The X Files (1998) Poster


User Reviews

Review this title
307 Reviews
Sort by:
Filter by Rating:
Not just for X-Files followers.
chrisbrown645319 June 2002
To start off with, I do not watch the TV show, so I'm coming from a place of ignorance when it comes to The X-Files: Fight the Future. However, even without knowing anything about the characters or story lines, I found that I enjoyed this movie a lot, and will probably now start watching the shows reruns.

The movie starts off tens of thousands of years in the past, where an alien life form is roaming in underground caves. Fast forward to the present, and that same life form is unearthed by some kids in Texas. No one knows what killed this boy, and the firemen sent down to save him. Or maybe, someone does know. Enter Special Agents Fox Mulder (David Duchovny) and Dana Scully (Gillian Anderson). A seemlingly unconnected terrorist bombing is linked with the mysterious deaths in Texas, and lead Mulder and Scully all over the world to figure out this global conspiracy. Who knows about this alien life form? And why are they trying so hard to keep it a secret?

From what I've been told, a lot of the regulars on the TV show make an appearance in the movie. But as I said earlier, even without knowing who these people are, the movie itself is good enough to stand on its own. What I found I liked the most, and the reason I'll start watching the show, is the interaction between Duchovny and Anderson. After 5 years together, these two work perfectly as a team. They know each other so well; you feel the chemistry and tension between them. The supporting cast was strong, and I liked the idea that an entire alien race is being hidden from the world by a bunch of old white men. The story itself, while again from what I hear doesn't really conclude any plot points from the show, nor start any new ones, manages to stand by itself. The scenery was terrific, especially the opening sequence in the underground caves. What I was disappointed with was it seemed as if Duchovny was in the movie a lot more than Anderson. It was as if he was the star of the film, and she was a supporting member. The story seemed to revolve around him, and she was there to play off of. I wish that Chris Carter (the series writer and creator, and screenwriter for this film) would have made her more of an equal. The other problem I had was that while the plot was good, at times it wasn't explained as much as it could have been. The reason for the cover-up wasn't made as clear as it could have been, at least in my mind.

Whether you're a fan or not, The X-Files: Fight the Future is a good way to spend a couple hours in a nice air conditioned environment.
84 out of 98 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Good Jump to the Big Screen.
tfrizzell6 July 2002
Well-paced and well-crafted, "The X-Files" is a surprisingly good movie that does not try to get cute and go away from the things that made the series such a national phenomenon. David Duchovny and Gillian Anderson seem out of place working with bomb squads and doing other mundane duties after their department is shut down by the government. However the two feel that something really major is up which involves alien colonization on Earth and a vast government cover-up that goes through the highest places in the U.S. political realm. A good screenplay and solid direction make "The X-Files" a first-rate film from a very good cinematic year. 4 stars out of 5.
59 out of 78 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Fight the Future
Op_Prime8 June 2000
The X-Files' first movie is great. It has a clever, yet complicated, plot. The movie tackles the alien conspiracy head on, connecting some plot details from the show. But like an episode of the show, only a small piece of the puzzle is explained. The movie is a scary and thrilling sci-fi movie. All that's missing is a sequel.
51 out of 73 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Almost Kiss + Mouth-to-Mouth = Complete Kiss?
Muldernscully2 January 2007
Warning: Spoilers
Watching The X-Files movie for fun and watching it objectively for a review are two different experiences. When I first watched and rated this movie, I gave it a perfect 10 for it being an exciting, fast-paced story of characters I've come to know and love. It still is all that. But putting the movie in context with the series, evaluating it as an episode between the seasons, forces me to acknowledge the flaws that it contains. As I've already mentioned, this is an exciting, fast-paced story; bigger than any mythology episode before it, as it is essentially a two-hour mythology episode. Rob Bowman, my favorite X-Files director does an awesome job. Getting chased by black helicopters at night through a cornfield and escaping from homicidal aliens in an enormous alien spaceship are things the series could never dreamed of doing with a television series budget. The drama, dialogue and action are great. Martin Landau does a wonderful job as Kurtzweil, Mulder's informant for the movie. I love the scene transitions in the movie. A lot of them are done in a creative way that informs as well as entertains. What brings the movie down a couple of points are some inconsistencies like Scully not getting caught in the autopsy room, the patient bee that can stay underneath Scully's collar all the way from a cornfield in Texas to Mulder's apartment in D.C., many hours later. And, of course, the bad guys that somehow know that Scully is going to be stung by the bad bee and have an ambulance and false EMT guys at the ready, and intercept Mulder's 911. Even in the X-Files, that whole sequence with the bee sting was too far-fetched to be believable. An interesting thing learned from the audio commentary is that Chris Carter wanted to give the fans a kiss between Mulder and Scully but not a real kiss. So he considers the near-kiss in the hallway plus Mulder doing mouth-to-mouth resuscitation on Scully to equal a kiss between the two. Odd thinking methinks. The X-Files movie is not a letdown and a definite thrill ride for fans of the show. Just a few unbelievable plot inconsistencies makes it not the best that the X-Files has to offer.
16 out of 20 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
As good as it possibly could be
The_Movie_Cat3 August 2000
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.
45 out of 64 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Surprisingly good -- even for someone who hasn't seen the show before...
MovieAddict201625 October 2003
There are two types of people in this world: Those that watch "X-Files," and those that do not. I, like many other critics who walked into "The X-Files" movie, fall into the latter category. But it doesn't matter, because I don't believe that there are any real twists in the plot or "revelations" like the extended title implies there may be. In fact, I think that even the strict fans of the television show may be a bit in the dark by the time the credits start to roll. I got lost about 2/3 of the way through, but I still had a fun time.

