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FILM ONLY REVIEW
"X Files: I Want To Believe" is the ultimate mystery film; the mystery being, unfortunately, why it ever got made in the first place.
If it is a final goodbye to two beloved, iconic characters, it comes across as a damp squib. Mulder and Scully share precious little screen time together and, even in those fleeting moments, lack any chemistry or spark. The sexual tension between them has evaporated since they have become an item and not really been replaced by anything else. Both find it hard to recreate characters they had, in truth, long since left behind.
Possibly it is intended as a finale to the much loved show, but it barely scratches the surface of the intrigue and supernatural mystery that made the programme so popular. Whilst the need to avoid getting bogged down in complicated conspiracy theories and explanations is understandable, the viewer is left with an unsatisfying, plodding and generic drama/thriller with vague supernatural undertones. There doesn't seem to be any need for Mulder and Scully to be involved at all, except I suppose to generate a bit of extra revenue.
And herein lies the greatest mystery; the bizarre timing of this release. Six years after the show's final episode, interest had waned, resulting in a correspondingly low take at the box office. Even after all that time, I could've understood the point if it turned out to be an explosive finale, or even a dramatic prelude to an XFiles comeback, but instead it is a stand-alone. What, in that case, is the point?
The plot revolves around a missing FBI agent and psychic/paedophile/priest/walking cliche Father Joe (Billy Connelly). Father Joe has psychic visions about the case and the FBI call upon their former supernatural-investigating agents Fox Mulder (David Duchovny) and Dana Scully (Gillian Anderson) to help them out. The reluctant Scully, now a doctor, is "tired of looking into looking into the darkness" and reluctant to get involved but, as always, Mulder is drawn in against Scully's better judgement. Are the paedo-priest's revelations genuine or the work of a desperate and possibly insane mind attempting to make up for past evils? And, if they are real, will they be able decipher his visions and rescue the missing FBI agent before it's too late?
The film isn't entirely without merit. It looks pretty good for starters; filmed in snow covered landscapes that emphasize the ever-present but hidden menace. Billy Connelly looks the part of a soul in torment and his performance is decent, given the clichéd character he is playing. Duchovny's performance is lazy but reasonable enough whilst Anderson outshines everyone on screen.
However, it is difficult to get away from the feeling that this is a fairly forgettable episode of the X-Files, dragged out into feature length format. Although of reasonable quality, it feels very much a paint-by-numbers thriller with clichéd characters and low-budget action. It asks questions as faith, particularly as part of an almost irrelevant sub-story involving a seriously ill child and stem-cell research, but it's all kind of GSCE Religious Studies debate-esque.
I was never hugely into the X-Files, I always watched the odd episode (which I generally enjoyed) and intended to watch more, but never quite got round to it. Even from my detached point of view though, I can see that the film lacks the geeky-cool appeal of the series and much of the style and panache that made it such a hit. I just can't see too many redeeming features here; for a fan it's a bit of a pointless disappointment, nothing's revealed here except that the previously dynamic duo got older and bitter (and Mulder grew a mad hillbilly beard). And as a standalone film, there's absolutely nothing to make it stand out from the run-of-the-mill, fatigued thriller that it is. To top it all, even the title is crap.
Length: 104 Minutes
Ratings: Pretty low all round, scoring 5.8/10 on IMDB and 32% on Rotten Tomatoes
Family Suitability: It was given a 15 Certificate for some fairly gory scenes, mild swearing and discussions about paedophiles and child abuse.
Director (and creator of the original X-Files series) Chris Carter seems a bit out of his depth here. X-Files: I Want To Believe is a pretty dull thriller that comes across as a feature-length episode stretched beyond breaking point. Technically, it is a reasonable effort, but it lacks in style. The dialogue, some decent Mulder one-liners apart, is poor and the whole movie is a bit under-developed with a patched together plot and fairly unbelievable scenarios involving an enemy whose lack of nous would make a scoobie-doo villain blush. Not recommended.
The truth is out there. As are better films.
'The X-Files: I Want to Believe' arrived in the cinema in 2008, with somewhat odd timing. Six years after one of the most iconic television series of the 1990s left our screen, and an entire decade since the first X-Files Movie set the box office alight, the timing would suggest that the movie was set to wrap up the fascinating mythology outlined by Chris Carter in the television series. Instead, fans were given a stand-alone tale that resembled more of a mainstream horror thriller, as opposed to a continuation of the rather distinct franchise. It was critically mauled and subsequently only did tepidly at the box office.
Now, I enjoyed the film. With many movies, there is the bandwagon effect when it comes to bad reviews - making carefully measured comments and weighing up the strengths and weaknesses makes for confusing reading for the layperson, so it's easier (and far more entertaining) just to rip it to pieces. My simple judgement is this - if you have hardly watched the TV series or never seen it at all, you will enjoy this movie, but if you are a hardcore fan, it will undoubtedly leave you with much to nitpick at.
'I Want to Believe' stars David Duchovny and Gillian Anderson as FBI agents Fox Mulder and Dana Scully. They have an extensive history of investigating the paranormal and unexplained cases handed to the FBI, and often uncover conspiracies to hide the otherworldly from public awareness. The movie is set six years after the end of the television series - Mulder lives in isolation, while Scully works as a Doctor. The two are reluctantly drawn back in by the FBI, as the strange case of a missing agent, forces them to work with a former priest (convicted of child abuse, no less) who is having psychic visions, to help untangle the web of strange disappearances before it is too late...
The film clearly falls into the horror thriller genre, and while there are no truly scary moments, there is a chilling atmosphere throughout the movie. This is compounded by Chris Carter's beautiful cinematography, with the choice of filming the movie in Canada, undoubtedly a brilliant one. The thick layer of ice and snow in every scene is visually unnerving and symbolise that something is being covered up and concealed.
At times, there are some brilliant moments that hark back to the golden age of thrillers - before directors relied on 3D and huge explosions - as a chase scene occurs in an abandoned building, with the characters teetering on the edge of unsafe scaffolding. Moments like this certainly get the blood pumping, and counterbalances the dialogue-heavy mystery elements of the story.
