Peter has it all, a fabulous home, a beautiful wife, and a successful career, until he discovers his wife, Kendra, is having an affair with an Alien. He must race against UFOs and Men In Black to find Kendra before she causes an apocalypse.
With problems appearing between FBI agents Fox Mulder and Dana Scully, a dangerous conspiracy is starting to appear. A deadly virus, which appears to be of extraterrestrial origin has appeared, which could destroy all life on Earth. With the help of a paranoid doctor, Alvin Kurtzweil, Mulder and Scully must act fast in order to save everyone on the planet. Written by
The X-Files movie really is as good a big screen adaptation as you could possibly hope for.
It helps that it's entirely controlled by the people behind the series, and that the programme had cinematic qualities in the first place. On repeat viewings, however, the story is revealed to be thin, and lacking in incident. Its need to tie into events of the series makes it not wholly satisfying as a stand-alone vehicle, though it should still be understandable to those that have never seen an episode.
David Duchovny as Mulder seems surprisingly at ease in his limited way, while Martin Landau is good as far as plot devices go. Gillian Anderson is unfortunately encouraged to overstate her lines, particularly in the beginning, while a cameo by The Lone Gunmen is perhaps the only indulgence that would be lost on non-fans.
There are inevitable concessions to the cinema format, of course. Not the touted mild use of expletives, which happened from time to time on TV anyway. But the alien presence that mutates to owe a debt to Ridley Scott's Alien, or the near-kiss between the two leads. Thankfully, the first point actually makes a logical sense and carries the story forward. The second is something that was also long overdue, and silly that it took so long. For two people who obviously feel about each other the way Mulder and Scully do, to go five years without even kissing is stretching credulity.
Ultimately, though, it lacks any clear focus for a casual film audience, and flits repetitively from action sequence to sloppy exposition and back again throughout its duration. Creator Chris Carter, like Gene Roddenberry with Star Trek before him, is not the smoothest writer of his own series, though he does adequately most of the time. Worst example is the opening Mulder/Scully scene which is laughably trite, and there are plenty more examples of Carter's trademark purple prose. Yet it does have a beginning, middle and end, and can be watched back-to-back with a TV episode with no noticeable jumps in style. In that sense, then, it is a most successful big-screen adaptation of a television series.
Hard-core X-File fans will be inclined to award an extra mark to the total, then. But for a non-committal audience, this is a "6" as they would have no idea from watching this that the frail, fag-smoking pensioner is the series' major villain.
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