Scully and Mulder, the two FBI Agents (I think) from the famous television show of the same name, make their big-screen debut in a feature-length, theatrical film release that plays much more like a clever science fiction film than a stupid one. I do not claim to be a huge fan of the science-fiction genre -- I like softer sci-fi such as "The Terminator" -- but I admire the hard sci-fi films that make an effort to reach those of us who many not be the most enthusastic sci-fi geeks. "The X-Files" has a harder task -- it has to reach those who not only have never seen the show, but also those who may not love sci-fi too much, and it does a good job. I admire it above all else for being able to do this.

It strikes a chord that good sci-fi films have struck in the past. It gets down to the meaty bits, although sometimes the plot left me in the dark and the ending started to get a bit crazy, which lowered my overall pleasure regarding the film. It's like a mystery set in the world of UFOs and alien encounters. It is, at times, quite chilling in a subtle way, and at other times quite humorous and fun and thrilling.

It starts off with a boy falling into a pit and being attacked by hundreds of small, slug-like creatures that crawl into his eye sockets and over his eyes (don't bring the kids to this one). More people enter into the pit in an ill-fated attempt to rescue the boy, and they wind up being knocked unconscious (or put into a deep sleep) like the boy. The bodies are all transported to a hospital, and that same hospital later blows up after Scully (Gillian Anderson) and Mulder (David Duchovny) are unable to stop an implanted terrorist bomb from detonating inside a coke maching.

But then Mulder is told by a mysterious man outside a bar (Martin Landau) that the bomb was never attempted to be defused. It was all an elaborate cover-up to hide the bodies of the pit victims. Mulder shrugs off the old man at first before he realizes that the man used to be a friend of his father's, and that he has some interesting true stories to tell.

"The X-Files" intrigued me, kept me interested for the most part, and gave me a few good chill sequences, and yet I haven't seen a single full-length episode of the FOX TV show (only little tidbits here and there). From what I can tell from my short experiences with the television show, this film carries a much more "mainstream" feel to it. I don't really take an interest in TV shows because I find them pretty corny. But "The X-Files" movie wasn't that corny.

The sight of the aliens themselves is only touched lightly, and the secret promised to be revealed by the trailers and ads isn't. (I assume most people thought it would be in regards to Mulder's alien-abducted sister from his childhood.) But Duchovny is very interesting and often humorous in his role, and I would like to see him in more films than he is in. Gillian Anderson is a bit weak in her role -- in fact, my mother saw her on stage in London and reported back to me that she was so bored by her dull, lifeless performance that she nearly left the theater. But Duchovny carries along the film by himself, and the film has some good sequences. Overall, even people who have never laid eyes on the TV show will be able to appreciate this.

3.5/5 stars.

