Chris Carter took over the directors seat for this one and the result was shockingly disappointing in concept, execution and the continued development of the main characters.
“X-FILES: I WANT TO BELIEVE”follows Mulder and Scully, who are no longer agents, yet find themselves being called back in by the FBI to assist in a case involving a priest who is receiving psychic visions about a missing agent, something that leads Mulder and Scully down a dark road, as well as forcing them to confront their feelings towards one another.
With Mulder and Scully returning this week on FOX as “The X-Files” kicks off a 6 episode mini-series, what better time to go back to their past. For the sake of not trudging through 9 seasons, the two feature films will have to suffice. After the first film ten-years prior, at the height of the shows success managed to deliver a highly enjoyable story, this film, six-years after the shows conclusion, failed to do the same. With Fox Mulder’s role in the show greatly diminished in the final two season, there was virtually an eight year gap in the chemistry between he and Scully. This is something I think was over emphasized in the script and killed much of the mystique around their would-be love.
The story-line tried to deliver a dynamic between them that was out of left field. I’m not saying the writers took a long shot but they clearly did not get the full impact they hoped for in my opinion. One of the most interesting things about these two characters as a duo was the fact they never acted on their feelings. If they had the story angle could still very easily work in a script, but not the way it was developed in this film. There were many layers to the script and the problem was, not only did the plot not seem to fit the mold of “The X-Files”, the different angles of story did not blend well together at all.
It also must be said that the plot was rather odd, but could have worked (I suppose) with a theme more to that of a psychological-thriller. But as an X-Files case, it simply didn’t work for me. The lack of a compelling main plot, the fractured love of Mulder & Scully as well as Scully’s career issues in the hospital made this film a total drag in pace and tone. I was never really engaged despite the solid performances by Anderson and Duchovny. They were great once again in their roles, and were never the problem. The issues with this film, and the thing that hindered its intrigue, was simply the story, some of the character additions, and the multiple plot lines that were as uninteresting as the main plot they tried to work around.
Chris Carter is the creator and main contributor to the writing of the show and over the years of its run there were several intriguing cases that provoked thought, riled up tension, and built two lead characters that changed the concept of male/female partners in a television show. After six-years passing since the series ended, with Carter back this time directing, as well as helping write this story, I was shocked this was the story that ‘had to be told.’ In the end Carter failed to deliver a compelling science-fiction story, nor did he utilize his two lead characters.
“The X-Files: I Want to Believe” is a forgettable entry in a still great science-fiction franchise. Despite the performances of Duchovny and Anderson, this one feels nothing like the source-material and does not connect well with the viewers through a jumbled plot-line. The show returns this week and after the years since this films release, let’s just hope the new mini-series takes the fans back to what we loved best about “The X-Files”, the mystery, the conspiracies and most important the strong chemistry between the two stars.
– Starring –
David Duchovny, Gillian Anderson, Amanda Peet, Billy Connolly, Alvin ‘Xzibit’ Joiner, Mitch Pileggi, Callum Keith Rennie
– Directed By –
Time: 104 min
MPAA Rating: PG-13 (For violent and disturbing content and thematic material)