I felt the acting in the movie was great, with Gillian Anderson putting on a really powerful performance in her sub-plot regarding the dilemmas and conflicts facing paediatricians. It's a bit of an oddly placed, sub-plot might I add, but Gillian makes it work. Billy Connolly was the stand-out for me though, with the challenging role of a child-molesting priest receiving visions pertaining to the disappearances of several young women. He really humanises the role, and makes the viewer feels the same conflicts as the characters on screen, as we wonder whether he deserves forgiveness or not. It is in issues like this where the movie really shines. Chris Carter really has a knack for using the characters and the plot to work as an allegory for greater issues. The title is a really clever one, as it features throughout the movie in different manifestations - it embodies the fundamental divide that characterises both Scully and Mulder's relationship, and a lot of broader issues. When should we have faith and when should we have scepticism?
In terms of a thriller, the first three quarters of the movie are pretty damn near perfect. There is suspense, a bit of action and some good characterisation, however, I felt the ending was a little too abrupt. The big reveal and ultimate conclusion was a little anticlimactic and didn't have much of a sense of danger or urgency in the conflict. The explanation felt a lot less X-Files and more B-List horror movie, which was disappointing given the strength of the premise of the movie.
Where the movie encounters problems other than the ending is simply its own place within the X-Files franchise. Now I haven't watched the series from start to finish, however, I do know that the show ended with a lot of major issues to wrap up. There are 'super soldiers' walking the earth, Mulder is being hunted by the FBI and there is the small issue of an impending invasion of earth being planned. Two of these are utterly ignored and one is dealt with rather implausibly. Then again, plausibility doesn't seem high on Chris Carter's list, if he felt it necessary to show Scully googling "stem cell research" prior to performing a stem cell surgery on a child. It just feels like an odd movie to appear so many years after the series ended. Do not get me wrong, I enjoyed the movie, but the show had nine years and over 200 episodes to tell stories like this. What fans want to see and what the general public would have been far more captivated by, would be addressing the alien invasion in 2012 that was foretold by the TV series.
Ultimately, 'I Want to Believe' is an average thriller. What makes it appealing to mainstream audience is that it really has nothing to do with the X-Files, as one could not class it as a supernatural movie or as being particularly loyal to the franchise, as there is simply none of the bizarre, unnerving brilliance of the TV series. And therein lies its downfall - by making a mainstream thriller that anyone could watch, it seemingly loses its niche and character that would make it stand-out from the crowd. Would I watch it again? Yes. Would I recommend to a friend? Probably. But is this the best continuation of the TV series that could have been done? Definitely not. I still have my fingers and toes crossed for the alien invasion movie that almost ten years of television was building up for - if that gets delivered, then some, if not all of the downfalls of this movie will be instantly forgiven. However, if this is the last the X-Files has to offer, then long-term fans will undoubtedly be disappointed.
X-Files: I Want To Believe is the second feature film to tie in with the popular T.V sci-fi series of the same name that aired for what felt like decades and once again reunites Gillian Anderson and David Duchovney as F.B.I Agents Mulder and Scully, a whole ten years after the original show ended.
This time around, there are no aliens, no conspiracy ~ in fact, this latest feature is just your standard average T.V movie supernatural thriller but with a much bigger budget. Fugitive former Agent, Fox Mulder, is called back out of obscurity at Scully's behest to help locate a mising F.B.I Agent. The only clues they have come from a Paedophile priest who claims to have developed psychic powers that come to him in the guise of visions from God. Scully. As always, pays the part of the sceptic whilst Mulder, again true to type, goes out on a limb and becomes all obsessive about the case ~ who would've thought heh?
In fact, there is nothing new here and everything feels like a re-hash produced in a fairly new format (there has only ever been one other feature film before this) in order to wring a bit of cash out of a long-dead franchise. Billy Connolly is okay as the priest but never really gets much chance to shine and everyone else, including Anderson and Duchovney, just feel as though they are simply going through the motions. Initial excitement at the beginning of this film quickly turned to disappointment as I felt myself becoming more and more disheartened! Truth is, I really wanted to like this (the last film wasn't TOO bad) but not even half-way through, I began to wonder why I was bothering.
If this wasn't The X-Files then this is one film that would disappear without a trace! As it is, it is guaranteed to draw in a certain audience simply because there are still some out there who have not quite had their X-Files fill yet! But this is one franchise that really should've been left to go away quietly.....
The only good thing about this is that because of the mixed reviews it got upon release, there is every chance that this might be the last we see of the infamous X-Files. Though that thought feels me with cheer however, it is just a shame that this was the series' swan song and will, for some, be the last thing they remember!
Stars - David Duchovny & Gillian Andersen
Certificate - PG 13
Run-Time - 104 Minutes
Genre - Sc-Fi
The X-Files TV series was great stuff, that there's no doubt, its arrival coinciding beautifully with the explosion of the internet, bringing like minded UFO and conspiracy types together from all over the world to worship at its alter, driving the myths and paranoia even more, sexy Scully and Foxy Mulder their guardians of truth. But like UFOs, their show was but fiction, and as the internet kept growing the tidal wave of mistruth of our governments in cyberspace engulfed the show and it was no longer needed for the believers, so the only action left for the producers was to cash in with a movie or two before it was too late.
The UFO phenomena seemed to begin at the height of the Cold War, governments all too willing to stoke the rumours to make the sightings symbiotic with the nuclear war threat that would also rain down from American skies, the rise of television the canvas to bring to life the strange craft. The people that tend to claim to have had a close encounter or be abducted by aliens always seem to be middle-aged people in dull jobs, making themselves appear a more interesting part of the human race for aliens to have flown all this way to abduct 45-year-old van drivers from Scunthorpe. I suppose being abducted by aliens and then beamed up into the mother ship to be probed and prodded means you must be important and a higher intelligence than the rest of us, why the X-Files resonated with so many geeks and loners. In TV land if you believed in aliens you could get a bird like Scully or a bloke like Mulder. A mind boggling one-in-eight Americans claim to have seen or been visited by aliens and so there's your massive audience.