  • John Ulmer
35 out of 51 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Fans will enjoy it for sure, others not so sure
Kristine16 May 2008
If you remember a little decade called "The '90's", you'll definitely remember that The X-Files was one of the biggest shows of that decade. The X-Files had so many different fans, I have to admit that I was a fan, not so much to the extent as many others were, but I enjoyed the show. However, I think because my friend rubbed it in my face so much of how much this show was the best television show to ever hit the air waves, I steered clear of the movie. But I was renting movies the other day and came across The X-Files, and figured to just give the movie a shot, it's been how many years since the show ended? But I watched it last night and I liked the movie. I think the only thing is, is this was a movie that was definitely made for the fans and no one else, because if you didn't watch the show, you won't get into the movie.

Mulder and Scully are on the case again after they learn of a deadly "virus" that is killing off the planet. Of course the government is covering it up, making it seem like it's more of a terrorist or a horrible flu. Mulder wants to make the truth known, but Scully has just given up, that is until she is attacked by a bug carrying the virus and Mulder will not give up on her. He saves her, but she needs more strength if they are to make it out of this situation alive.

The X-Files the movie is a cool sci fi film, if you are not a fan or didn't watch the series, there is a small chance you'll get into the film. But this was a definite treat for the fans, this is the film they wanted and as much as I hate this saying, The X-Files is just an extended episode with a bigger budget, but it's still a cool film. I liked it, Mulder and Scully always provide perfect entertainment and I just love Mulder going into his infamous speeches of "the truth is out there", so over dramatic, but you gotta love his passion in it. The X-Files is worth the look, it's a fun film and is cool sci-fi.

21 out of 30 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Great movie!
Movie Nuttball14 May 2003
This movie is very good.Its deep,its clever,its very interesting,and entertaining.I just really like how Mulder and Scully are.The situations they get in make you care about them especially Scully.Martin Landau,William B. Davis,Mitch Pileggi,Jeffrey DeMunn,Terry O'Quinn,and Armin Mueller-Stahl were all good!The music is good and the direction and editing is superb.X-Files: Fight the Future is really a classic movie and I feel its one of the best films ever! If you like the series then you'll love the movie!
52 out of 83 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Totally Pointless
patrick320121 November 2001
Warning: Spoilers
[WARNING: Spoilers ahead throughout this review.]

There's a speech Fox Mulder makes at the end of the X-files movie which goes along the lines of "Well here we are again, we had the evidence in our hands and now we've lost it. I'm sick of it happening again, I don't want to do this any more." I felt like applauding at that point.

For me that speech was not only this film but the whole concept of the X-files in a nutshell.

Nothing of any real consequence occurs in this film, nothing at all. It's simply two FBI agents occasionally being chased, or chasing someone, or looking puzzled. They sometimes find physical evidence of a government conspiracy to do something terrible, but the evidence is without exception snatched away or destroyed (or forgotten by the writers). Sometimes we might even see the conspirators talking about these forthcoming terrible events in very vague terms. The terrible events never, ever happened in the series. However, I was hopeful that with a cinema budget they might stretch to showing an alien invasion or two. Perhaps the writers had only been teasing the audience until they had the money to give their intended cataclysm justice on the big screen. Alas, all we get is an exploding building (destroying evidence), an exploding car (destroying evidence) and some snow falling into an empty hole. Nothing you wouldn't find in a TV Movie.

The dialogue is awful too, Mulder is continuously told that he's "barely scratched the surface" of the conspiracy. I'd wager a good amount of money that he's actually gone right through the surface a long time ago and exhausted all the plot we're ever going to get out of Chris Carter. When we find out what this conspiracy involves, it's actually a very very dull mix of "Alien" and "V", about extraterrestrials conquering the earth with the help of ambitious humans with a view to feeding on human bodies. "Doctor Who" also used this plot several times over in the 60s and 70s.

In the X-Files, essentially, nothing happens, to the characters, to their status or their plans, and for the worst of reasons, because the producers want to string this franchise out for as long as they can make money from it. The aliens will never invade, but neither will Mulder ever prove to anyone that they exist, I can tell you that right now. I can also tell you that if all this *is* ever resolved in a final film or episode, it will turn out to be a disappointing cop-out.

