The X-Files: I Want To Believe

January 16, 2010
After recently finishing the entire series of The X-Files, perhaps one of the greatest shows ever, I decided I'd give this a re-watch to see if I appreciated it better than when I first watched it. Because, sadly, I was actually introduced to The X-Files when this film came out, though I'd heard of the show before but never watched it. While I didn't like this film that much when I first saw it, I loved the concept of two people investigating the paranormal activities of the world because, frankly, I love the idea of the paranormal. Moving on...

Set six years after the events of the series finale, "The Truth", The X-Files: I Want To Believe sees Mulder and Scully coming back into work, as an FBI agent has mysteriously disappeared in Richmond, VA. Times have changed for the duo, though, as Scully is now a physician in a Catholic church, and Mulder is reduced to hiding in secrecy, as he was wanted by the FBI by the end of The X-Files. The agent who's called them to the case, Whitney, has promised that Mulder's charges will be dropped if he agrees to help with the case. Littered with body parts and psychic priests, the return to the call of duty feels just like the "good ol' days" of Mulder and Scully's explorations into the paranormal.

While it's great to see the duo back together solving a real case for the first time in years, the outing in this film feels disappointing. Granted, it is pretty strange and might warrant being an X-File, it doesn't so much feel paranormal as it does something you'd see on a gross episode of Weird Science, or something along those lines. I did, however, like how the priest's supposed psychic ability was called into question until the very end, as it left that pondering question of whether the paranormal was real or not that the great, earlier episodes left you thinking.

It's kind of disappointing, tough, how they chose to handle the alien colonization aspect of The X-Files in this film, as it was the major story-arc of the entire series. They choose not to mention it at all, despite the very ending of the show leaving Mulder and Scully wondering what to do about the *spoilers*alieninvasion*spoilers*. Not only did they not address this, but any aspect of seasons eight and nine weren't addressed at all, save a fleeting mention of baby William, ya know, the supposed freaking star child? Just completely disregarding Agents Doggett and Reyes felt lame too, as the two were key to helping Scully during Mulder's absence. They were main characters! I'm not asking for these alien/main character aspects to be the full-front of the story, but I'd at least like some closure as to what's up with these things. Not even a mere mention as to what they've been up to the past six years? Lame.

Also, the subplot with Scully's patient, Christian, feels pretty weak in comparison to the rest of the film. It holds no impact over anything in the main plot, save one interaction between the two that felt really shoe-horned in. It felt like its only purpose was to address the issue of stem cell research, which was a much bigger issue in 2008 than it is today.

I'm not saying the movie's bad, but it is certainly a flawed return to The X-Files. I'll give credit to the writing, as the film does bring back nostalgia for the show. Mulder's quips, Scully's doubts, the government cover-ups, it feels like a really long episode of The X-Files, albeit one that kind of drags at the end. They even bring back the white-text information boxes, that would tell the viewer where and when the events occurring were just like in the original show.

For fans of the show, The X-Files: I Want To Believe will be a nostalgic return to the paranormal adventures of Mulder and Scully, two great characters on a great show. People who aren't familiar with, or haven't seen, the show will probably think it's just another run-of-the-mill thriller. It's flawed, granted, but it's still good enough to merit a watch.

6/10 - Fair





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