David Duchovny ... Fox Mulder
Gillian Anderson ... Dana Scully
Amanda Peet ... ASAC Dakota Whitney
Billy Connolly ... Father Joseph Crissman
Xzibit ... Agent Mosley Drummy (as Alvin 'Xzibit' Joiner)
Mitch Pileggi ... Walter Skinner
Six years on from Mulder and Scully's FBI days the two are now long since out of the agency and doing their own thing, Scully a Doctor at a respected Catholic Hospital where she is working on an advanced cure for Sandhoffs disease, a critically ill young boy hoping she will find it pretty sharpish, whilst Mulder is a fugitive from the FBI and living the life of a hermit out in the sticks, spending his time accruing newspaper cuttings of various phenomenon - and trying to get pencils to stick to the ceiling! But when Agent Mosely Drummy (Alvin "Xzibit" Joiner) contacts Scully to sek help locate Mulder for his expertise, the FBI agree to call off the manhunt for the ex head of the X-Files Division for previous misdermeanors in return for help on a case. Sven young women are missing and one of them is FBI agent Monican Banner (Evelyn Harris).
Agreeing to help, team leader Agent Dakota Whitney (Amanda Peet) points Mulder and Scully to their number one lead, Father Joseph Crissman (Billy Connelly), a 'psychic paedophile priest', who is having repeated visions of the missing women, quickly leading the agents to the first dead woman's body. When Crissman comes out on location to the snowfields and finds body parts of more of the missing woman in question its quiet clear he has some sort of connection with the killer or killers, the Priest claiming its divine intervention from God that is leading them to him, blood running from the priests eyes getting Moulder very interested on the priests abilities, a fourth sense that cold help locate his long missing sister. But they are still no nearer locating the missing agent and when they discover her possible fete is a secret and mysterious facility in the frozen woods they better get a move on.
This just feels like an extended episode of the series, and not a very good one at that, a real waste of time. The actors have long since moved on from the show that made them and you just feel this was only made to squeeze one last payday out of it, maybe because all concerned careers had drifted since the first movie. Gillian Andersen was quoted as saying that when she walked back on Chris Carters set for the first time after that long ten year gap she thought it would be like riding a bicycle and it never goes away. It wasn't:
"It was like riding a f**king unicycle. I'd been trying so hard to stretch myself in other roles, and to catch myself when I did anything that remotely resembles Scully, that when I was put back in the ring with her, my brain started misfiring."
(Gillian Andersen, 2008)
That quote is an actress making excuses for a dreadful performance for me and someone only doing the movie because everyone else wanted to and so she didn't want to let anyone down. She has done a lot of Broadway and English theatre since and no doubt sees herself as a serious actress now, the show that made her now beneath her pretty little Canadian tootsies. And she is probably right.
The dialogue is dire and the performances turgid, Andersen as hammy as a meatpacker's lunch at the abattoir, Moulder 'faxing in' his performance. They clearly did it not to let the side down and trusted in Carter to deliver the script and the wages. The more familiar members of the cast have remained in TV since its huge success back in the 1990s and you suspect they were champing at the bit to get back on the big screen. A second film was also a chance to get Mulder and Scully to 'hook up' with the long awaited screen snog to release some of that sizzling sexual tension that was the X-factor to the X-files, but as every boy band managers knows, if the boys are married or have girlfriends they are not available to the screaming girl fans and so don't sell as many records. You have to leave them wanting more and the X-Files screen chemistry between the two has long since gone and when the kiss came it was like an Alaskan Salmon tonguing a Canadian Crayfish, freshly plucked from Hudson Bay.
For a $30 million budget it has made $60 million back to date. To be fair it had a tough multiplex releases in 2008 going up against The Dark Knight and so never really recovered, only the loyal fans helping to make its money back from world-wide DVD sales. It wouldn't surprise me if Carter looked at the final cut and thought this is not great and if we run it against Christopher Nolan's huge hit we ca evade critic for the low
Gross and scrape back on those DVD sales.
I think what happened is the far superior and first X-Files movie was probably the point where the younger geekier crowd had shifted its allegiance away from conspiracy and Sc-Fi and moved more towards superheros and so comic book became king and left UFO's behind. A third film is rumoured for 2012 around all this Mayan myth planet alignment end of the world stuff but that the movie by the same name did for that last year and so the project looks dead in the water, Carter, the not so unstoppable money machine. It's a shame this has to be its epitaph but we all remember when the X-Files was at its best but this headstone will soon grow over with moss and weeds and so soon forgotten, definitely for the best...
Imdb.com - 5.9/10 (35,546 votes)
Metacritic.com - 47% approval rating
Rottentomatos.com - 31% approval rating (user rating 34%)
Radio times Year Book - 2/5
Leonard Maltins Film year Book - 2/4
LA. Times - "The X Files: I Want to Believe ... feels like a TV episode that's been stretched out of shape, like a badly washed jumper"
The Daily Mirror - " As the famous theme tune is whistled over the opening credits, listen carefully and you may hear the gentle chime of ringing tills as Mulder and Scully return for a pointless cash-in on the TV series".
Movie News - " Only a fan would be inclined to tolerate this dunderheaded mystery"
The second film in the x files franchise came six years after the finale of the series and ten years after the first film which saw aliens terrorising the duo. This film however, takes the more believable approach of a serial killer on the loose and is a thoroughly decent watch with appearances from Billy Connolly making the film fantastic.
This film sees former FBI agent Dana Scully returning to her roots as a Doctor and is now a physician. The film see's her growing attached to a young boy called Christian who has a rare disorder called Sandhoff disease which is a terminal brain condition. She is putting up a fight to treat the boy using stem cell research, however the priests of the hospital who hold the overall authority refuse to treat him this way. The opening of the film leaves you questioning it's importance to the plot, and you find yourself reffering back to it, trying to find a link somewhere.
An FBI agent soon arrives at the hospital requesting Dana's help in locating Fox who is now apparantly a fugitive and no longer employed by the FBI. At first it doesn't really explain why he is a fugitive and I found this quite strange. The agent promises to call off the search for Mulder on the condition that he helps with the investigation into a missing agent, who has been taken from her home and is suspected dead. Her dissapearance is also linked to several other women from the area, who have all vanished without a trace.
Scully agrees to help but is unsure why they need Mulder's help in the search for missing women when he was the former head of the notorious X files, but agrees to contact him. The film then shows Mulder for the first time who is living in a remote location and has a very odd beard! Mulder is of course convinced that this is purely a trap to capture him but after a few sweet words from Dana he of course agrees.