One of the other reviewers on IMDB compared the X-Files film to Hitchcock, but Hitchcock actually satisfied his audience by showing the little guy cleverly fighting back and eventually triumphing over the dark conspiracy against him. There was methodical progression, there was movement, there was excitement, tension and engagement. Hitchcock films are thrilling because you believe the hero might win or the villain might kill him. You know the conclusion is just round the corner, whatever happens.

In the X-Files we *know* that Mulder will never be killed (the evil conspirators say they will not kill him for fear of making him a martyr). Unfortunately, we also *know* that Mulder will never win, because then they couldn't make a sequel to this single-issue drama. There is no thrill in the X-Files because the basic premise of the film (and indeed series), its ground rules, demand that ultimately nothing happens for the sake of extending the franchise. It's just aimless wandering.

Sorry to be crude, but the X-Files is like perpetual Coitus Interruptus.

The only vaguely memorable scene is Martin Landau p***ing in an alley.
22 out of 32 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Absolutely the best gift C.Carter and his crew could have given to us, the fans
Pluto-314 August 1998
The first time I saw this film I was expecting something less than spectacular because of the mixed reviews I had read before going. Was I surprised! It was one of the most incredible cinematic experience of my life, certainly of the year. Maybe you think I'm nuts and, heck, maybe I am but what I'm saying is true. I am a fan of the series and it's probably why I liked it so much. It had a great storyline that explained a lot of the mysteries that had been hanging for years while bringing all new ones. It also had unbelievable FX that never could have been made for the TV show and the aliens were just simply scary! Many many great scenes, not just a few good ones isolated throughout the film. And the ending is just fantastic, suspenseful and very intriguing. I can't wait for the 6th season to begin.
38 out of 60 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Trust this One
deny_evrything23 March 2004
How could anyone not like this movie? Even those that are not regular followers of the T.V. show could get a real thrill out of this movie. I like how they worked it so that the fans who followed the show weren't falling asleep and those that didn't follow the show regularly weren't lost. I love the show and follow it regularly. Mulder and Scully kick ass and are one of the most interesting teams that I've seen on T.V. The closest team I have seen would be on CBS; that team would be the CSI:Crime Scene Investigation. But as far as this movie is concerned it is literally out of this world! As Chris Carter has made famous "Trust No One" this is really a movie you can take a wild ride with!
13 out of 19 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
An Entertaining and Dramatic Sci-Fi Adventure
TheBlueHairedLawyer1 December 2014
Warning: Spoilers
I love the X - Files show, it as some of my favorite actors who were also in shows like Supernatural and Cold Case. The movie is just as good, an exciting addition to the TV show but still understandable for people who haven't yet seen the TV show.

Basically, F.B.I. agents Fox Mulder and Dana Scully end up caught in a plot of alien colonization, although the X - Files cases have been closed seemingly for good. This alien plan goes all the way to the mysterious Cigarette Smoking Man who has, let's just say, not very nice intentions.

It was great to see this movie, the characters were just as good in this as they were in the television show. Canadian actor William B. Davis was excellent as the Cigarette Smoking Man (that character was like my idol as a kid) and the plot is suspenseful. When Mulder gets shot it seems like all hope is lost. The soundtrack was great, this was one of the better 1990's movie tie-ins.
3 out of 3 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
A laughable cult to be derided like The Invaders, Land of the Giants or, indeed, Lost In Space. Wrong.
walshio15 December 1998
When it began you may have thought this paranoid adventure's destiny, in say fifteen years time, was a slot after The Waltons on a Sunday afternoon. A laughable cult to be derided like The Invaders, Land of the Giants or, indeed, Lost In Space. Wrong. It has matured into the most revered SF phenomenon since Star Trek and as those champions of hair, ZZ Top, once proclaimed it's 'got legs'.

Forsaking opening credits or a slow build-up, director Rob Bowman propels us on to a roller-coaster ride of moderately daft spooky shenanigans and grand effects. All the same elements from the TV series are here, shadowy high-ranking figures controlling the planet - "These people have been secretly negotiating a planned Armageddon", plenty of furtive glances and hellish beasties from the dawn of time. Plus we have the two small box giants, Mulder (David 'Mondeo Man' Duchovny) and Scully (Gillian 'the FHM pin-up' Anderson), coming across marvellously well on the big screen.

