Friday, July 25, 2008

Mulder and Scully

I just got home from watching the new X-Files film: I Want to Believe. I suppose that beauty is in the eye of the beholder. I am an X-Files fan. I've been following the making of this movie for a year (yet went into it spoiler free). Last year my wife and I plowed through the whole series from start to finish. I started watching the X-Files around the time the first movie, Fight the Future, came out. It was the movie that drew me into the series. That point will become pertinent soon.

Here's the thing about the film. . . It's basically just an episode of the show. If you are a fan, and care about the characters of Mulder and Scully (who they are, what they believe, if they are happy), then this film offers up quite a bit. It is about them and who they are after all these years. To that end, the movie is very satisfying and will not disappoint fans. Unfortunately, all the great 'meat' that is in the movie both philosophically and emotionally, is dressed up in a plot that doesn't really feel cinematic. Oddly enough, in films like this it's usually the dialogue and themes that suffer in the wake of high octane action. In this film, the dialogue and themes are wonderful...but there is almost no gas for the fire. Without going into details, what they investigate doesn't feel like an 'event'. Fight the Future was a MOVIE. A building blows up. A spaceship takes off. An alien eviscerates a caveman. This film...let's just say that there isn't anything there to be really scared of. If you love the X-Files, then have no fear. This movie will be valuable to you. If Mulder and Scully were like the old friends that you lost touch with, you'll be happy to know that they are well. You'll be drawn into their quests to find peace and resolution with their past. The movie leaves a door open for more (Hello! The world is supposed to end in 3 years?!), but then almost seems to shut it half through a hilariously poor credit sequence that must be endured in order to get to the good-bye.

Unfortunately, I Want to Believe (an apt title) won't bring anyone new to the table that wasn't already waiting to feast. I had two hopes for this film: 1. that it would leave the characters I loved in good shape with life and with each other (Accomplished) and 2. It would do well enough that the promised for TV movie/miniseries to resolve the plot thread left open in the series finale would get made. I have my doubts. The budget couldn't have been huge for this piece (it got green-lit in part because Carter had a script ready on the eve of the writers strike, and the studio was terrified it wouldn't have any movies to put out this summer), but even so, I'm not sure how much money it will make.

I want to believe there will come an end to last lingering questions from the series. If not...then this was a fitting farewell. I'll still miss Mulder and Scully, but at least I feel better about where I left them.

Demond Sanders: Wow, you just wrote a lot. . . about the X-Files. Take it easy, Jar-Jar.

1 comment:

HeatherRadish said...

I dragged six friends from work out to see it last night, and there were four other people in the theater besides us. Possibly because there was almost no publicity--heard a couple of radio discussions about that on the way to work this week. So if they're going to claim the movie "didn't get the numbers" necessary to greenlight any further movies/specials, it was a set-up.

I'd gone in spoiler-free, and I was hoping the "monster of the week" would have been a little more exotic, like a sentient fungus the size of the Saskatchewan. And more explosions.

I liked seeing Scully as a doctor, though, and not just doing autopsies.