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Honestly, I thought this was a good film. I'll even go so far as to say
a great film. I really think that Chris Carter, David Duchovny, and
Gillian Anderson delivered what they had promised to. All along,
throughout the post-production and press campaign we've been told that
this is a creepy story with Mulder and Scully's relationship at its
core. Well, that's what it is ... plain and simple. I really think that
all the negativity and people's harsh reviews are from false and hyped
up expectations of what this movie is supposed to be. If anything, you
should just try to walk into the theatre with an open mind.
But I almost think some people who reviewed this film, saw a different film than I did ...
1. I read a review in which the person said Gillian Anderson's acting was awful. That is false. It is quite the contrary. Gillian Anderson is probably one of the strongest aspects of this movie. Every time she's in a scene, you're captivated.
2. I had read that Mulder and Scully don't show up in the film until 45 minutes into it. False. Scully appears in the 3rd scene - so what? no more than 7 minutes? - and Mulder directly follows.
3. Someone complained about an irrelevant and torturously long scene where Mulder fills up his gas tank. This doesn't happen. He goes to a gas station, gets out of his car, and goes into a store.
4. Lastly, it was rumored that the actors where flubbing up their lines all the time. Okay, even if they did, that wouldn't end up in the final film. Obviously they do multiple takes for a reason. The lines are solid.
This movie is not boring. The surprises are there. It may not be scary in a 'horror film' sort of way where things are jumping out at you every 2 seconds, but it is scary. The acting is amazing. Gillian Anderson on her own is a joy to watch, but when you put her in a scene with David it's either going to break your heart or melt it. The supporting cast won't let you down, and neither will the storyline. It's not paranormal in the sense of freaks and monsters, but religion and God. It's very much in the fashion of "All Things"; seeing the signs and following them. Finally, it is just excellently put together. Whoever edited this film did a phenomenal job! The inter-cutting and juxtaposition was out of this world.
GIVE IT A CHANCE, FOLKS.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
I just saw X-Files: I Want to Believe. There are too many other people
beginning their reviews with "I Wanted to Believe It Would Have Been a
Decent Film", for me to do the same.
However, that is how I, like many others, felt tonight. There was laughter during the serious scenes, and no laughter during the briefly "comic" moments. Not a good sign when the audience is tittering during moments of anger or tears between the main actors.
After it was over, I wanted to buy Chris Carter a beer, sit down with him, slap him in the head and say "Chris..... what happened?" Chris wrote some great episodes, but as the series ended it got weaker and weaker. This movie plays like a subpar episode from one of their weaker seasons. It's as if Carter had proved the old cliché that a writer only has so many stories in them, and when they're gone, they're gone. I don't want to believe that, but it's hard to dispute it in this case.
Duchovny and Anderson are first-rate, as always; they are the only reason people would watch this movie; no-one else could say these lines and hold interest.
Watch this movie only if you want to see them as their characters, and discard any need for coherency or plot, let alone logic; because you won't find it.
POSSIBLE SPOILERS (NOT THAT IT MATTERS):
The main villain in this movie is a 50 year-old Russian delivery man, who outruns the younger Mulder, outwits him, is played as if he's the unstoppable Alien throughout the series, when he is really only a.... 50 year-old Russian guy with no special powers. Then, at the very end, after getting away after every gruesome crime, he gets whacked in the noggin with a wrench from a woman and goes down. End of villain. The movie ends shortly thereafter.
The "hero" of the movie is a retired pedophile priest. Making this schmoe a "pedophile" just to make him unpalatable, was unnecessary, and insensitive to those who have actually been molested as children. It was a very cheap and easy way to make the guy disturbing to audiences, and Carter is smarter than to use such a cheap device.
SPOILER ALERT: (again, not that it matters): The entire plot, as ludicrous as it sounds, boils down to this:
A 50 year-old gay Russian dude who is part of an illegal organ-snatching ring wants to save his gay partner by stealing body parts; when that fails, he plans to have his head grafted onto a woman's body. That's it. I kid you not. When you see the movie, you will see this is exactly the plot. You will also want to join me in slapping Chris Carter in the head. After all this time, this is the best he can come up with? It is a cross between a Russian Dr. Frankenstein movie and Hairspray.