In fact, for a show which thrives on a claustrophobic feel, this wide-screen treatment is cleverly handled. Bowman arms his two leads with a witty, edgy script, and pits them against the pervading evil through a combination of Aliens, James Bond and Alfred Hitchcock action sequences.

Ultimately, The X-Files is very entertaining and thankfully devoid of any product placing or blessed meteors.
47 out of 88 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Fight the Franchise!
Shan-1221 December 1998
This movie was little more than two episodes tacked together. Two not very good ones at that. The first half of the film was just a complete rehash of the bee episode and the second half was just a poor rip-off of Alien. I couldn't see where the money went either. To confuse the issue further, one of the guys from Millennium gets blown up, except he wasn't playing his Millennium character (wouldn't it have made sense to have used someone else?). Also I am sick and tired of Scully continually not seeing crucial evidence that could convince her that Mulder is possibly sometimes right (as we know he is 99% of the time at least). I mean, this time a spaceship the size of Kansas is overhead for at least a minute and yet somehow she's looking into the ice until the instant it disappers, then she looks up. Stupid, isn't it, how something like that happens every single time like clockwork? A horrible movie but maybe there's hope. After all, the first Star Trek was hopeless but they got better after that.
15 out of 25 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Can't stop watching it!
mariomurderer111-111 August 2008
Warning: Spoilers
I have this movie on both VHS and DVD. The first time I saw this movie was on an airplane in 2003. I liked the X Files back then so I wanted to watch that movie. IF lots of you people understand the stuff that's going on in this movie then this movie will be easier to understand for you. This movie is based on conspiracies like some X Files shows...the main story for this is about an alien cover-up. It's a good monster / alien / thriller / sci-fi movie with many amazing special effects. Mark Snow conducts a wonderful score soundtrack and it is indeed a great movie, that's all i've got to say. I watch it over and over again heaps of times!
7 out of 10 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Captures the spirit of the series but feels like it's covering old ground
bob the moo26 October 2003
Warning: Spoilers
Assigned to a bomb threat on a Federal building, Scully and Mulder find the bomb in another building. Ordered out by the agent in charge, the bomb explodes destroying much of the building and killing 4 people. Without any suspects, the authorities look for someone to blame and focus on Mulder. To clear himself Mulder investigates a tip from Alvin Kurtzweil that the bomb was to cover the fact that 3 of those killed were already dead. Investigating, Scully discovers evidence that points to a viral infection by aliens, orchestrated by a group of powerful men.

Although I had stopped watching series long before it finally ended I still wanted to see this film. The basic plot is the element I've always preferred in the series – the bigger picture of the alien conspiracy, as opposed to the one-episode wonder of freaks or monsters etc. The film gets off to a great start – the early scene where a man calmly waits for the bomb 2 feet in front of him to explode to destroy the alien evidence is creepy and tells the audience immediately just how important the contents of the building are. After this point it keeps the momentum fairly well but doesn't manage to ever feel like it's not something we've seen before in the series.

This might not be a problem for most people but for those who have issues (or are totally unaware of the series) then it is easy just to see this as part of the series rather than a stand alone movie experience. That said, it does have elements that show it to be of a grander scale and it does fill out the screen quite well. The best thing it does is manage to have a constant uneasy feeling over the lengths that the conspiracy will go to – whether it's the bombing or the sealing of a scientist in a tomb, it all feels scary. The downside of this is that the film can't capitalise on this as really this feeling works best as part of an ongoing series than just a film which requires an ending.

There are a few funny moments (Mulder taking a leak on ID4 is the best) but the film does keep the drama up quite well. In terms of performances, Duchovny can do this stuff in his sleep and at least is open to a little mocking of Mulder in his performance. Anderson seems to have been a little short changed and is treated as a secondary character – she spends a lot of the film shouting gruff instructions `don't think, just pick up the phone and make it happen' etc. Support from the usual X Files characters are all good although with some of them you do wonder why they bothered for all the screen time they had.

