Film Review: The X-Files: I Want to Believe

xfiles2 galleryposter Film Review: The X Files: I Want to Believe

Growing up, The X-Files was one of my favorite shows.  As a self-described X-Files nerd (check the name I write under, guys and gals), I was eagerly anticipating the new X Files movie.  Subtitled “I Want to Believe”, it’s the perfect sentiment for fans who were let down by the last few seasons of the show.  Chris Carter’s once great show had devolved into parody and truly became bad when nine seasons in they decided to “restart” the show, only with Scully as the believer (huh) and the poorly cast Robert Patrick as the skeptic.  I’m happy to report that the X Files film is a solid stand alone, far better than the critics and cold box office reception would lead you to believe.  It’s a good, if not great thriller.  The hardcore fans will be happy to see their heroes back, while perhaps wishing Chris Carter had pushed his vision even further and twisted his twists even more.  The budget is a mere 30 million dollars, and that gives me the feeling that the film was scaled back in scope in a major way.  Still, it’s a good, well-acted film.  The leads slip comfortably back in their old characters with Gillian Anderson’s Scully and Billy Connolly (who is very good) as a priest (and possible psychic) with a dark past, named Father Joe.

The X Files picks up with Anderson’s brooding former Agent Scully (Dr Scully, now) working at a hospital called “Our Lady of Sorrows”, while Fox Mulder (a relaxed and easy-going David Duchovny) is hiding away somewhere.  Scully calls Mulder in on a particularly perplexing disappearance case involving a young FBI agent.  Mulder reluctantly teams up with Scully once again to find her, with the help of a priest named Father Joe, who may or may not be a psychic.  Twists and conspiracies (and urban legends) follow, the details of which, are better left till one views the film.  There’s grand discussions on faith and science, belief and doubt, but the chief pleasure is seeing Duchovny and Anderson reunite (possibly for the last time) on screen.  Their chemistry  is wonderful. 

I Want to Believe is mostly a film for the hardcore fans, but those seeking a suspenseful horror drama with no hint of the sadism of the torture porn genre are also in for a treat.  It’s a solid and spooky film that one wishes were even better.  Fans will want to revisit the film over and over again when the DVD comes out.  The X Files: I Want to Believe is a good if ultimately somewhat disappointing film.  Even with the lackluster box office receipts, I want to believe that this isn’t the end for Mulder and Scully.

Film Grade: B

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