the series also appear on the big screen, notably Assistant Director Skinner (Mitch Pileggi) and CSM (William B. Davis), plus an appearance by old conspiracy-theorist favorites The Lone Gunman. Again, as they are so used to playing these roles on the small screen, they also are easily able to make the transition to the big screen.

That’s not to say that all of the actors in Fight The Future are taken from the series. The most notable guest is Martin Landau, who, as expected, does a very good job in his role as a paranoid doctor.

Fans of the series will also be pleased that many of the conspiracy elements they’ve encountered week in and week out on the show over the first 5 seasons are a large part of this big screen version. Black oil (what fans now know is called “purity,” thanks to a Season 6 episode), alien encounters, CSM’s bosses The Syndicate, bees and large government cover-ups all take center stage in The X-Files, and fans will appreciate the larger scale story told on this bigger format.

The special effects are bigger than what fans are used to: instead of a small explosion, an entire building goes up in flames; instead of a hut of bees, a massive dome swarms with the little stingers; etc. While they are on a larger scale than the TV episodes’ effects, it’s obvious that as much – if not more – care went into making them entirely believable. As with the television episodes, the effects are an integral part of the storyline, and easily live up to their end of the bargain on this larger scale.

Fans of the series will enjoy The X-Files: Fight The Future, and will probably look on it as a larger, lengthier episode in the series the love.

For those of you who have never seen the show, however, Fight The Future is probably not the place to start. Sure, the movie is still enjoyable, but without the background of the first 5 seasons, many of the conspiracy theories may be a little too much for you all at once.

Whereas fans were hooked first by the Duchovny/Scully pairing, and then gradually grew into the conspiracy theories through each episode, first-timers may find it a little hard to take all at once.

Think of The X-Files: Fight The Future as a big-screen reward to loyal viewers of the series. For those of you who haven’t yet been hooked by the series, you may want to check out the series in reruns for a couple of seasons before delving into this film.

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