This is when the film really starts, and introduces Bill Connolly and his character of Father Joseph Crissman, a convicted paedophile. Connolly plays an outstanding role, and given his comedy background I thought I would be unable to take him seriously in this role, but worryingly it fit him well! Father Joseph believes God is sending him visions of the missing women and contacts the FBI, who have to take these visions seriously.
Father Joseph leads a search and rescue team to a remote location in Canada and finds a clue which nobody can disregard as good luck at him finding. The team is split, with all but Mulder believing this man is somehow connected to the missing women, while Mulder believes the man's visions and urges him to search for more.
This is when we are introduced to Agent Dakota Whitney (Amanda Peet) who is struggling to disregard the man's visions and sways towards Mulder's side. You are given the feeling though that this is purely to find her missing agent and she will do anything it takes to find her. Meanwhile Father Joe has another vision which leads to him bleeding from the eyes and crying out in pain. This get's a bit weird at this point and starts to vurge on the paranormal side once again, but quickly returns to it's roots as a thriller.
The film then shows us a young woman driving home in the British Columbia setting, who is clearly being followed. She is then run off the road and abducted. Its starts to get a little gritty from here, with a few grisly but good scenes with a good plot leaving you guessing right till the end. You also question Father Joe's motives and again this is only answered right at the end of the film.
The film throws a few little connections to the T.V series, but you could watch this film without any prior knowledge of the X Files T.V. series. One little thing that threw me in the film was a referall to a son of the pair, which I didn't know anything about, and I watched a few episodes of the series. Can anyone shed any light, because it's going to annoy me! There are also quite a few comments made about Mulder's sister, as Sculley believes that he is so desperate to find these missing women to make up for the guilt and grief of loosing his sister. Again I had a vague recollection that his sister may have been abducted by aliens or something like that, but the series was so long ago!
After some remains are found, they are given their biggest lead and this leads them to a massive cover up by a company willing to do anything to stop anyone coming close to discovering them. The general plot of the film is very good, however when you discover why all of this has been happening you realise it is a little far fetched, however it can't be as far fetched as aliens and paranormal activity! It get's my vote!
Run time: 104 minutes
Release Date: 1 August 2008
David Duchovny ... Fox Mulder
Gillian Anderson ... Dana Scully
Amanda Peet ... ASAC Dakota Whitney
Billy Connolly ... Father Joseph Crissman
Xzibit ... Agent Mosley Drummy (as Alvin 'Xzibit' Joiner)
Mitch Pileggi ... Walter Skinner
The X Files movie has all the making of a cult classic-it's hated by critics and poorly reviewed. Looking on Dooyoo most of the reviews are 3 stars and this is reflected throughout the internet and magazines, so you might be surprised that I've given it 5 stars. Actually, I'm the only reviewer to give it 5 stars! In my opinion it is one of the best things to come out of the X Files in it's entire existence, and I can't tell you how many times I've watched it, each time enjoying it more than the last.
The first movie took on the task of pleasing the die hard fans who knew the "long-term story arc" in detail while at the same time being accessible to casual viewers and non-viewers (quite successfully in my opinion), this movie took on a "monster of the week" approach.
The movie is set several years after the end of the series, Scully and Mulder have fled the Washington and the FBI; Scully is a medical doctor in a catholic hospital and Muilder is a recluse. Without giving too much away, the FBI request the duo's help in a case with paranormal undertones in which an FBI agent has gone missing. Mulder and Scully jump on the FBI wagon to investigate the visions of a Priest, Father Crissman (played by Billy Connolly), who claims to have information pertinent to the case.
The revelation that Father Crissman is a recovering/self punishing ex-peadophile has been seen by many as a grasp for ratings. I disagree. Part of the theme of the movie (indeed throughout the whole of the X Files) has been Scully's battle with faith, and this revelation is important in the sub-plot involving Scully and a patient-a child with terminal brain cancer that Scully wants to rescue and the church wants to let die.
I really don't want to give away too much here, if you're reading this then it's likely you've looked up reviews because you've not seen the movie.
The supporting cast is really good. Connolly shines particularly brightly and brings some much needed humanity to a role that is potentially hard to empathise with, where most movies condemn, this leaves judgement up to you. The FBI agents and villains are similarly well cast though since this is a movie primarily about Mulder and Scully they have relatively little screen time. I was particularly impressed with the performance by Amanda Peet, where most background FBI agents in the X Files face into the chipboard walls she gives what little she has to work with some grace and determination.
Mulder and Scully are not the only regular cast members in the movie. There's a (far too) short appearance of Walter Skinner, whom Scully turns to for help close to the end of the movie. His appearance is - in EVERY way - perfect. It adds some serious nostalgia, as soon as he came on screen I was giddy with excitement! And it isn't in any way forced or unnatural, he is the likely candidate wither Mulder or Scully would go to for help, the only person besides each other that they can trust. And there's a very tender scene between Skinner and Mulder where skinner is trying to warm up Mulder's freezing cold body (and if you watch the blooper reel there's an amusing outtake of that scene also).
Hm..what can I say here? The title was a "natural" choice for an X File movie as Carter has been quoted, just not for this movie. There's very little here that requires faith or belief other than Scully's battles with religion and Father Crissman's psychic ability, certainly when compared with the aliens in the series. I think the mismatched title has had a huge contribution in the movie's low ratings-we were expecting something more paranormal. Good title, but should have been saved for a later movie.
As a die hard x-phile, all I can say is I friggin love this movie! Carter took this in a new direction, and I know it's irritated the traditionalists but I thought it was inspired and modern. The series had such a variation in episodes and adapted each season so well, I thought this felt like an extended "monster of the week" episode from a later series. I agree that it could have easily been a non x file movie with other actors, but then with the exception of the continuous plot episodes I'd say the same about most of the series. At the time of original airing, the X Files was unique on TV, and it has lead to many other TV series following a similar format. The driving force behind the success of the series (other than the superb writing of course) was the unique chemistry between Scully and Mulder, and the same is true for this movie. Yes, another pair of actors would make an equally good movie, but Gillian and David make it the X Files.
© L Wade 2009 - submitted only on dooyoo.
