The X-Files: I Want to Believe (2008) Chris Carter
Production Budget: $30 million
Worldwide Gross: $28 million
I stopped watching the X-Files a little while before Mulder and Scully left the show and after I heard how the show ended (Jedi Lone Gunmen, anyone?) I’m kinda glad I did. This movie is Chris Carter’s apology for letting the mythology get so f*cked up. I was actually interested in seeing the old gang get back together basically for an extended episode of the show. For as good as the idea is though, the execution is completely cocked up.
Let me try to explain without using spoilers…
Mulder is brought out of exile when the FBI offers to exonerate him of the charges against him in exchange for helping them find a missing FBI agent. The only investigative leads they get are from a psychic pedophile ex-Priest Father Joe. Joe leads the team to several body parts uncovering a possible serial killer. Mulder and Scully are assisted by two new agents played by Xzibit and Amanda Peet.
Let me talk about the acting first. Duchovny looks energized and lively being back in his most famous role. Anderson on the other hand looks like she wants to shoot herself for being dragged back. She looks like she is thinking “Oh dear Christ! What the f*ck am I doing here? I’ve been in respectable movies since leaving this piss hole show? I hate these creepy fanboys, I hate this character, I hate this show. F*CK!!! Gimme my money Chris, give me my money now! Another X-Files movie!? Nah, f*ck you Chris!” I have rarely seen another actress so uninterested on the screen. It is really pathetic. Half the movie is about Mulder trying to convince Scully to join his investigation. Actually, Peet and Xzibit almost take over the movie as a new Mulder and Scully combination. Peet is good as the cautious believer and Xzibit is more believable as a skeptic than Anderson. I frankly wanted to see more scenes with them than with Mulder and Scully.
Now I’ll try to go into the plot without spoiling anything. X-Files is billed as a thriller but there really is no tension or suspense. We don’t feel a real threat from this killer and he really isn’t given anything to work with. The first half drags unbelievably because we are not drawn into the investigation and Mulder and Scully aren’t given anything to investigate. They are being lead by the hand by Father Joe who leads them from plot point to plot point. This seriously leads the audience to ask “Why the f*ck are they even here then?” In the second half things pick up and Mulder actually becomes a part of the case. When we are given the final reveal of why these things are happening, the answer is almost laughably stupid. No, I take it back: its f*cking ridiculous and completely laughable! Seriously, this is the best plot Chris Carter could come up with after all this time. I could PM it I guess if you are curious and you don’t give a crap if I spoil it. But believe me its bad.
Scully is non-existent as far as the case goes. She is a doctor now and has an uninteresting subplot about her and a child with an incurable disease. When she is not doctoring up, there is an even less interesting side plot of Mulder and Scully’s romance and Scully being an annoying/nagging girlfriend.
Now its not all bad. There is still a nice theme of faith/skepticism with Scully and Father Joe. Mulder is entertaining to watch and there is an exciting foot chase. And it is nice to see the gang back. I wouldn’t recommend this movie. Even if you are an X-Files fan, I would rather suggest you check it out when it is released on DVD. If you are not yet a fan of the X-Files, then I would suggest you watch the first season. If Carter makes another movie, I hope they spend more time on the plot. I Want to Believe is, unfortunately, not that interesting even for fans.