MOST LUDICROUS MOMENT AWARD: Again, the shame here is on Carter, not Duchovny. He actually has Mulder go into a room full of the people he knows have been abducting and cutting up women for body parts, armed with.... a wrench. That's right, a wrench. He staggers around (he has a head injury) saying "Stop! Just Stop what you're doing! Do any of you speak English??" Then a 70 year old Russian doc hits him with a hypo gun, knocking him out. This is the guy who went toe to toe with unstoppable morphing aliens in the series. Now he's dumb enough to get hypo'd by a guy on social security. Everything after this point was pure farce, and you feel insulted that you were expected to take any of it seriously.
The plot holes are too giant to describe. Save that for a guy that used to live on the cell phone, it doesn't occur to Mulder to use his phone when he finds out where the bad guys are. Oh yeah, he does, but his car gets rammed so he drops it. Then, when he wakes up hours later in his car, he still has his phone, but doesn't use it.
But wait, Skinner arrives anyway! And he has some of the dumbest lines in the movie as he and Skully try to find Mulder randomly in the dark! OK, I give up..... there's no describing it.
The Truth Is Out There, and it is this: Any member of the audience tonight that was laughing during this movie could have sat down, and in two weeks, written a treatment that would have turned into a better movie than what Chris Carter and Spotnitz wrote. If you are a fan, you will leave the theater with the same feeling; and you will be correct.
Yep, this...thing with two heads was written by two heads. Which is probably why you will see two-headed things in this movie.
As for myself, I Don't Want to Believe. I Don't Want to Believe that Carter would write something this bad, and this insulting to not only the die-hard X-Files fans, but for Duchovny and Anderson to perform.
I can't end without saying something directly to Carter, though I know he won't ever read it: Come on, Chris. You know you could have written a better and more compelling (and more coherent) script than this. You should have vetted it, found out how bad it was, scrapped it, and started from scratch with a new script with higher stakes and more meaning for your audience. Your audience deserved better, and your legacy deserves better.
(Cue mournful X-Files music at end......)
The world is a greatly changed place since the heyday of "The X-files."
Back in the late 1990's the TV show was at its height and tapping into
the shared fears of the day: fear of the unknown, fear of the impending
millennium, and fear that something larger than us (the government or
alien invaders) was up to no good. Flash forward to the year 2008 and
we know all that hubbub about the millennium was for nothing, our
government has been up to no good for years, and it's not space
invaders we need to worry about but other people terrorizing us. The
murky, gloomy, grim style of "The X-Files" is now the norm with
feverish and dark films like "There Will Be Blood" and "The Dark
Knight" tapping into the mindset of culture today from opposite ends of
the film spectrum.
Apparently creator Chris Carter didn't realize his baby was irrelevant now. His only mission should've been to please the faithful. If he wanted to revive his series on film, he had best stick to the labyrinthine alien mythology that still has some die-hard fans buzzing, or at the very least deliver a fun stand-alone monster-of-the-week style flick that would make fans jump in their seats. With "The X-Files: I Want to Believe" he does neither of those things. Instead, he gives us a story where Mulder and Scully come out of hiding to work on a case where the FBI are using a psychic criminal priest to help locate a missing agent and track down a potential serial killer. The plot fits more into the mold of his far less popular companion series "Millennium" than it does to "The X-Files." Apparently Carter wanted to please no one except perhaps himself.
The weirdest thing about the film is that it isn't all that bad. Carter as a director lays on some decent atmosphere (with all the global-warming defying snow and some eerie nighttime shots) and creates some palpable tension as the horrors of the case grow grimmer. The chemistry between Mulder (a lazy but effective David Duchovny) and Scully (an amazingly fully ranged and emotional Gillian Anderson) is still there, and Anderson's performance is especially gripping. Billy Connolly, cast against type, gives an interesting turn as the corrupted priest searching for redemption through his visions that probably would've garnered an Emmy nod had this been a very special two-part TV episode. Also good is Amanda Peet, looking smashing in her smart FBI pantsuits.
