Mulder and Scully’s return only serves to remind us that the best is long over.
Directed by: Chris Carter
Starring: David Duchovny, Gillian Anderson, Amanda Peet, Billy Connolly, Xzibit
What’s it About: Mulder and Scully, no longer working for the FBI, are roped back into a case when an FBI agent goes missing and one time priest, Father Joe (Connolly) claims to have had psychic revelations about the case.
I had always imagined that the second X Files movie would deal with the ‘truth’ which was revealed in the very last episode of the TV series: that the aliens were coming in 2012 and that, most likely, we were all doomed. Instead we are presented with a story which could be easily matched by anything you would catch on TV today, a crime thriller that has some gruesome, nail-biting moments but nothing that you wouldn’t forget ten minutes after leaving the cinema. It’s not that all movies should have the spectacles of say, The Dark Knight, but this slow boiled detective drama lacks anything that would set it aside from a far fetched CSI episode. One wonders why the X Files team would bother to make a movie at all if they do not wish to take advantage of the longer running time or the scope that a film offers the writers, who, up until now, mostly had one hour segments with which to play.
The ‘mystery’ storyline certainly disappoints, but this is not surprising really as the main focus here is the relationship between Mulder and Scully, always a tentative issue and one which Carter obviously felt needed more attention. The differences in opinion which the two agents have always held cause problems once more, with Mulder opting to believe in a supernatural explanation for Father Joe’s psychic connections and Scully seeing him as nothing more than a phony. Scully’s religious beliefs, which Mulder has never truly shared, also come into play. Unfortunately the result is a poor drama about domestic problems and misunderstandings; nothing we have not see a thousand times before both within and outside of The X Files.
Too much time is also spent re-introducing us to the world of Mulder and Scully. The movie feels like one long set up for a climax which we never reach. Various articles and reviews are citing this as a type of closure for Mulder and Scully fans, even while Carter himself is discussing his options for a third movie that would indeed deal with the impending aliens. All in all, as a one time X Files addict, I felt this to be a pointless film: closure was received on the Mulder and Scully relationship in the very last episode. Here, we are presented with an X Files scraped clean of everything that made it interesting including the love/hate tension between the two agents. The only way to win back the crowds and gain new fans now would be to make a kick ass alien invasion movie. Still, I would rather people just rented a box set and relived the memories of the good old days.
*Trivia moment: Watch out for a surprise after the credits; Tis a little cheesy but interesting all the same.
For gory info on the mad scientific procedures in The X Files: I want to Believe, pop over to Fiona’s science/sci-fi site here.