X-Files: I Want to Believe
Directed by: Chris Carter
Cast: David Duchovny, Gillian Anderson, Amanda Peet, Bill Connolly, Xzibit
Time: 1 hr 45 mins
Plot: Mulder (Duchovny) and Scully (Anderson) are back to reopen the X-Files when a psychic (Connolly) believes he knows where a kidnapped FBI agent has been taken. Scully convinces Mulder to investigate but worries he’s gotten pulled back in.
Who’s It For? Has there been a little tear in the corner of your eye ever since the TV show and first film? Do you still hear the song “David Duchovny, why won’t you love me?” and think it’s about you? Actually, more accurately, this is a thriller that deals with belief in psychics and God.
Expectations: I want to believe.
David Duchovny as Fox Mulder: He’s still got it. Duchovny as Mulder just fits. He is clearly the best part of the film and it’s amusing to see him remain level-headed and properly curious the entire time. Even when Scully attempts to bring up Mulder’s sister for the millionth time, he seems annoyed, just like die-hards should be.
Gillian Anderson as Dana Scully: She doesn’t got it. Scully is still completely pessimistic about every unexplained thing except of course, God. Her pessimism has somehow turned into nagging. Unfortunately the film focuses way too much time on her life as a surgeon. Trust me, not many people are sitting down in the theater to watch X-Files and will then be excited to see a doctor drama.
Amanda Peet as Agent Dakota Whitney: I love Peet, almost as much as David Letterman does. I just didn’t understand her role in the film. Dakota flirts with Mulder when his hunches are correct and gives him the cold shoulder when doubt creeps in. Though she probably would have been a better side-kick.
Bill Connolly as Father Joe: Connolly continues to prove the theory that it is tough to root for a convicted pedophile priest, who might be psychic, even if he can make his eyes bleed. There is something earnest about his search for redemption but not enough to get me to care what happens to him.
Xzibit as Agent Drummy: I could have also said, Xzibit as the worst FBI agent ever. His job is to complain every single time he’s on screen. It’s exhausting and not really his fault.
Talking: “Don’t give up.” That’s supposedly the biggest mystery the movie has to offer. Yeah, that’s just not enough for me considering all of the great thrills and brilliantly confusing plots the X-Files has given me in the past.
Sights & Sounds: Man, that theme music is good. It’s even slightly amusing when they play it while staring at a picture of President George W. Bush. And I might be alone on this one, but shouldn’t movies set in cold weather with tons of snow just be released in the fall and winter? Really? I’m the only one?
Best Scene: I was happy to see Mulder shave the fake beard, that had to be fake right? I felt like I could see the glue shining in the light. But the best scene is definitely the first, with lines of FBI agents searching in the snow for one of their own.
Ending: Wow, at the end of this mild adventure they bring it back to the worst plot line of the film, Scully going into surgery.
Questions: How long did it take for the film to actually start being interesting? When Mulder shows up at FBI headquarters and tells everyone how to do their job, the film finally got going for me. Also, it was a mistake to make us care about an FBI agent who disappears when we have no connection to her at all. It would have been better to bring Skinner back for that role (instead of the one he plays), plus that would give Mulder more motivation to return. It seems he just needed any kind of push to get back to searching in the darkness. And were Mulder and Scully living together or was that a one-night thing? I’m so curious if the film was Carter’s idea, or if Anderson wanted more of a spotlight than her indie roles have gotten her lately, or if this was an attempt to revitalize the franchise. The budget of this film was only $35 million, so maybe they are thinking with DVD sales and the name still carrying weight, this is any easy money maker.
Rewatchability: No, unless someone can cut together all of Duchovny’s scenes and post it on YouTube.
X-Files: I Want to Believe — it’s almost like a mantra that Chris Carter is trying to get the audience to hear. Say it enough times and they will believe. Well, that’s not the case. I actually think this could be one of the most talked about oddities of the summer. It’s too soon for the gang to get back together for nostalgia’s sake. And too much time has passed for X-Files to be hip. So what’s the point? The first film tackled way too much and this one is a stand alone episode that could have been a normal thriller about harvesting organs, but then somehow Mulder and Scully got squeezed into the picture. The theme music and Mulder are still very solid yet Scully no longer seems to be the voice of reason which made them a great duo, and at one point she proclaims to Mulder, “I can’t do it anymore.” That makes two of us.
Score: 4 out of 10