Most interesting is the story arc given Dana Scully. I honestly had stopped watching the show after the sixth season, and aside from the mythology storyline that built up to the first film released ten years ago, I recall some of my favorite episodes being the ones where Scully questioned her faith and struggled with reconciling her Catholicism with her scientific approach to the paranormal investigations. This is again explored here, as Scully, always the skeptic, so desperately wants to believe in something. However, it's an odd choice for Carter to focus on this internal human drama when he should be focusing on how to bring fans back into the fold. It would've been an interesting and compelling layer had Carter not been so inept with the rest of the plot.
In the end some fine performances and a moody atmosphere do not add up to a good time. Eventually it becomes an uncomfortable and anachronistic creep-fest that plays like the type of suspense thriller that ruled the roost in the mid-1990's after films like "Silence of the Lambs" and "Seven" made police detection and serial killing popular entertainment. Well, it's 2008, Mr. Carter, and it's time to wake up from your prolonged nightmare that was rendered uninteresting in 2001.
It's not hard to imagine how time flies, when you realize that one of
your best loved television series of all time had already ended its
run, and you reminisce the times back when one of your weekend nights
revolved around sitting in a bunk with your army mates, all glued to
what Chris Carter had conjured as adventures for the two best known
goggle box FBI agents, Fox Mulder (David Duchovny) and Dana Scully
(Gillian Anderson). While we always needed to crank up the volume to
try and make sense of the murmurs involving shadow governments and
secret conspiracies, our favourite episodes almost unanimously were
those one-off ones, so called the "monster" episodes.
And it's been 6 years since The End, and 10 years since the first X-Files movie hit the screen. While that movie was intricately linked to the major conspiracy thread, this movie, as the trailer led us to believe, was a one-off monster episode, or so I thought. While it's indeed a one-off episode, it's no monster of an episode in the mould of those in the television series, though it really felt like an extended, stand alone episode which gave us a slightly more in depth look at the dynamics of our beloved duo, especially what happened to them in the last few years they went off the FBI radar. But as the saying goes, you can't put a good man, and a lady, down for too long.
This is a story about obsession. As we all know, Mulder's obsessed with everything X- classifiable, and in the years of absence, here comes an opportunity for a breath of fresh air when Agent Dakota Whitney (Amanda Peet) comes knocking to seek his expertise, as the FBI now has a case on their hands and a psychic, convicted pedophile of a Catholic Father Joseph Crissman (Billy Connolly) who volunteers key information to help in that case. The FBI isn't sure if Father Crissman is a liar, or worse, connected to the crime, and hence Mulder's help is to be their lie-detector. Naturally with religion and her usual cynicism in the mix, Scully is disgusted by the sheer presence of the religious felon, and thus set the stage for some conflict with her beau.
Like an old, quarreling couple who can't seem to give way to each other, their philosophies clash as their interests - Scully battling the hospital system to save her young chronically ill patient - differ, and threaten to pull the couple apart. He thinks that she's not being supportive of his venturing into an X-case even though they're now civilians, while she thinks he's latching onto Father Crissman to use his prowess, if proved true, to find Samantha Fox. Which I thought would probably make an excellent sub plot, but alas the potential was dangled like a carrot in front of us, and then went totally off tangent.
Don't expect any big sets or intricate subplots here, as it really looked like it's done on a shoestring budget, with the look and feel of a typical classic television episode, a two-parter in fact. There are strange aberrations of course, but all these go unexplained, and you know they're just going to be glossed over since everything will be wrapped up by the time the end credits roll. However, there are adequate moments to keep you at the edge of your seat, and some developments do enough to leave your mouth gaping wide open, especially those involving extreme medicine.