In directing the X-Files, Cris Carter managed to attract a huge fanbase who became dedicated to the paranormal and potential extra-terrestrial activity the show featured, along with the sexual tension exhibited between the two leads, FBI agents Dana Scully (Gillian Anderson) and Fox Mulder (David Duchovny).
For around a decade, Mulder and Scully played emotional tennis whilst struggling to come to terms with their levels of belief in alien lifeforms. Fast forward to 2008, with thousands and thousands of hopeful die hard fans praying and wishing for something to appeal to them in particular. And did they get it?
Well, in truth, no. The honest and bare facts of the film is that you could put any characters into this plot, removing the Mulder and Scully element, and it would still work just the same as it does. Barely mentioned or explored is the sci-fi teasing that Carter gave us for so long, and in its place is a tense and often gruesome crime thriller.
Fair enough, there are elements to appeal to X-Files fans, with hints and mentions, albeit brief, to the relationship the two of them nearly had, during the majority of the TV series, and then finally did have. Their relationship, or lack of it, is briefly mentioned in this, and their on screen chemistry is still as magical and appealing as it ever was. There is no doubting their skills on screen, whether it be TV series or feature film. Although this flows like an extra long TV show episode, it still requires stellar acting, and we get this from them.
Also impressive is the only sci-fi element, Billy Connolly, as former paedophile priest Father Joe who has visions of crimes as they are happening. He helps the FBI with their search into one of their own who has gone missing. Mysterious and curious circumstances lead them to bring in Mulder to help them, and he agrees to do so, but only with Scully tagging along as well. As the search goes deeper, we are allowed glimpses of what might have befallen the agent, as well as the explanations for the disappearance of other people. It's gruesome, and at times cringeworthy, especially towards the end, but beyond that, I'll say nothing for fear of spoiling the plot for you.
If you are a hardened X-Files fan, I can only imagine that disappointment will be foremost for you. My wife and I watched it tonight, and we both agreed that, as X-Files fans, we really weren't impressed. In all honesty, I was expecting something more akin to the government conspiracy theories involving aliens that Carter usually gives us with these guys, but the closest we got was Father Joe being all freaky and having visions (none of which we see, of course).
I suppose, if you look at it as an X-Files film, then it's going to be a disappointment, but if you were to approach it as an X-Files newcomer, or just as a thriller to watch, then you could actually say it was a really good film. It had elements which were absolutely enticing, and although this was rather bitty, with an ebb and flow of interest from the both of us, we both agreed it would have been really good if you took away the X-Files element. This is, of course, irrelevant, as they were included, and as an X-Files fan, it was, overall, a disappointment. I enjoyed it as a thriller, and that's why it gets 3 stars, but it was oh so close to just getting the 2 for failing me as an X-Files fan.
The X-Files is an undeniably indellible slice of classic TV, and had numerous imitators follow their "freak of the week" pro forma, with shows such as Smallville exploiting the recyclable format. I can't profess to have ever watched much of The X-Files, but I get the jist, and did somewhat enjoy the first film - Fight the Future - even if it seemed to be little more than an extended episode.
What makes all of these iterations enjoyable is without a doubt David Duchovny and Gillian Anderson as Fox Mulder and Dana Skully - they have superb chemistry together after almost a decade together on the show, and of course, fanboys were no doubt salivating for another stab at things. The hype was considerable, and it's fair to say that a lot of fans were disappointed by the film, but it's well made and tolerable, above all else, thanks to Duchovny and Anderson pairing up again.
The plot is standard supernatural tosh - Father Joseph Fitzgerald Crissman (Billy Connolly) claims to have visions of crimes as they're committed, and so Mulder and Scully, who have been apart in seperate jobs for some time, reunite to take things on. Meanwhile, Scully also has a crisis of faith, as she attempts to cure a young church boy's brain illness, whilst his nuns claim that she's interfering with God's will. It's hokey beyond belief, but if you've eaten it up for the last decade, you'll probably have no problem digesting that, even if this amounts to little more than a 100-minute episode.
Although well made and finely acted, I Want To Believe is only intermittently entertaining, as it too often meanders away from the interesting subplots and sits comfortably as a rudimentary, run-of-the-mill thriller.
This film is based on one of the most popular TV shows ever produced back in the 90's- 'the X-files'. The TV show ran from 1993 to 2002; it probed into mainly conspiracy theories involving the government and the existence of extra-terrestrial life and the occasional 'monster' stories which I enjoyed greatly.
It is the second film to be created in based on the franchise itself; its predecessor was crudely put together to create something of a film that was released to the cinemas in 1998. This film was released worldwide in 2008; directed by Chris Carter (he did all the directing in the TV series too) and he uses the same style that has been successful in his TV series; not straying too far from his experiences.
The duo; Duchovny and Anderson reunite once again, brushed the dust off their roles after a 6 years break and they still potray their part effortlessly as Mulder and Scully.
The plot does not involve a hint of the typical conspiracies involving the government and extra-terrestrials, the writers have decided to go for a tried and tested method; a crime-thriller film. In my opinion, they should have stayed away from this; as many fans of the TV show have come to associate science fiction stories with the duo; thus would have expected a plot based on science fiction. Instead they have inserted a psychic in the hopes that it was science-fiction-eque enough. It has failed like a deflated balloon. It is rather silly; if you're going to do a film of the X-files, at least have something paranormal!
The general summary of the film is that a paedophile catholic priest starts to get visions of two men committing crimes against people; throughout the film, Mulder and Scully struggle to find the link between the priest and the people committing the actual crimes. I didn't feel the need or reason to label the priest as a paedophile, it was obviously a cheap attempt to make the character to come across as disgusting/creepy, and to create an unlikely hero. It was rather insensitive to do so for the possible members of the audience. The plot of the film was just odd; and very flimsy. It was never explained why the two men felt the need to be attacking the people in the end. They were just arrested, with no word of explanation.
In my opinion, the plot was absolutely ludicrous. In 2008, Mulder is still a wanted man, a continuation of a story-arc from the last episode he was in the TV series; the FBI asks him back to help with a case. Mulder is initially defiant against Scully, then he sees his sister's photo and changes his mind. Come on, normal people wouldn't change their minds like that! It was very cheesy and not exactly very original. I knew from this scene on, I was in for something bad. There are many examples similar to this but I'll refrain for now. There was a sub-story alongside the case that Mulder is on; Scully has a medical case where she has to fight to find a cure for a boy with a terminal illness. I felt, despite Anderson's emotional acting, that it was pretty much useless and wasted minutes, it didn't particularly add to the film, it was just needless filler. They, I presume wanted to show how compassionate she was a person. Scully still continues her journey battling with her hard belief in science itself with religion; Carter goes through this again, for a while it was interesting but it was embarrassingly over-done by the end of the film.
