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X-Files: I Want To Believe (2008)

Believe Again

Rating: 4/10

Running Time: 104 minutes

US Certificate: PG-13 UK Certificate: 15

There are so many play-on-words insults for this movie, and I think they’ve probably all been used—“I Want to Believe it will be good,” “I Want to Believe it won’t make me want to cry the disappointed tears of a bitterly disenchanted former fan,” or, my favorite, “I Want to Leave.” Really, though, what I want to do is poke Chris Carter in the eye.

See, the FBI needs Fox Mulder (David Duchovny) to come back and solve a freaky-deaky case for them—there’s a missing agent, and their only lead is from a psychic pedophile (Billy Connolly)—so they enlist Dana Scully (Gillian Anderson) to get Mulder back on the X-train. Of course he agrees with very little prodding, and the two former partners are led down a path of cryogenics, disbelief, and faith, helped along by slightly annoying FBI agent Dakota Wheatley (Amanda Peet), who really seems to only be around because she wants in on some of that Mulder action.

The first thing is that the heart and soul of The X-Files was always Fox and Scully, and in this movie, they are not the Fox and Scully we remember. Sure, they’re still fulfilling the believer/skeptic roles, but they don’t seem to like it. Mulder does a lot of the work on his own as far as Case A goes, and Scully—now a doctor in some Catholic hospital, is often mired down in a boring sub-plot (Case B?) that I kept fruitlessly hoping was going to lead somewhere. But then, even when we do get to see them together, there’s none of the spark. Duchovny and Anderson try—they really do—but they’re literally given nothing to work with, and there’s only so much they can do with a storyline hell bent on keeping them apart. Maybe, if we at least had some semblance of a relationship between the min characters, some of the plot and its accompanying holes could be forgiven—maybe—but as it stands, there’s no excuse for the pointless addition of flirty little Agent Wheatley, bloody-eyed psychic Father Joe, or the less-supernatural-more-just-icky “mystery.” Not only did Carter direct this, HE WROTE IT!

It’s not that The X-Files isn’t big enough for the big screen, because, given the right story, these are characters and ideas that shine. But not here … no, here is a place where fans of the show turn off the movie and pull out their old DVDs of the early seasons, just to remember what their old friends were like.

It's Got: A lot of snow, Duchovny with a beard

It Needs: Better story, better writing, to axe the lame stem-cell subplot.

DVD Extras Digital Copy DVD, Extended Cut/ Theatrical Version (1:44:27), Deleted scenes, “The Trust No One: Can The X-Files Remain A Secret? Documentary, Featurettes: “Chris Carter: Statements on Green Production, “Body Parts: Special Makeup Effects”; Gag Reel, “Dying 2 Live” music video by XZIBIT, Still Galleries, Trailers, Commentary by Chris Carter and Frank Sponitz. DVD Extras Rating: 8/10


Chris Carter should’ve known better, and yet, here it is, a movie from the man who created a classic TV show that is not even as good as the worst of its episodes.