David Duchovny does look more comfortable reprising his role as Mulder, but Gillian Anderson, as interviews have revealed, required a lot more time trying to get back into character, and this uneasiness unfortunately shows on screen. The chemistry's still not lacking, but given that their respective characters have aged and grown more comfortable with one another, gone are the tensions between them, though the problems that surface here did try to rekindle some of the opposition they felt during the course of their long running series.
Chris Carter and X-Files regular scribe Frank Spotnitz did incorporate a nice surprise in the movie, so do keep your eyes peeled as you will silently cheer when it happens. But I thought what was a ghastly way to bid farewell, was the little coda toward the end of the credit roll, which somewhat signals the finale of everything, though in a very out of place manner. Anyhow, this X-Files movie episode isn't going to win any new fans over, but for X-philes, I'd bet we're probably just satisfied already with our heroes appearing in celluloid one more time, that no matter how wafer thin the plot is, it's not going to dampen our collective fan spirit.
And to thank our lucky stars that Mark Snow's iconic theme song, didn't get played in the movie under the horrific techno rendition.
"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
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.
The Good: - Duchovny, Anderson, and Connelly all deliver excellent
performances. Mulder and Scully are still fun to watch. - The
atmosphere of the show is very much kept intact. - The surprise
appearance of a series regular is a great addition to the finale of the
movie. - The Scully Subplot was done very well. - The few action
sequences are well done. - It explains what happened to Mulder and
The Bad: - Xzibit's character is as one dimensional as a piece of paper. - The plot is very weak due to it being incredibly simplistic. - It's slow pace will turn off many. - It feels made for T.V, almost exactly like an episode from season 7. They should've made it a 2 hour special on T.V instead. - It's way more of a Drama film than a Sci Fi thriller, which is misleading since the previews showed otherwise.
Overall: I had mixed thoughts when leaving the theater. Though it was slightly disappointing and underwhelming, it was still a good movie, especially for X Files fans. Duchovny and Anderson have not lost a step and deserve either another season to close up the series or another movie. I'm leaning more towards the former, as the movies have illustrated that Carter excels far more in a T.V environment.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
Okay, so having watched all 9 seasons and the first film, I was really
looking forward to this, as was my husband. I went in expecting a good
film - the first film might not've been amazing, but it was watchable,
and it fit in with the series, and I figured what with the huge wait
for this one, they must've been taking their time and getting a great
script together, because surely they'd want to prove wrong all the
people who rubbished the first film?
I think maybe they waited too long to do another movie. I think maybe Chris Carter forgot what The X-Files used to be about, forgot what exactly it was that made the show so great. Yeah, the episodes were weird, and yeah some story lines strained belief, but they always offered so much to back it up that it got you thinking, and it always had an enthusiasm in the characters that just made it enjoyable regardless of believability.
Pet peeves of the movie: 1. No follow on from the end of season 9 at all. 2. "Come back, all is forgiven." Never realised Mulder was that blindly trusting. He's a wanted man. He never even bothered to make sure that the offer was on the level, just took their word for it - the word of a government he's never trusted. 3. The focus was all wrong...instead of focusing on the case and the background and giving us details to involve us and catch our interest, they focused on Mulder and Scully's relationship, except that there was zero chemistry between the two, and they even tried, unsuccessfully, to add back some of the will they won't they tension from the series with Scully's half-hearted threats of "I'll leave you". 4. The bad guys weren't even scary - they were stolen from over half the horror films currently out there, kidnapping with sick experiments seems to be par for the course when going for shock value these days, so shame on Chris Carter for following the crowd. 5. Even the ending was half-hearted - less than 10mins of one of the main characters from the series - surely Skinner deserved a bigger role? Basically it just left us feeling cheated.
I really tried to like it, I wanted to like it, but it just wasn't an X-file. Give Mulder and Scully's characters different names, and it just becomes another in a long line of preachy films about letting science go to far, and religion, - and seriously? Making the paedophile a good guy? What kind of message is that sending out?
Shame on you Chris Carter.
