In an overpopulated futuristic Earth, a New York police detective finds himself marked for murder by government agents when he gets too close to a bizarre state secret involving the origins of a revolutionary and needed new foodstuff.
Edward G. Robinson,
A New York City doctor, who is married to an art curator, pushes himself on a harrowing and dangerous night-long odyssey of sexual and moral discovery after his wife admits that she once almost cheated on him.
Fox Mulder and Dana Scully both worked at the FBI as partners, a bond between them that led to their becoming lovers. But now they're out of the FBI and have begun new careers. Scully works as a staff physician at a Catholic hospital. Her focus these days is on a young boy with an incurable brain disease. Administration wants to give up on him. Scully, who feels a special bond with the boy, does not. Meanwhile, Mulder's focus is on clipping newspaper articles, throwing pencils into his ceiling and writing about the paranormal. Scully and Mulder are brought together as partners again when a special case requires Mulder's expertise and Scully is prevailed upon to convince him to help. The case involves a pedophile priest who claims he is having psychic visions regarding the whereabouts of a missing FBI agent. Written by
While driving on a snow-covered road, Mulder collides with a truck equipped with a snow plow. His car's front headlight is visibly damaged. In the next scenes, the damage changes from shot to shot. See more »
The end credits run over images of ice, water and land, and finally we see Mulder and Scully in a small row boat off of a tropical beach. Scully in a bikini, Mulder rows, and they wave to the camera above. See more »
"It's here! It's here!" shouts Billy Connolly's mysterious, questionable, and apparently psychic Father Joe Crissman in the film's opening scene, and although he is talking about something much more grotesque than the return of "The X-Files", the words clearly echo the thoughts of every last X-Phile awaiting the return of Mulder and Scully, of "The X-Files", and, as surely everyone hoped, something to make up for the many hours wasted on the show's astonishingly mediocre final season.
If you do not enjoy "The X-Files" you will not enjoy "I Want to Believe". That is a simple fact. Although this film was marketed as a standalone feature requiring no prior understanding of the series, the final product is quite far removed from one of the more straightforward standalone episodes, and is actually more about characters and themes than the plot itself, which is not on its own very good.
What it comes down to in the end is whether or not I was satisfied when the credits started rolling and UNKLE's excellent version of Mark Snow's theme started playing. The answer is yes. "The X-Files: I Want to Believe" is not entirely satisfying as a straightforward thriller. It is not entirely satisfying as a procedural or as a medical drama. It is, however, satisfying when the disparate elements come together to form the thematic core of Chris Carter and Frank Spotnitz's solid screenplay, and although the journey to the ending is occasionally frustrating, preachy, and even downright annoying, the end result is worth it.
Nobody can rightfully accuse Carter and Spotnitz of writing a hurried screenplay. If anything, "The X-Files: I Want to Believe" is too preoccupied with including as much as possible on a thematic level. This film could have been a tight, thrilling 90-minute film if they had decided to go that way. What "The X-Files: I Want to Believe" is, is a combination of various sorts of episodes into one feature film. If you crave a straightforward, scary thriller you will inevitably be disappointed, because that simply is not what this film is about, regardless of what Carter himself might tell you. When the film comes together as a whole at the end, the X-File (or in this case, not so much) itself couldn't possibly matter less. The title, which seems frustratingly awkward on paper, is incredibly fitting once you have actually seen the film.
"The X-Files", also known as "Fight the Future", released in 1998, was a mythology-based story with plenty of action. It was "The X-Files" in blockbuster mode. Although it satisfied many fans I found it rushed, inconsequential, and severely lacking in substance. While "I Want to Believe" may feature a main plot that often feels like a sub-plot, and one that is quite far from being the most inventive or exciting Mulder and Scully have ever dealt with, it feels like a more complete film. What is lacking in thrills, scares, and action, is made up for with outstanding character moments and an effective thematic core.
Chris Carter's feature debut as director, "The X-Files: I Want to Believe" provides some solid visual moments in addition to some misguided decisions. All in all Carter keeps the film moving at the slow but involving pace of most episodes and the prelude to the film is a very well-executed scene.
The performances are uniformly outstanding except for Xzibit and Amanda Peet, who are both not given much to do. Billy Connolly's understated performance is a masterclass in acting that is quite possibly one of the best male performances of the year thus far, and Duchovny and Anderson slip back into the roles of Mulder and Scully (albeit an older, slightly different Mulder and Scully) with no problems whatsoever.
The film features several outstanding scenes, the final conversation between Mulder and Scully in the film, and Scully's late-night confrontation of Father Joe (a stunning scene, really), stand out as the finest. Carter provides the romantics much to swoon over but never allows the romantic plot to become cheesy or overpower the remainder of the film. The film is far from completely serious, as there is much humor here and a lot of treats for the fans including some very, very pleasant surprises and small references to the series (the latter taking place mostly in Mulder's office at the start of the film). Also look for a bizarre but funny gag involving J. Edgar Hoover, George W. Bush, and Mark Snow's "X-Files" theme.
"The X-Files: I Want to Believe" is an atmospheric thriller that while flawed and certainly not providing a definitive "X-Files" experience, is much better than 1998's "Fight the Future", and an enjoyable return for Mulder and Scully which encapsulates much of what made "The X-Files" so addictive- humor, drama, great characters, and an excellent musical score.
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