Monday, December 15, 2008

X-Files:I Want To Believe---revisited


With the X-Files film coming out on DVD, people are going to have a second opportunity to revisit two of the most likeable characters in science fiction and fantasy, Dana Scully and Fox Mulder. In my opinion this film got short shrift when released. Perhaps expectations were set too high, perhaps it shouldn't have been released along with the summer blockbusters, perhaps people were hoping for a story that fit with the canon. Whatever the case, if you haven't seen this film and you are a fan, this is a dvd that should be part of the collection.

I'll agree that it breaks little new ground and that the story isn't mind-boggling. Instead, it nestles in the consciousness as another X-Files episode, perhaps sitting there between the episode about the psychic who sees his own death and the videogame come to life. It's a story about faith and it gives us a complex character, a pedophile priest who is asking for forgiveness and redemption. I would argue the paranormal issues are almost secondary to the reclaimation of Fox Mulder and the moral issues raised by the priest and Dana in her attempts to save the life of an innocent as she fights against hospital bureacracy to employ experimental and uncertain treatment her patient.

This isn't a big budgeted affair. It's quieter than you would expect. The characters are in pain and the plot, improbable and at times unfathomable, takes a back seat to their inner dilemnas.

So, rent this, buy it...give it...but watch it. Just don't expect thrilling car chases, multiple explosions, and strange flying saucers. This is a story about the need of people to connect with one another and to find something to give meaning to their brief lives.

10 comments:

Lisa said...

The X-Files -- one of my greatest weaknesses. I own the entire collection and the first movie on DVD. I don't know how much someone unfamiliar with the X-Files will like the new movie, but I couldn't not see it. It was definitely much quieter than the first, as you said, but for the hard core X-Files fan, it's a must-see. I re-watched several of the first season episodes after recently seeing the movie and I have to say, I think Scully has really gotten better with age. Hell -- I think they both have. God, I'm a dork!

SQT said...

I was so surprised this didn't get more attention, but I suppose it was overshadowed by "The Dark Knight."

Sidney said...

I tend to agree that it probably shouldn't have been thrown out there with the summer blockbusters. It's a little more drama than blockbuster. It does good stuff with the characters and has some creepy moments, though.

Charles Gramlich said...

This one came and went so fast I didn't even know it was there.

spyscribbler said...

I wanted to see this movie, but like Charles said, it was in and out of the theaters before I could blink.

I'm queuing it in Netflix.

L.A. Mitchell said...

It was very short lived for a reason. I went with another fan and writer (we're already looking for holes, right?) and I got what Chris Carter was *trying* to give the fans, but IMHO, it fell short. I did appreciate the exploration of inner conflict, but the external was a sub-par TV-like episode, at best.

Stewart Sternberg said...

Lisa, I am a strong fan of the series, and of Milenium. I would love for Carter to do something new. ANd SQT, yeah, this film should have been released at a different time. Not August..that would have been a kiss of death. Maybe around October.

Sid,I agree. I thought the major concept was flawed, but the character interplay and the priest saved the film from being a throwaway.

Sounds like my sex life, Charlies.

see it spy...you could do worse. You could be stuck watching a rerun of new version of Nightstalker. Or maybe one of those twenty something dramas.

L.A...no argument from me. But if they had focused more on the supernatural and the metaphysical, I think they could have risen higher.

Christina said...

I saw it in the theater when it came out. It had an interesting plot, but you are so right about the characters being in a great deal of pain. There were some surprising character situations.

aubreii said...

I forgot how much I used to love this show - was virtually addicted when it was still on TV. I realize reading this that I don't think I've seen ANY of the movies. I think I was afraid of disappointment. I'll have to hit Blockbuster!!

Rick said...

Of all the television shows that I have faithfully watched over the years, I have to say that my favorite was the X-Files.