Overall this film will be liked by fans and should do the job for those (like me) who take a passing interest in the series. As a film it is not perfect and is perhaps a little too familiar for my tastes, but seen as a big screen episode of the series it works just fine.
8 out of 12 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
If viewed over 9 seasons,it plays out as a novel
trustno1-1125 May 2002
In my view, the movie serves as the centerpiece of a 200 episode novel. The team of David Duchovny and Gillian Anderson deserve to be listed among the great screen duos of all time. They made characters come to life as people. For seven years they were the centerpiece of what is likely to be remembered as the show of the 90's. Drama, comedy, they did it all well and different. Season 8 and 9 are not in that league due to the reduced presence of Duchovny and Anderson and a burned out core writing staff, but it was still better than most of its rivals. The movie essentially can serve as a cliffnote to the first five years, although I highly recommend buying the season box sets and start from the beginning. For the film itself, keep in mind that the X-Files in the end was about the journey of Mulder and Scully to each other and not really about conspiracies or aliens. In the end, that was the truth they were always searching for.
4 out of 5 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
What Lies Below Pt II
XweAponX9 March 2013
Warning: Spoilers
In season 3 the Black Oil was introduced. Then Mulder chased it from Tunguska to Terma and came "face to face" with its viral propagation - And also the "weak vaccine" which the Russians had devised, their version of it at least: And this prevented it from taking him over. Then "Patient X" showed up and revealed the connection of The Black Oil to the Gray Aliens and to the Shape Shifting Alien Bounty Hunters, and also a race of alien "rebels" had sewn up their faces to prevent the Black Oil from getting in. And the Bees, somewhere in the first 5 seasons of The X-Files, Bees came into the equation. But what do Bees have to do with The Black Oil? That's what this film is about.

But Mulder pushed too far and too hard, he took a huge gamble and lost - Lost The X-Files, literally, "Cancerman" burned them, and the entire X- Files department was shut down, Mulder and Skully relegated to Butt tasks. At least that's the state of things as this movie begins.

In the Teaser of this film, it is shown that The Black Oil had interacted with early man to effect and affect man's evolution, the evidence of this buried deep in a cave during the last Ice Age. But in the present day a hapless kid unfortunately falls into this cave - And into The Black Oil, as do a couple of Firemen who try to rescue him. Enter Black Helicopters who take over the whole area briefly.

Meanwhile, Skully and Mulder are part of an FBI Bomb Squad, looking for a bomb "In the wrong building" as Skully puts it, but as Mulder does not think in terms of things that can be programmed, categorized or easily referenced... Using his gut he finds the Bomb "in the wrong building" - But the SAIC (Terry O'Quin in his 2nd of three X-Files appearances) does nothing to prevent it from exploding and Mulder and Skully are being blamed for the explosion.

Because Bodies were found in the rubble, and it was just assumed they were not already dead. This is what Alvin Kurtzweil, MD (Martin Landau) tells Mulder while he is peeing behind a bar he has also been 86'd from, on a Poster for ID4 even!

This sets Mulder on a new Tangent. When has the X Files never been a huge Tangent? With Skully in tow, he finds the Bodies from The Explosion which show NO signs of being blown up, but rather of dissolving instead, with Transparent, Gooefied Skin.

But due to the Bomb Fiasco, Mulder and Skully had been split apart, Skully to report to new posting ASAP. But Mulder challenges this, convinced Skully to help him look for clues. In Texas, without Skinner's approval. What do they find in Texas? Bees. One of which Skully brings home with her and stings her, and she is kidnapped due to the machinations of Cancerman.

But the Well Manicured Man (John Neville) has decided to betray Cancerman and "The Syndicate" and provides Mulder with 1) a new "weak vaccine" and 2) The location, in Antarctica, of the main Syndicate Base of operations- And of course, he is blown up right after he gives these to Mulder.

So it's a chase, Mulder has 96 hours to get to a spot in Antarctica, and this is one of the first uses of GPS in a film, the tech GPS uses was brand new back then. And we get to see the scope of "The Alien Conspiracy" like it had never been shown in the Television Series, because it simply could not fit on a TV screen.

And as usual, Mulder gets to see the full extant of the Conspiracy, while Skully's head is turned the other way: But she had just been thawed out from a huge Spaceship, and Mulder had to do CPR on her at least once. So it's just par for the X Files course, Skully never sees what Mulder sees: In the whole series, and two movies, Skully has never seen the incredible stuff Mulder has seen.

There is also a question that comes up any later is X-Files episode with Leila Harrison: how did Mulder and Scully get out of that area seeing as how Mulder a snow cat was out of gas? That's a pretty obvious answer, and one that we didn't know was plausible at the time: Somebody had been protecting Mulder, and apparently that person does so in this film. If you are familiar with the series it will dawn on you who this is.