The directing of the film was so-so, I did rather like the rather atmospheric and moody locations it was set in. The heavy snow in the location made the area seem more isolated and grim; making the entire film seem rather eerie. He did handle some cases of tension very well. Mark Snow inserts some of his well known tracks- the X-files theme in an attempt to please the X-files fans.
The big plus points of this film is the acting by the duo; very good effort. They handled the script very well; even if it was cheesy in some parts. Anderson has an amazing range of emotional acting; it was evident in this film. However, I have to say Duchovny didn't take very long to get back into his groove of the character and it was evident that Anderson required quite a few scenes as her uneasiness was so obvious on the screen in the beginning of the film. Billy Connolly, the priest in this film; handles his part very well, he realistically plays a priest searching for redemption for his crimes though his visions. There was a surprise at the end of the film; a cast regular turns up for 2 minutes, I thought it was a cheap shot to bring the character in. It wasn't even worth the surprise, it was just TWO MINUTES.
This is a film for the newcomers to the franchise of X-files, this film does nothing at all to whet the fan's appetite. It is as if Carter has forgotten what made his TV show successful and went down the route to gather up new fans. This film was again poorly put-together, the scenes have no coherent flow, not all the loose ends have been tied up. It was a very disappointint watch, I would have to admit. I am the biggest X-files fan, I was very excited to be watching this and it has been such a big fat let-down.
When an FBI agent vanishes from her home the only connection the FBI have to finding her is a convicted paedophile priest. Doubting his ability they call upon one man with a history in this type of case, Fox Mulder (David Duchovny). He's been in hiding for the last 8 years avoiding false charges brought by his old FBI bosses to discredit his work. They ask for his help and agree to drop all of the charges as Mulder and former work, now cohabiter Dana Scully (Gillian Anderson) are reunited to work for the FBI once again.
I'd always been a big fan of the X Files throughout the 90's until it came to an end in 2002. I'd even enjoyed the first movie and so when this return to the big screen was announced last year have to admit to have been looking forward t it. It's taken me until now to see it and given the reviews I've read over the last year for it I wasn't sure if I should even bother. I was quite surprised though and while it's not a complete return to the X Files heyday's I did find it mildly enjoyable, certainly not the complete bomb the critics had been reporting.
The film also sees the cast linking up with X Files Creator, Writer and Director Chris Carter. Fans of the series will know exactly what Carter could do but on this outing he seems to struggle. Rather than having the feel of a big screen adventure it seems far more like a feature length episode, which as I watched it at home didn't bother me. Had I been to see it at the cinema however I'm sure it'd be a different story. In truth though he struggles to recreate the suspense the series used to have and I think that's why this release suffers.
I felt that the film had a reasonably good idea behind it. The plot was a little predictable but it did make it a more accessible movie and something for everyone, not just X Files fans. I'd say that's what will annoy the hardcore fans though, this was a very diluted story and seemed to spend a lot of time on character development. I'm not sure if this was because he expected everyone to have forgotten who Mulder and Scully were or if it was just for non fans but for me it really didn't work. Had this film been anything other than an X Files movie it would have probably worked fine.
When it came to casting there was only one way Carter would be going. There was obviously the option to bring back Robert Patrick as John Doggett, but Carter opted for his original creations Mulder and Scully. The return of David Duchovny and Gillian Anderson was probably the part of this that excited me the most. Gone was the question of will they won't they as they were now living together but the sceptical relationship is still alive and well. Duchovny seemed to slot straight back in as Mulder and almost made it seem like he'd never been away.
On the other hand Anderson seemed to be struggling to reignite her passion for Scully. There seemed to be almost a distance in her character that wasn't there in the series and I'm still not convinced her return worked. There were a couple of other decent performances from Billy Connolly as the paedophile priest and Amanda Peet as the FBI agent who brings Mulder back. In fact it was perhaps Connolly who stood out most in his role as he seemed to have taken on some very convincing traits to add to a slightly different look that gave him a sort of scary presence.
Overall though I would say that despite the negative aspects of the script, direction and over characterisation it was still a reasonable film. It did have the feature length TV show feel to it but I felt it worked reasonably well. It' not a film I'd go out of my way to buy or watch over and over again but should it be available cheap I might consider buying it. It's a film I felt would have worked better had it not been under the X Files branding but it seems despite the luke warm response there is potential of another X Files feature length and hopefully that will be back to Mulder and Scully chasing some sort of Supernatural occurrence.
Amazon marketplace: £2.80
TV's finest pairing reunites on the screen for the second time. This time Mulder and Scully investigate into a paedophilic priest's set of visions which he claims are being sent from God. Scully, of course, is sceptical, whereas Mulder thinks there is something bigger involved. The scale of this film's plot is disappointingly limited. There are no aliens, no government conspiracies, but just some psycho killers who have weird intentions. To be honest, we have all seen this before. "The X-Files" is supposed to be different. They have gritty extra-terresterial creatures and absurd plot lines that make the TV show fascinating even to this very moment. The sparkling chemistry between Davis Duchovny and Gillian Anderson is still there, and provides something worth looking forward to. Being a sci-fi thriller this film does have its fair share of tense moments, but simply not enough. Some of the dialogue is well written, questioning faith and exploiting our insecurities. The build-up is incredibly well crafted and this does not require much previous knowledge to the TV series which is also a plus. But the conclusion does not have as much impact as expected.
I was really looking forward to seeing his movie at the cinema, but unfortunately(?), never had the chance. I finally got the DVD of the film for £6 after the blu-ray hasn't come down in price since it came out.
The X-Files was a TV series which ran between 1993-2002, with a movie in between in 1998 called "Fight the Future". The series generally consisted either of a monster-of-week or a story-arc episode.
The story arc involved an alien/government conspiracy but (thankfully) is not dealt with, or even mentioned in this movie.
