I’m not sure how to describe the type of X-Files fan that I am. The first episode that I remember watching was Anasazi and being blown away. After that I was completely hooked on the show. But the only episodes that I really loved were the Myth episodes. They added depth to Mulder and Scully and a lot happened in those eps. Then after everything that happens, I’d have to slog through 4 or 5 weeks worth of Monster of the Week episodes that sucked the life out of the series. They always felt out of context and there was always this elephant in the room that they wouldn’t acknowledge. This movie feels exactly like that. Ten years too late, out of season (this is a Winter film, not summer) and sort of perfunctory.
There’s a reason Writer/Director/Creator Chris Carter kept such tight wraps on the story and thus hampered the marketing campaign. The story is trite, it contains none of the surprises or thrills that the secrecy would lead you to believe are there. The story is actually pretty mundane.
When we last left our heroes Fox Mulder (David Duchovny) and Dana Scully (Gillian Anderson) were on the run from the Government after Mulder was framed and convicted of murdering a federal Agent. Six years later, they are still wanted – but not. It appears the FBI just stopped caring. Scully has finally become a Doctor and Mulder is a recluse. When an agent goes missing the Agent In Charge, ASAC Dakota Whitney (Amanda Peet) offers Scully and Mulder complete amnesty if Mulder helps. This entire beginning is typical MOTW crap.
After everything that happened at the end of the series, we’re supposed to buy that the government just stopped caring. They are wanted criminals, but aren’t exactly hiding. And the govt. does nothing? This film would have worked better if they were hiding and the FBI had to really work to track them down because this case was vital to the country or FBI. Or deeply personal to a major official, like the kidnapping of The President’s daughter. While tragic and difficult, this case seems too small to warrant bringing Mulder in and forgiving him his past sins. Not just showing up at Scully’s job one day and asking “Do you know how to get in touch with Mulder?” Remember; when we last saw them they gave up EVERYTHING to go on the run.
The movie looks and feels like a cheaply produced episode – not even movie of the week quality. And that’s a shame because one of the things that separated X-Files from any other television show was its high quality production values and unique visual style. Sure they only had $30 million to work with, but they had far better results on TV with far less. This movie showcases almost none of that. If this were any other movie other than a X-Files film, I would have hated it – or maybe I would have liked it more. But its saving grace is, that, while, muted, it still feels like the X-Files.
Mulder and Scully still hold your attention, all the little moments that you love from the TV show are there, like the music, Mulder dropping his phone, Scully’s long suffering sigh and her looks that say “You can’t possibly be serious.” Scully is still one of the most kick ass characters in TV history. There’s not enough of Mulder’s dry wit. I sincerely hope this weak installment doesn’t prevent them from giving fans an X-Files film that we deserve. One that wraps up the entire show in a slam bang fashion.
Final Grade C+
By Michelle Alexandria