Like a mother who carries a child in her womb, I knew I would love the new “X-Files” movie before I sat down in the darkened theatre and gazed upon the visage of Mulder and Scully on the big screen.
Clutching my little box of pretzels and marinara sauce, I wished the previews would vanish—like the monster in the “X-Files’” “X Cops” episode—and let the main feature roll.
I have an “X-Files” ball cap, own a few DVDs, and have read multiple anthologies based on the series. When our youngest was a cheerleader in high school, I would leave the football games at half time so I could get home in time to watch “X-Files” on Friday nights. So, yes, I am a fan and I suppose predisposed to loving the latest in a short series of two films, despite what is said by “professional” reviewers. Am I blinded by my affection for the show, excellent writing (for the most part, except for the Doggett years), and the chemistry between the two lead actors? Yes. Do I care? No.
Having stated the preceding disclaimers, I will now offer my critique on the movie “X Files—I Want to Believe.”
I think it’s wonderful. The end.
We’re you expecting anything else?
Okay. Here are my true feelings after sitting in a comfortable chair for two hours and watching a movie I’ve waited years to see. It was like wearing a comfortable sweater you’ve had since high school and refuse to part with or nibbling on a piece of chocolate you’ve been saving for a special occasion.
Scully is still a doctor, albeit in a Catholic hospital named “Our Lady of Sorrows.” With a name like that, I don’t think it would be the kind of place I would want to go for medical care, unless Mulder was the physician (A role he did assume in “Playing God.”). Fox is a paper-clipping hermit and the two former agents are still in contact—close, personal contact.
An FBI agent is kidnapped by some very bad and very insane criminals performing unspeakable medical procedures. A psychic, who happens to be a former priest accused of stealing the innocence of dozens of altar boys, helps the bureau locate the agent.
Mulder’s services are solicited in the case, which winds its way through a snow drenched village set in West Virginia. Okay, it’s really someplace in Canada, where the series originally was filmed, but it still looks cold and dismal and stark. Scully, with her own professional crisis involving the treatment of a young patient, joins Fox in the investigation.
He still believes, she still questions, but their on-screen appearance is like welcoming home a favorite relative that has been gone for far too long. Gillian Anderson looks like she hasn’t age a year, although her hair is a lot longer. David Duchovny opens the show in a scruffy beard, but removes the facial hair when he gets caught-up in the kidnapping case. Neither wears their trademark suits; they are no longer card-carrying FBI agents. Humor is still used in key places, especially in a scene where the two return to the bureau headquarters following a flight via a midnight black helicopter and I swear the woman in front of me at the theatre was giving Mitch Pileggi (Walter Skinner) a standing ovation when he finally showed up at the tail end of the movie.
My husband was going to see the 3D version of “Journey to the Center of the Earth” while my mother and I watched “X Files” (He was never a big fan of the series—see, what they say is true about opposites attract), but changed his mind and said he was pleasantly surprised. Had he been a critic, would have given the movie three stars.
Neither of them had any trouble following the story, which is not tied to any of the customary “X Files” conspiracy or alien themes. It is a stand-alone tale for the unfamiliar and a visual treat for the initiated.
So, ignore the naysayers and spend $6.50 for an afternoon of mind candy. “X Files—I Want to Believe” is worth the price of admission.
Linda Dillman is a Messenger staff writer.