Fox Mulder (David Duchovny) is an ex-FBI agent, who investigated unexplained phenomena, and oversaw the files of these phenomena, "the x-files".
Dana Scully (Gillian Anderson) was introduced to Mulder in the first episode of the series as his partner, generally a sceptic, she was a good muse to Mulder's belief in all things supernatural.
Apparently set six years after the end of the series, the two protagonists, mentioned above are living together as a couple.
Their relationship is believable, but I have to ask why, as they are a couple, they still call each other by their surnames. This film feels like a continuation of the series as an extended monster-of-the-week episode. It is not one of the best stories that the franchise has told, either.
The film starts with an FBI agent visiting Scully and telling her of a colleague of the agent) that is in danger and telling her that they (the FBI) need the help of Mulder, and asks Scully to convince him to help.
Once Mulder agrees to help them, he is introduced to an ex-priest, Father Joe (played convincingly by Billy Connoly) who appears to be psychic and is trying to find the missing agent, but finds an arm in the snow.
There is a lot of tension in the film between many of the characters, especially when Scully discovers that Father Joe is a paedophile. She no longer wants anything to do with the case and Mulder now wants to get involved even more. The tension is good between the characters as Scully originally convinced Mulder to help, but then wants him to step away.
There is another plot also happening in the film involving Scully, whom is now a Doctor in a catholic hospital and trying to help a terminally ill child, who she wants try an experimental procedure on.
The main problem I have with this film is that what happens to the child is left in the air, whether he lives or dies. It would have enhanced my enjoyment of the movie if this was at least resolved, even if it was only with on-screen text.
There is a guest appearence by Mitch Pileggi, playing Walter Skinner from the TV series.
The DVD is very lacklustre. The only specials are a commentary (by director and co-writer Chris Carter (also creator of the franchise), and other writer Frank Spotnitz). and three short deleted scenes.
The deleted scenes don't bring very much to the film, and you can see why they were deleted. The commentary offers a lot of insight into the various filming techniques used in the making of the film. However, it will not necessarily be interesting for those interested in the X-Files, but mostly those interested in direction and production.
Although this film isn't fantastic, I hope they make another instalment because it is really good seeing these characters again.
Film length: 103 minutes approx.
"The X-files: I want to believe" is a movie based on the hit series "The X-files". The series ended in 2002 and so fans had waited six years for the main characters Dana Scully and Fox Mulder to be reunited.
Basic Plot Outline
The film begins with an FBI agent approaching Dr. Dana Scully, now working at a Catholic hospital, and asking if she will find Fox Mulder for them. He has dropped off their radar, after becoming a wanted man and only Dana knows where to find him. The FBI needs his special skills with the paranormal on a case they are working on where an FBI agent has gone missing. Their only lead on the case is a psychic Scottish Catholic Priest, who also happens to be a convicted Paedophile (No clichés there then lol). Mulder tries to break the case for the FBI, while Scully tries to deal with an internal conflict of faith caused by the idea that the morally abhorrent Father Joe may be getting visions from God. Her inner turmoil revolves around a little boy she is treating, called Christian who has an "incurable" brain condition called "sandhoff disease". The film follows her trying to decide to let him die in peace or to put him through an excruciating treatment in the hope of saving him.
The characters of Fox Mulder and Dana Scully are pure gold. Their chalk and cheese personalities are delightful to watch as they both spar to convince each other of their own beliefs. Mulder is a "believer", his little sister was abducted by aliens when he was a boy and he has spent his entire life trying to find her. Scully is a "Cynic" who use to believe that things could be solved by science but who in this film "wants to believe".
I was surprised at the use of Billy Connolly to play "Father Joe". He normally appears in more comedic roles and I was quite glad that his part wasn't huge, but he was quite good in his role. Mitch Pileggi returns, which will please fans, in his role as Walter Skinner. He used to be Mulder and Scully's boss when they were agents.
The film includes many little nods to various people involved throughout the series production and these will delight fans. They can be found on the trivia section of imdb.com. The movie was dedicated to Randy Stone who died in 2007, he first cast Duchovny and Anderson in their roles.
David Duchovny began to play Fox Mulder in 1993 and appeared in a total of 173 episodes. He left after Season 7 (at which point the show went downhill) but the series continued for a further two seasons, during which Gillian Anderson, playing Dana Scully become the main character, appearing in a total of 200 episodes. Viewers have a long history with these two actors and so may be expecting wonderful performances. Whilst the acting is far from bad it is very hard to form an attachment to any of the characters, considering many fans will already be attached to Mulder and Scully it says a lot that I felt unmoved towards them during the film. There was definitely something missing there, this may be because Anderson and Duchovny can't actually stand each other any more, but I doubt professional actors would let personal differences get in the way of the performances. I have to put it down to the script and plot.
As I said the film has come 6 years after the final episode of the x-files. The producers don't seem to have taken this into consideration. The film jumps straight into the action, not really taken any time to reacquaint us with the characters and their "missions" in life. For fans that perhaps stopped watching after Duchovny left or having not seen an episode in 6 years or more this may be a problem. I felt a distinct sense of bewilderment for much of the film as I just couldn't reconnect with the characters, having forgotten much of what happened in the series and missing out on the last two. There are constant references to things that happened in the final series, but they aren't explained fully for those viewers that are ignorant of events. This isn't helped by the plot of the film.
Now if this were a normal thriller/whodunit then the film would probably be pretty good, but its not. This is an x-files movie and as an x-files fan I was disappointed. This is because the x-files is meant to centre around the existence of aliens, monsters, ghosts and things of sci-fi nature. It focuses on the idea of conspiracies and the mistrust of the government and it is these things that made the x-files such a cult hit. Yet the film doesn't use any of these things. The plot is decidedly "normal", that of trying to find a serial killer before it's too late. The only supernatural thing being Father Joe's psychic visions. Yet even Father Joe is a minor part and is pushed aside from the plot to focus on Scully's inner turmoil. Also Mulder is brought in because of the "supernatural element" to the case, but as far as I can see he wasn't needed at all and it could have been solved by a normal FBI agent. There's nothing scary, nothing horrorific, nothing spooky or unexplainable. However the ending is unbelievable, but not in a good way. There's a distinct lack of suspense, Mulder and Scully were never in real danger and I didn't particularly care about the victim they were trying to find.
