Saturday, July 26, 2008

Movie Review: X-Files: I Want to Believe

Y'know, back in the 90's I was a hu-uge X-Files fan, even went to a convention (with this guy). The convention proved to me one thing, no matter how nerdy I get, I'll never be that nerdy. Anyway, I was a fan, and so were a lot of other people, but then, starting with the release of the first movie, things went downhill. The mythology of the series just got too complicated and too unending to reliably tell stories that people would care about. Then David Duchovney chose to leave the series and, stupidly, Fox decided to run the whole fucking thing into the ground. I pretty much stopped caring long before they finally took it out back and quietly smothered it with a pillow (though Fox told me The X-Files was living on a farm in the "country" and really liked it there).

ANYWAY, thanks to Chris Carter having a script ready to go, and Fox not having much else to put out this summer due to the writers' strike, we all get a new X-Files movie, and surprise of all surprises, it's darn good. Fortunately, Chris Carter (and Frank Spotnitz) chose to jettison all of the mythology crap of the show in order to tell a good old science gone awry tale.

The set-up is that the FBI is faced with a kidnapped Agent and a disgraced Priest who says that he's seen visions that can help them track the abductors. The FBI, no longer used to dealing with psychic mumbo-jumbo, tracks down Scully and through her Mulder, and offer sweep their history under the rug. They really waste no time getting Mulder back into the fold, which is very good, since that shit could've dragged on for a while. From there on, the games begin.

The real key to the movie is the interaction between Mulder and Scully. They're presented a a couple who have dealt with so much mental trauma through their relationship, they're really the only two people who can relate to one another. The flip side of that, is that they can push each other's buttons really, really well. Essentially, they're an old married couple turned up to eleven.

The other key to the movie is that they avoid too many shout-outs to the series. There are very few references and none of the old familiar faces show up (well, one, maybe two, depending upon your level of fandom). This allows the plot to breathe and no one has to worry if there's anything they're missing because it happened in a random episode from season four.

The movie sticks to it guns of being a tight little thriller, avoiding big action set-pieces and steers clear of two much in the way of supernatural shenanigans. Plus, Mulder has a fight with a dog that almost puts Batman's to shame.

Anyhoo, I could go on for a while, but suffice to say, I liked the movie and I would highly recommend it, especially to fans of the show. From what I've seen of the box office returns, it looks like this will probably be the final ride of the X-Files on any screen for quite some time, so get on down to the multiplex and enjoy it.

1 comment:

Jeff said...

Really wanna see this, but I don't know when I'll get the time. Damn.