‘X-Files’ movie would do better on the small screen

Special agents Fox Mulder (David Duchovny) and Dana Scully (Gillian Anderson) are drawn back into the world of the X-files.
Published On:
Monday, January 28, 2008
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Although I’m not a die-hard fan, I certainly enjoyed “The X-Files” television show, which ran from 1993 to 2002.

Now, I couldn’t tell you which season a garbage monster went on a killing spree in a suburban neighborhood or remember exactly why the McCarthy communist hysteria of the 1950s was tied to horrific operations on government employees.

Or the Smoking Man’s first name.

Did he have a first name?

But, I do know Fox Mulder’s (David Duchovny) sister was abducted by aliens as part of a government conspiracy.

And Dana Scully (Gillian Anderson) contracted — and recovered — from cancer in pursuit of uncovering that conspiracy.

And I hated Krycek.

And to millions of devoted fans, “The X-Files” brought something creepy, something scary and something different each week.

And the 1998 “The X-Files: The Movie” didn’t disappoint, with an exciting, although not perfect, alien-discovering adventure.

But, “The X-Files: I Want to Believe,” I’m sorry to report, falls flat as the story itself is simply not worthy of big screen treatment.

The film pulls our heroes Mulder and Scully out of X-Files retirement and onto a case to solve the disappearance of an FBI agent and a strange discovery buried in the snow by a man with psychic visions (Billy Connolly).

Writer and director Chris Carter also gives us a second story about Scully’s fight to keep a child alive using a series of controversial stem cell operations.

As Scully battles with hospital administrators she also questions herself with taking on another X-Files case after so many years of leaving the FBI. She tells Mulder, “I’m done chasing monsters in the dark.”

And therein lies much of the charm of “The X-Files”: the relationship between Mulder and Scully.

For fans — me included — the duo’s presence onscreen give us a much overdue reunion between long lost friends and their chemistry hasn’t missed a beat.

As wonderful as some of the agents’ onscreen moments are, Carter lets the audience down with a so-so script that has very little bite.

About halfway through, I realized I was watching a routine cat-and-mouse chase with little suspense that moved painfully slow.

Scully’s quest to “not give up” to save the sick boy didn’t translate well from pen and paper to movie screen and surprisingly lacked much emotion.

Instead of an exciting reunion with a beloved television show and its fans, we receive a lackluster stand-alone episode that’s not worthy of the hour and 40-something minute run time.

There’s none of the alien methodology story in the film, but that’s OK.
Many of the best “X-Files” episodes were stand alone, but this material is barely worth a one-hour episode on the small screen.

After surviving a six-year wait since the television show ended, the fans deserved better.

Now, if you love the original show, I won’t try to stop you from dropping $10 at your local Cineplex.

As a fan, I recognize the NEED to watch this film.

But, for anybody else, it’s a waste of time.

It is creepy, but it’s…

Not scary enough.

Not different enough.

Not the X-Files movie I was hoping for.

Sigh, I wanted to believe.

Reach the reporter at: jeffrey.mitchell@asu.edu