The team of Mulder and Scully was so great because they were a team, and yet during this film there is very little of them working together. It's almost like there are two separate plots going on that sporadically cross over. Their relationship is confusing too, are they lovers? Are they friends? Is it platonic? They attempt to make it clear but for me it was just too fuzzy and wasn't worked on enough, as this would have made the film more interesting. The sexual tension was always a highlight of the show.
The plot of the film was kept a massive secret. They shredded scripts on a daily basis, used faked scripts for actor's auditions and used fake and code names for various production elements. Considering they went to so much trouble to keep the plot a secret you would think they would have gone to a lot more trouble to come up with a decent plot. There was more conspiracy involved in producing the film then in the actual script. I am seriously disappointed that they wasted such a great opportunity to produce a good X-files film. Who knows if and when Duchovny and Anderson will ever work together again and the chance may have been missed to discover if the truth really is out there.
If you want a film true to the x-files watch the one which came out in 1998.
It's been exactly 10 years since Chris Carter boldly transplanted The X Files into cinemas, and fans like me have been aching for a repeat silver screen outing. The series ended with a pretty crazy cliffhanger - Mulder embracing his spiritual side and convincing Scully that those Monster-of-the-week episodes weren't just a Scooby-style figment of someone's imagination. Oh, and that impending alien invasion that was going to coincide with the Mayan prediction of the end of the world in 2012.
Lots of unanswered questions when the show ended in 2002. You'd think Chris Carter might want to pick up where he left off, maybe give us loyal X-Philes some answers?
Instead, after 6 years of waiting, we are rewarded with a meandering character study featuring two actors clearly both so uncomfortable and unfamiliar in their roles, that the entire theatrical experience feels like an eavesdropped warm-up rehearsal at best. It's difficult to know where to start when critiquing a film that should have been so promising that it's all all the more disappointing when there's little to redeem it. Firstly, the storyline is paper-thin, clichéd, and suffers from soggy pacing, and the sub-par use of plot devices to link characters and events seem unnecessary and tired by the end of the film. We've seen some amazing MOTW episodes, but based on the trailers, this seemed so much grander in its scale that most audiences were expecting a resolution to the mytharc storylines.
The plot takes a distant backseat to the character development, and the movie feels like more like it wants to be a mood piece. But this is ruined by the sparkless dialogue, characters that seem out of place and a spectacular waste of talent - in particular that of Billy Connolly, who seems to have stumbled in from another movie set by accident while on LSD rather than contributing anything noteworthy to the film.
The movie's only saving grace is its excellent photography, showcasing the picturesque, snowy backdrops of British Colombia in Canada. Cinematographer Bill Roe's skill with sweeping, majestic aerial and wide shots really bring the cold, bleak landscape to life while pinpointing the isolation and desolation each character exposits. This mood ultimately becomes both the heart and backbone of the film, and it's the only thing that draws you in as a viewer given that even though everyone is running around, chasing people in cars and firing guns, the movie is going nowhere and getting there at an excruciating pace.
Given that the film's entire theme relies on parading its characters' undeveloped emotions for 90 minutes, it's safe to say that this was a movie purely crafted for X-Files fans, although its fan-fiction-style execution is an embarrassment as far as Carter's bafflingly pedestrian directing and writing styles are concerned. If you weren't a fan of the series, this movie is unlikely to make you a convert, regardless of how pretty the scenery is. This is not an X-Files movie; this is a "look how much fun we had catching up" movie/cast and crew reunion party. Avoid, and wait until 2012 for the worthy sequel you know is being developed as we speak.
[x-posted to orble blog]
The reviews were so bad for this film that I couldn't even convince friends to allow me to pay for them to see it. Therefore I've had to wait on the DVD to finally see it. To be fair, it was never promising, with the title itself being such a lazy uninspired choice. And just to justify the appalling title, the scriptwriters have shoved it in there many times, as if equating it with some godly faith. Apart from that, everything else required is present.
Having spent the last few years in seclusion, Fox Mulder is contacted by the FBI to assist in a new case involving a missing agent and a convicted paedophile. His last interaction with them was not good as he was charged with crimes that he did not commit. With a bitter taste in his mouth, he is persuaded out of hiding by his long time partner and friend Dana Scully.
The case involves a priest who has been convicted of molesting boys, who is trying to make his peace with god. When he claims to have visions leading to the discovery of a severed arm, the FBI engage his help further to find the missing agent involved in the case. As ever, Scully is sceptical, but is persuaded by the ever-open minded Mulder to see past her contempt for the priest.
Together the two of them uncover a bizzare and shocking plot to illegally harvest human organs. However, Scully has to make a choice between the "darkness" of Mulder's X-Files and a boy who has a deadly disease whose care she has been charged with.
Gillian Anderson and David Duchoveny return to the roles that made them so famous in the long running science fiction series, and its an enjoyable turn from them both. They spar in that way that couples and lifelong friends do, and it makes a somewhat pedestrian script far more watchable. This feels more like a vehicle for the two of them to be reunited than it does an X file, which means that a reasonably decent cast are underused. They are joined by Billy Connolly as the priest who has committed such crimes that its hard to feel any sympathy for his terrifying visions or his fate. The only other actor to get a look-in is Amanda Peet, who plays an Agent in charge of an FBI team desperate to get to one of their colleagues in pearl before its too late.
Whatever we've been told by the critics, this is a reasonably good film. While its not a patch on the X-Files that t v audiences tuned in to see back in the 90s, its a watchable and well acted mystery. The best thing about it is the growth between the two leads who are pushed closer to making a decision about their relationship.
One problem with the film that perhaps makes it mediocre is that Carter doesn't really crank up the tension. This seems to be a popular choice in Hollywood these days, as directors opt for character development over plot development. This is fine when we dont have any previous insight into characters, but when these two are firm tv favourites, I think we can discard any pretentions at development and rush straight into a more fast paced and exciting story.
Its almost not helped by the score that often fails to ignite the screen. While the familiar score by Mark Snow is present, its more often than not played down for something more low key and ill-fitting to the action going on. Its only when the final credits role that we get a score that is befitting of the scale of this film. Prior to that, even the finale whimpers into existence.