I think my title says it all. Really, I was entirely entertained the
entire way through. I'm not going to give away the story because this
film was marketed wonderfully. Going in, thanks to great marketing, you
won't (shouldn't) know anything about the plot and this helps create a
real sense of mystery. By now you know it has to do something with
psychics but you really have no idea.
The writing, just like the show, is pitch perfect. The character development between Mulder and Scully is never off and they even introduce new characters. These characters aren't great (I suppose at times Xibit is kind of annoying) but they work pretty well to move the story along. This film also does something many movies have a hard time doing and thats creating sub plots that don't fall flat. There's a great sub plot involving a boy with a terrible disease, and its emotional and you never don't care about his fate even though it isn't the central focus of the story.
The acting is great. Duchovney and Anderson both flourish as the main characters while newcomers Amanda Peet and Xibit (is he trying to pull a Rock on us and change it to his birth name?) do their job admirably but never steal a scene from the real stars of the film.
I know I have a ton of great things to say about this movie and, yes, I loved it. I'd rank it among the greatest summer films this year (for those wondering Dark Knight and Iron Man both trump this). This is on par with how I felt about The Incredible Hulk, which I also loved. I just can't say that it's great and honestly I'm not sure what it is. Probably that it felt like a really epic episode.
This feels right at home in the series and it's a real relief to say that because it could've been good but not at home within the series.
I give this film a B.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
My husband and I are big X-Files fans, watched the whole series, loved
all episodes, including the last ones (we even have an "I want to
believe" poster in our living room) and we were looking forward to
watching this movie.
Unfortunately, after watching it, we were so disappointed that we couldn't stop blaming Chris Carter and Frank Spotnitz for such a stupid and empty plot! We watched it until the last second, still hoping that in the end they would show a hint for a next movie, and when I mean a hint I wanted to say: a UFO, or an alien, or anything supernatural... but not, after the credits they simply show Mulder and Scully waving goodbye to the camera! This probably was a goodbye to the fans! It's over, all the mystery, excitement, etc. :(
The NEGATIVE points about this movie:
- bad uninspired story;
- we didn't have the feeling of "what comes next" or "how they will solve this" at any moment (in fact we were looking forward to returning home, because it was too boring);
- no mystery, UFOs, aliens, supernatural or conspiracy;
- there is no X-file case, but a normal crime, only involving a psychic ex-priest to find the victim; what is hardly a believable reason to "bring back" Mulder to an FBI case;
- the appearance of Skinner was short and pointless;
- well, it shouldn't carry the title "X-Files", it was only to attract the audience; even for a simple thriller the story was too bad and without coherence.
The POSITIVE points about this movie:
- Duchovny's and Anderson's acting;
- Seeing Mulder and Scully again;
- Sometimes some references to the series;
- the soundtrack.
Summing up: waste of time and money!
WHAT WE REALLY WANT TO SEE IS A CONCLUSION TO THE LAST EPISODE!!!
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
*****this comment may contain spoilers********
Yes mulder and Scully are back...and they've left aliens and Ufo's back in the basement..its a fresh spin on what we loved about the series with some new dark undertones, that make's us question what we believe is faith, God and the notion of redemption.
The film itself is less action driven/CGI heavy than the first one, which i liked only because it allowed us to understand and follow our favorite duo, investigating and expanding their relationship, to greater horizons. The performance of both David and also Gillian are compelling and dramatic, making us feel for them as they carry baggage from the choices they have made. Father joe (Bill Connoly) causes a challenge to the viewer, as a repentant pedophile his acting allows us to see someone torn by their past..looking for some redemption and clarity...he has visions from god..the question resonates on the viewer if his visions are real or some fantasy...from the truth...
The story moves scenes by scenes, almost like a puzzle of clues..never letting up until all the pieces of the story converge, and your presented with a tight, less paranormal but effective thriller, that doesn't expect the viewer to stretch credibility or twist's that leave more questions than answers. Its one of the best new releases I've seen this year behind the dark knight!!!
GO SEE IT!!!
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