Tuesday, December 09, 2008


TV movie

By Edward Copeland
Perhaps if I'd seen The X-Files: I Want to Believe this summer in a theater, I'd have been harsher or had my usual reaction to a TV show leaping to the big screen: Why? However, since my life stands now as DVD only, the second Mulder and Scully feature just played as an above average episode of the series to me.

Now, this didn't work this way when I got around to seeing the Sex and the City movie, but that was a problem of a series that hadn't been gone that long and the attempt to make an overlong film out of half-hour comedy. The X-Files ended its run in 2002 (and for me, really 2001, since I didn't watch any of the final season except for the last episode).

While some fans preferred the mythology episodes, others liked the standalones best. Myself, I thought the show was best when it allowed David Duchovny and Gillian Anderson (and its various supporting cast) to be funny. I Want to Believe is a standalone and lacks much in the way of humor, but I still liked it and Chris Carter keeps the story moving as director.

Billy Connolly is very good as a defrocked pedophile priest who may be having visions of kidnapped women. In terms of story, it more or less picks up where the series left off: with Mulder in hiding from the FBI, but not too hard since he lives with Scully who is now a practicing doctor at a Catholic hospital. (One of the things I loved Chris Carter for doing in the series was having had Scully and Mulder be a romantic item and not bothering to let the audience know for awhile. There's no question here.)

I Want to Believe is a solid film to watch at home and certainly better than the series' previous big screen effort.

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The film didn't work for me except for a few moments. I could tell Carter was aiming for some kind of parable about faith, but some of the story elements just got in the way. The connection between the priest and the bad guys was not even half-baked, and the combination of "that head" with "that body" needed further explanation although it would still not diminish the repulsiveness of that particular narrative element.
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