The X-Files: I Want to Believe

The truth is out there, and to find it all you have to do is pay attention to the marketing campaign and interviews with the cast and crew. Since the film even begun shooting, 20th Century Fox has shown no confidence in their highly anticipated sequel to the X-FILES movie entitled X-FILES: I WANT TO BELIEVE. There are barely any billboards, the TV spots are far and few between and there’s only one measly poster. Even worse, all interviews indicate that the cast and crew show little to no faith in the product they’re delivering. Director Chris Carter has openly admitted that he shot the film because he was given the choice to either do it before the strike or wait another two years. A rush job you think? You have no idea…

Here’s the official plot crunch: When a group of women are abducted in the wintry hills of rural Virginia, the only clues to their disappearance are the grotesque human remains that begin to turn up in snow banks along the highway. With officials desperate for any lead, a disgraced priest’s questionable “visions” send local police on a wild goose chase and straight to a bizarre secret medical experiment that may or may not be connected to the women’s disappearance. It’s a case right out of The X-Files. But the FBI closed down its investigations into the paranormal years ago. And the best team for the job is ex-agents Fox Mulder (David Duchovny) and Dr. Dana Scully (Gillian Anderson), who have no desire to revisit their dark past.

Typically, having low expectations for a film results in a higher enjoyment level; if that was the case with X-FILES, this movie must have been beyond terrible. If there was a finger pointed at one specific problem in the movie, it would be the screenplay, which was co-written by director Chris Carter and Producer Frank Spotnitz. The first problem is that the audience is thrown right in the middle of Scully and Mulder’s relationship, as they are now apparently a couple. There is no character development, no anticipation, and even worse no sexual tension. After all of these years their kiss means nothing.

Then you have the most idiotic plot that was filled with holes. Basically there is no way for any of the FBI in the film to move to the next lead, everyone would be at a standstill and the killers would continue their dirty deeds. How do they resolve this problem? They cast Bill Connolly as Father Joseph Crissman, a man who all of sudden has been given a gift – he can “see things”. The gift is ridiculous as he literally leads the FBI and local police to limbs buried in the snow, then he proceeds to tell them who is alive and dead, what the abductees are looking at, what the killer(s) look like and so on. This character literally solves the entire case, and who gets the credit? Oh, Mulder of course, because he “believed” him, even though Father Joe was a pedophile.

The sad part is that Carter and Spotnitz focus 100% of their energy on the relationship between Scully and Mulder instead of the task at hand. X-FILES is about how Mulder believes, Scully doesn’t and how it will always keep them apart. But like earlier mentioned, the audience is dropped right in the middle of their relationship, so there’s nothing to build there. The movie is a mess, a complete mess, and it truly is disappointing. Even worse is that instead of throwing the audience a second X-File to chew on throughout the investigation, they’re forced to sit through Scully’s difficulties as a doctor and have to watch her make an “ethical” decision that comes down to faith vs. science. To make matters worse, the characters talk and talk and talk about the dilemma no end.

X-FILES: I WANT TO BELIEVE is a slow burn, but the fire never catches on. It’s all talk, no action and is guaranteed to leave the audience with the worst case of blue balls they’ve had in years. Here’s an explanation; basically there is no climax – and that is meant both literally and figuratively. The movie goes nowhere as everyone talks in circles and the finale never appears. *Spoiler Warning: Right when things look like they might get cool, the FBI bust in and catch the criminals. Seconds later the screen fades to black and the audience is transitioned into the ten-minute epilogue. Nothing happens… NOTHING. End Spoiler*

As if it wasn’t bad enough that we had to sit through an entire movie and see nothing happen, Carter forces the audience to watch a painfully long epilogue that not only goes nowhere but also explains absolutely nothing. The dilemma that Scully faces… is never resolved. Chris Carter – thanks for the blue balls.

If anything, X-FILES: IWTB felt like a made-for-TV movie- and the funny thing is that the show, which had no budget, looked more expensive than this feature film. If anything, this would be considered one of the mediocre episodes of the show, which is far more entertaining than this will ever be. Every summer has one major disappointment and this is it. Enjoy the memories you have of the young and energetic Scully and Mulder because it’s now time to stop believing and time to accept the facts, X-FILES is a dud on all levels and should be avoided at all costs. At least we have all the fond memories…

Official Score

  • dorfhombre

    This is a deeply flawed motion picture, but it’s not a one star film. There’s plenty of rewards to be found. It’s at times disturbing and thought provoking. It takes balls to tackle huge issues like science vs. religion in a major motion picture, especially when fans were expecting a continuation of the central X-Files narrative. Anyways…there’s plenty of crap in this film. Poor choices present themselves frequently. But there is also thought provoking pleasures to be had in this mess. It’s also pretty disturbing at times, which helps a great deal. I would give this a 2.5/5.