Doodad Kind of Town


Quick Takes: "The X Files: I Want to Believe"
July 26, 2008, 5:04 pm
Filed under: Uncategorized

Here’s what I want to believe about the new X-Files movie:

I want to believe I had some good reason to run out and see it on opening day, given that I never watched so much as a minute of the television series on which it is based. Come to think of it, I ran out and saw the first “X-Files” movie on its opening day, too. I chalk this up to the influence of my friend, Mary Anne, who accompanied me to both movies and who is a big “X-Files” fan. It’s good to have her along for clarifications of plot points and characterizations that aren’t readily apparent to non-watchers of the series (like “When did Scully and Mulder become an actual, romantic couple?”)

Maybe it was because I like both Gillian Anderson and David Duchovny very much (but for reasons more to do with their performances in “The House of Mirth” and “Return to Me” respectively) and expected them to generate some good chemistry. And they do.

But the film they’re given is workmanlike at best, and only as mildly engrossing as an extended television episode. (And not an episode I’d voluntarily watch or make a point of Tivo-ing, either. But one that I’d maybe, probably watch if, say, my boyfriend were way into the show and it came on while I was at his house. ) The plot concerns a missing FBI agent, and bringing Scully and Mulder back to work with the agency to find her. Oh, and there’s a psychic priest (played by Billy Connolly) who has visions of the missing agent and her abduction.

I want to believe that Billy Connolly has mad dramatic acting skills; unfortunately, he hasn’t been given enough to sink his teeth into. That his character is not only a priest, but a convicted pedophile as well, suggests all kinds of complication and darkness for his character that simply isn’t credibly fleshed out or explored. His pedophilia, in fact, seems pretty much beside the point and thrown in only so Scully can get pissed off at him and discredit his psychic visions. (It does become a minor plot point late in the game, but one that feels distinctly half-baked.)

Finally, I’d like to believe there is some good reason for you to rush out and see this at your local multiplex, but – alas! – I cannot make that leap of faith. If ever a movie cried out to be experienced as a cheap DVD rental, it’s this one.

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4 Comments so far
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“If ever a movie cried out to be experienced as a cheap DVD rental, it’s this one,” now ain’t that the truth. There was nothing I enjoyed in this film besides Mulder and Scully’s romantic tension. I loved the interplay between them.

Comment by nick plowman

I have to agree. The chemistry between the two leads is the only reason to see this.

Comment by Pat

I’d like to believe that after a disastrous first X-Men movie they’d have learned something. Unfortunately it seems not.

Comment by Rick Olson

Rick – I actually recall liking the first X-files movie (and I’m assuming you meant X-files rather than X-Men.) But this one had no apparent reason to exist. I think it would have worked better as a TV special.

Comment by Pat




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