Friday, July 25, 2008
Movie Reviews: THE X-FILES: I WANT TO BELIEVE
THE X-FILES: I WANT TO BELIEVE
It is a stand-alone story in the tradition of some of the show's most acclaimed and beloved episodes, and takes the complicated relationship between Fox Mulder (David Duchovny) and Dana Scully (Gillian Anderson) in unexpected directions. Mulder continues his unshakable quest for the truth, and Scully, the passionate, ferociously intelligent physician, remains inextricably tied to Mulder's pursuits.
Cast: David Duchovny, Gillian Anderson, Amanda Peet, Billy Connolly, Xzibit
Director: Chris Carter
Opens : July 25, 2008
Runtime: 1 hr. 40 min.
Rated PG-13 for violent and disturbing content and thematic material
Genres: Sci-Fi Action, Science Fiction, Supernatural Thriller
10 years ago Chris Carter brought his huge cult show to the big screen in what was a mythology filled, but theatrically worthy, film The X-Files: Fight The Future. While I was never a hardcore X-Files fan I did enjoy the occasional episode and Fight The Future had a large scale which was important to the overall show's scope and story. The X-Files: I Want to Believe is neither of these things. This unnecessary second entry to the franchise never feels like anything more than a 2 part TV episode. It feels decidedly small throughout and never really gets any real traction as it moves like molasses through its plot. Chris Carter's direction here feels lazy and sometimes uninteresting. Some of his shots exterior shots are elegant creating a sense of solitude, yet the majority of the film lacks a consistent sense of scope or grandeur. Part of the problem is that the plot is a fairly rudimentary procedural with some supernatural twists not to mention a horrid third act. Another issue is Carter's insistence on delivering his messages about faith and perseverance with as heavy a hand as I've ever seen in a film outside of the woeful remake of All The Kings Mens. Faring slighty better David Duchovny and Gillian Anderson return to their roles and both slip back into their characters fairly easily. Their characters do have a weather worn quality to them now, particularly Anderson's Scully, which conveys their character's journey since last we saw them. Duchovny does a decent job of giving Mulder his snarky sensibilities of old while maintaining the characters undying true believer mantra. Anderson's work is more complex and she gives Scully a real sense of gravitas and pathos even more so than in past incarnations. Sadly her character's written without a sliver of humor, forcing her to be incredibly dour throughout. Amanda Peet and Alvin "Xzibit" Joiner play new agents at the FBI and they add absolutely nothing to the story, Joiner in particular is miscast. Chris Carter's attempt to revive his franchise will end up being a fool's errand as it lacks any of the complexity or importance a new cinematic journey would require, a shame because I was ready to believe again.