The X-Files: I Want to Believe

2008-11-04 10:09
What it's about:

Former FBI agents Fox Mulder (David Duchovny) and Dana Scully (Gillian Anderson), living a seemingly ordinary life and trying to evade the attentions of their former employers. But they are forced to return to their old lives when an FBI agent is abducted and a mysterious Catholic priest claims to have visions about what may have happened to her.

What we thought:

Some legends are best left alone and in the realm of the paranormal none are more revered than the crack team of Mulder and Scully. Theirs was a special relationship, one that saw their conflicting personalities (he ruled by his fearless heart, she trusting in God and science) generate such palpable electricity; their tension became an element of intense scrutiny amongst fans as the series progressed. But the long-held fascination with the dark and dangerous world of The X-Files has endured for 15 years and a reboot of the show seemed inevitable. Only this time creator-director Chris Carter seems to have exhausted all his ideas and given fans little reason to justify the existence of I Want to Believe.

But what everyone is most curious to find out is: How are Mulder and Scully doing? And are they still together?

Less about conspiracies and weird lights flying around in the sky, I Want to Believe is a stand-alone monster tale, which X-Files virgins can slip into, no foreknowledge of the show's mythology needed. We meet Mulder and Scully in what appears to be the twilight of their lives. Scully works at a Catholic hospital where she is butting heads with administration over the course of treatment of a young boy suffering a degenerative brain disorder. Mulder is working in seclusion, burrowing under his own makeshift "X-Files" and sporting a bushy, mountain-man beard. Oh, and they are living together.

When the FBI approach Mulder to help find a female agent who was taken from her home, Scully is reluctant to venture into the darkness again and worries how this will impact on their happy little existence. A defrocked Catholic priest, Father Joseph (Billy Connolly), who says he receives visions telling him what happened to the missing agent, is the FBI's only lead.

Soon it becomes clear that this is pretty much all there is to the plot. Doubts over Father Joseph's claims begin to grow and chief among the unbelievers, of course, is Scully, who is both disgusted and intrigued by the shamed priest in search of salvation. Anderson has rediscovered the heart of Scully with ease and puts in a stirring performance, bringing her requisite compassion and warmth to a stark tale.

Amanda Peet plays Dakota Whitney, the agent in charge of the investigation, and has very little to do, other than look authoritative. The cast of baddies have bad teeth (they're Russian, so that apparently explains that) and when their gory endgame is revealed it's as unsatisfying as a pie with no filling.

So this is what fans have been anxiously looking forward to for years – a paper-thin, poorly paced thriller held together by silly string. The core dynamic between Mulder and Scully remains The X-Files' strongest asset (it's magical stuff, it really is) and is in full effect here, but they've been pulled out of retirement on a fool's errand.

- Shaheema Barodien

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They were the coolest people on TV fighting the forces of extra-terrestrials and devious government conspiracies while simultaneously inspiring a new generation of science fiction aficionados. So what do Mulder and Scully have to say for themselves now that the dust has settled? Not much, as it happens.

Peter 2008/08/01 9:19 AM
Way better... I have to disagree and say that I thought this was a better movie than you making it out to be. Sure it doesnt need you to have been a fan of the series but thats whats going to allow it to be enjoyed by a wider audience. Unlike "Fight The Future" which was like a two hour season finale, "I Want To Believe" stands on its own as a movie. Fans of the series will love the ongoing banter and chemistry between Mulder & Scully as well as the many references to the actual show.
Big D 2008/08/01 11:03 AM
Good movie How can a move be bad with Scully in role. I have seen a few better movies but many worse. It is one of the better movies I have seen this year.
Vernon Wolf 2008/08/01 1:55 PM
This review... is based on personal taste and lacks objectivity, keep your simple minded ramblings to yourself next time Shameema...
J.Mort 2008/08/01 2:16 PM
Fair review What is a review if its not subjective Vernon? This is obviously written by a fan of the X Files. Ur just being offensive for no good reason. Its really ugly. I thought the movie was a disappointment. It felt good to see Mulder & scully again but filmed lacked suspense and plot twists. there's talk of a third movie though.
Vernon Wolf 2008/08/01 4:45 PM
J.Mort I'm not that big a fan actually, just thought that it was a good movie and this subjective review seems to be one of the VERY few negative takes on this movie in the ACREDITED international circles... and what was "really ugly" about my subjective comment? moron!
J.Mort 2008/08/01 4:57 PM
Oh Vernon.... You're joking right? This movie has been getting MOSTLY bad reviews - its got an average rating of 32% on Rotten Tomatoes - and is doing poorly at the US box office. And no need to attack the reviewer if you disagree. It just makes YOU seem simple minded!
Philip T 2008/08/01 7:52 PM
Reviewing is only a personal opinion.... I was totally engrossed in the movie. I did not go with HUGE expectations, but only to enjoy. I've watched the series for years in the USA, and was not dissapointed in the movie. Reviewers put their own expectations and personal thoughts in reviews, and their comments should be taken with a grain of salt..The movie is well made and very enjoyable......
kim 2008/08/02 3:54 PM
Disappointing Saw it last night and was bored the whole way thru. Can't believe this is what we've been waiting all these yrs for. Fans who say this movie is good are probably deluding themselves.
Rick 2008/08/07 8:35 PM
X-files 2 Big X-files fan. Got all the series and more (lone gunmen, Millennium etc.). Won't go & watch the movie. Thanx A-lot.
Geoffrey Stokker 2008/08/08 1:43 PM
The X-Files that had no X I went to the movie, expecting that it would be halfway decent that somehow it would rekindle something that was there in the show at its prime. What a mistake... I kept waiting for something more than a vaguely psychic priest to appear and actually make it worth while. What a mistake! Even when the movie was winding down, I kept hoping that something would 'jump' out and flip the whole thing on its head and make it worthwhile. Basically if you had added a bit more crime scene investigation it could have been CSI. Nothing paranormal about that!! I was disappointed in the first X Files movie but that could have won an Oscar when compared to this movie.
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