The Black Oil makes one out-of-X-Files appearance: In Fringe, Season 2, Episode 13 "What Lies Below" - This is in fact, the exact same Black Oil as is shown in this movie and in The X Files series.
5 out of 7 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
So worried about satisfying an audience it forgets to function as a film
ametaphysicalshark28 March 2008
The first scene we see Mulder and Scully in involves a building being blown up. This is the first of many scenes where it becomes evident that Chris Carter wrote this film around the budget instead of using the big budget to improve the film. The script is also problematic for other reasons, not that Chris Carter was ever the most talented X-Files writer in terms of dialogue (see Vince Gilligan or Darin Morgan) but some of this movie seems extraordinarily cheap and speed-written (Carter essentially had to write this film and his season 5 episodes roughly at the same time), and the result is some really embarrassing moments.

The whole movie has a sort of 'greatest hits' feel, cramming the Lone Gunmen in just for the sake of having them there, revisiting questions but not answering them, and bringing back stuff we remember from mythology episodes just for the fun of it. This was the first step into REALLY muddling the mythology arc the series became famous for, although I for one thought season 6 was exceptionally strong, but the show's mytharc dwindled fast in quality and by seasons 7 and 9 it was the standalone episodes that remained memorable and entertaining.

To its credit, this film is well-made and excellently scored, and the acting is generally solid. There are good parts here and there but mostly it feels like a sellout. The mythology arc was seriously harmed by this film and there's no telling if it would've played out better without it. Ultimately, this movie was so worried about satisfying an audience (Mulder & Scully nearly kiss! Oh the excitement! [ /sarcasm ]) it forgot to function as a film.

18 out of 35 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
May be OK for fanboys, but for non-fans, it's a monumental bore
el_monty_BCN11 November 2002
I have never followed the X-files TV show, I saw a couple and it just never hooked me. But the hype around it was so excruciating at the time this film came out that I thought, "What the hell, I'll have to give it another go". And I thought the best place to start would be the film, which was being released amid much hoopla. I thought that it would be better than any episode; that, given the stretched budget and running time of a movie, the makers would be able to come up with a more developed and intriguing plot than the contrived, formulaic ones often found in TV shows; and if I liked it, I could take it from there.

Well, the result was bitter disappointment. The movie demanded an extensive knowledge of previous data, places, characters and events, in order to be fully understood, and, even with the blanks filled in, no amount of spectacular visuals could make up for the paper-thin plot. I suppose that some of the most notorious scenes of the film (no need to mention, you know which ones) were big payoffs for fans, but the sad truth was that this was just an extended episode, i.e. it did not stand alone on its own two feet as a film and it should have never reached the big screen, just aired as a special. I believe that, even if a film is based on previous material, it should always be a self contained story that can be enjoyed, at least for the most part, also by the uninitiated, but this is clearly not the case here.

So, I can't really judge the significance of this film for those who love the show (and I know there's a lot "out there", so fair enough if they're satisfied, this movie was clearly just for them). But if you don't follow it, quite simply: Don't bother.
8 out of 13 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Confusing, dull, nonsensical
ET-1326 November 1998
Maybe you needed to be familiar with the T.V. series to get a grip on this mess, but I can't believe it would have helped all that much. This movie spends so much time trying to explain what's going on that it becomes tedious rather quickly.
6 out of 9 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
A 2-hour episode...but so what?
Rabbit-710 August 1998
I've met a LOT of people who whine that this is just a two-hour episode with a big budget. I don't see how that's a complaint. I mean, if one of the best-written, best-directed, most atmospheric shows on television makes a movie-length episode that can stand on its own...what's the problem? That still makes it more intelligent than 90% of the movies put out this summer.
2 out of 2 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
I love the series but...
Huntress-21 February 1999
Don't get me wrong, I love the series, but the movie was just so incredibly hokey, I felt like getting up and leaving the theater. The same old characters doing the same old things. No more of the plot is revealed, despite the fact that the tv series was hyping and raving that more information would be told. Just a cheap reason for Chris Carter to make more money. I felt like I was watching "Spawn" or H.R. Giger's "Alien" thanks to the designs. Pitifully predictable and half the cast of the show was missing. Doesn't justify the show one bit.
10 out of 18 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Bigger and -- well, just bigger.
Robert J. Maxwell29 May 2002
What happens to this movie is what generally happens to a successful and reasonably well-done small-scale story when Hollywood (generically speaking) gets hold of it. It's vulgarized.

