Main cast: David Duchovny (Fox Mulder), Gillian Anderson (Dana Scully), Amanda Peet (ASAC Dakota Whitney), Billy Connolly (Father Joseph Crissman), Callum Keith Rennie (Janke Dacyshyn), Adam Godley (Father Ybarra), Xantha Radley (Special Agent Monica Bannan), Fagin Woodcock (Franz Tomczeszyn), Nicki Aycox (Cheryl Cunningham), and Alvin “Xzibit” Joiner (Agent Mosley Drummy)
Director: Chris Carter
It has been six years since the last episode of The X-Files and things have been really quiet since then. David Duchovny went on to show up in shows and movies where more often than not he got upstaged by his rear end and penis, Gillian Anderson tried to pass herself off as British, and Chris Carter… well, who knows what he did in the last six years. This brings us to The X-Files: I Want to Believe, a movie that is supposed to be a pleasant hurrah for the fans only to come off more like a stab in the gut.
Apart from a “surprise” appearance from a certain regular from the TV series in the last twenty minutes or so in the movie, the only characters that are from the original TV show are Fox Mulder and Dana Scully. There isn’t even a single mention of what happened to Monica Reyes or John Doggett, as much as some fans would like to pretend that they never happened. No aliens – yes, no aliens – no conspiracy theories, nothing either. Just a really bad mystery that comes off like a below average monster-of-the-week episode of the show extended into a movie.
Fox Mulder and Dana Scully are now no longer FBI agents when the movie begins. They live together, sleep together, but from what I can see, Scully is the only one working – she’s now a doctor at some hospital run by priests – while Mulder is content to stay in his study and cut out newspaper articles of the spooky kind. Elsewhere, an FBI agent is missing and an ex-priest/convicted pedophile Joseph Crissman claims to have visions related to the mystery. The agent in charge of recovering the missing agent, Dakota Whitney, decides to call Mulder for help. And so it begins again.
The movie is really, really bad. The mystery is wrapped up thanks to Mulder and Scully being in the correct place at the correct time. Written by Chris Carter and Frank Spotnitz, the script is quite ridiculous, really, with the revelation of what the villain is up to making me laugh because it’s straight out of a bad B-grade horror film. The movie also presents quite a number of shocking inaccuracies such as how a person is allowed to witness a surgery without even a mask.
I’d also like to know what happened to Scully. Dakota Whitney is more like Scully here than Scully herself. I tell you, ever since the producers realized that Scully is a mere icky woman back in season three, poor Scully has never been allowed to even pretend to be an FBI agent. Here, she plays the role of the clingy and weepy wife-type who just wants the man to stop chasing spooks. Scully comes off here as judgmental and shrill. Even worse, she often verges on being too stupid for an ex-FBI agent. I want to scream when she finally discovers a clue that is right under her nose, only she was too busy playing the shrew to notice up to that moment. As for Mulder, he’s Mulder. Since he’s a man, he gets to be right even when he’s being so pig-headed and reckless all the time. He’s still working on blind faith even as he will castigate other people, including Scully, for doubting him even a little.
I am a fan of a Mulder-Scully thing when the show is not deliberately making them all paired up and making magic babies, but the whole Mulder-Scully thing in this movie makes me cringe. Gillian Anderson and David Duchovny have barely any chemistry left in this movie. Then again, it’s hard to even pretend, I suppose, when you despise each other in real life and in the movie Scully is trying so hard to be the stereotypical complaining wife who can’t understand the man’s Hemingway-like battle for the truth all all costs.
The X-Files: I Want to Believe is a horrible movie. The plot meanders on and on until the main characters stumble upon the “truth”. There is nothing here that ties the movie to the original TV-series other than the main characters sharing the same names and faces as those in the TV series, and that the script puts most of the worst episodes of the TV series to shame. As far as things go, I’ve stopped believing after watching this movie. Can we bury the franchise altogether and move on? I’ll just pretend that this crappy and brainless movie doesn’t exist.