I'm not a big fan of the original TV series, although I suppose over time I've seen most of the available episodes. Some of them are pretty dull. But the writers as a collective whole had respect for the real fans. The plots are often hard to follow and sometimes don't make sense but the real interest in any case was in the relationship between Mulder and Scully, as well as between the two of them and the mystery they were trying to unravel. It was all very subdued. Lots of dark rooms with flashlight beams waving around. A bit of f/x with bumps running around under someone's skin but not much of that. And, most endearing, a good deal of low-key humor. But because not much is made of the comedy you have to watch carefully for it. In one episode, Mulder confronts a self-proclaimed mind reader, thrusts his head forward, and says, "Read this thought." The mind-reader raises his eyebrows and snaps back, "So's your old man." The exchange is over in a few seconds. All of the humor was rather like that. And it's missing in this movie, which takes itself much too seriously and tries to make up for these kinds of crabwise quotidian exchanges by an expanded scale. A building in the movie blows up in tremendous fireballs. Cars actually -- can you believe this? -- smash into one another when they crash. Special effects abound in a way they didn't in the series, overcoming the mind, boggling it with their monstrousness, a huge space ship, a hole in the ice!

The plot is as silly as any of the sillier ones in the series. A government conspiracy revolving around a virus that was stored by the original aliens who inhabited the earth -- am I getting this right? -- and it winds up with Mulder stalking across the infinite expanse of antarctic snow and happening to fall into the only available hidden three-foot-wide hole that leads down through three or four layers until he finds himself lying exhausted at the bottom of a thirty foot chute in the ice. Does he try to get out? Not on your life, or on his either. He digs deeper, which only makes sense, as long as you're trying to come out in China so your can order General Tsao's chicken in General Tsao's Original Chinese Restaurant.

The acting. Dealing with Gillian Anderson first. She has a skewed kind of beauty, her face from certain angles resembling a Renaissance sculpture, and from others an ordinarily beautiful Hausfrau. I find myself wondering what her molars look like. Her figure is odd as well, no neck to speak of, and a muscularity that bespeaks Bronco Nagurski. I don't mean that to sound worse than it does. She's an extremely attractive woman. Love that nose, which reminds me of an overhanging ledge I once took a photo of in the Blue Ridge Mountains. Her acting is adequate, both here and in the series, but it's impossible to tell what sort of legs her career will have because her range is necessarily so constricted. David Duchovny, I am assured by multiple sources, is a big hearthrob. His face has been described as "panty melting." Okay -- I don't hold that against him, despite my jealousy. He seems like a nice guy. I'd like to play poker with him. But, as in Anderson's case, the role restricts him. I can't tell whether he's an actor or not. I've never seen either of them in anything except their series.

I genuinely believe that fans of the series might as well stick with the series. A few miles of rough road now and then, but it's a superior TV entity. This movie is not much more than exploitation of the fans' interest.
9 out of 16 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
One big heap of bull
haggar12 November 2001
Warning: Spoilers
Even though I got used to the fact that sci-fi movies coming from Hollywood are usually void of logic and intelligence, I wasn't prepared for such a nonsense.

  • Minor spoilers ahead -

The nonsense pertains to the number of unlikely events happening throughout the movie, facts on both chemistry, biology and the FBI, the logic and motivation of the stakeholders and many more. This movie really requires the audience to turn off their brains, or to be virtually braindead, in order to be able to enjoy it.

I was even entertaining the idea that the director's purpose was to create a parody, some kind of comedy about conspiracy and aliens, but there are too many details for that, in addition to the fact that the movie wasn't humorous one bit, except for the whole shambles.

If your IQ is above 85, don't watch it. Spend time with your family, make a walk in the nature, read some good book or just have a refreshing nap, just don't waste two hours of your life on this. I did it, it was a mistake, but you have been warned.
10 out of 19 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
An error has occured. Please try again.

See also

Awards | FAQ | User Ratings | External Reviews | Metacritic Reviews

Recently Viewed