I want to thank the legendary Clyde Lewis for providing a fantastic guest review. Really, who else but the master of Ground Zero Media to delve into the continuing adventures of Mulder and Scully – AD
X-Files 2: Putting the Lie Back in Belief
There have been so many journalists – either former or dead that have hinted that some things just can’t be put in a box. There are people who are obsessed about digging into the unknown; some are more credible than others are. You can read about them, listen to them, but the big question is do you believe them? I am also a journalist, with a news background who was edited and told to back off when a story I reported was not necessarily “normal” or part of some comfortable lie we tell ourselves. I was obsessed with digging and wound up being an investigative reporter.
Now, those who dig get labeled as conspiracy theorists and while there are those who secretly believe them – there are some who want to believe, and if they do, they will have to make the painful realization that some of the things that they know could be all wrong.
There is always the lie that is secretly hidden in belief and being one of those journalists can put a strain on relationships, and in some cases, a strain on your psychological well-being. But in this business you stick by your guns and you realize that while others around you tell you to give up and avoid the darkness, it always seems to find its way back to you. It is then you find yourself in a peculiar drama that has peppered through it bits and pieces of a puzzle that needs to be put together so that you don’t fall apart.
Such is the dilemma in the new film X-files: I Want To Believe directed by Chris Carter, and written by Carter and Frank Spotnitz…
The film is a follow-up to X-files: Fight the Future made nearly ten years ago and the long awaited reunion of Fox Mulder and Dana Scully after a horrible and fractured ending to the X-files TV series 6 years ago. Unlike the first feature film and TV series, this film does not even touch the alien mythos that made the TV series famous. This movie has a more mature look and feel. Doctor Dana Scully played by Gillian Anderson now has a more powerful presence; she has been through a great deal and now has completely severed her ties with the FBI. Anderson comes off in this feature as fearlessly competent, tender and with more of soul than she did in the TV series. David Duchovny still remembers the dry humor and character that made FBI Special agent Fox Mulder a household name and yet you can still feel a sense of maturity in his character as well. Mulder still digs through the tabloids and newspapers looking for the unreal but he now has a sense of humor about it all and pauses to wonder if all of what he looks after is all one big lie. He is now a bad memory for the FBI and is wanted on charges for some unspecific crimes. However, the FBI has a criminal case that even they can’t solve. Obviously, Mulder needs to get out more because he is unshaven and disheveled. He hangs out in a little hole in the wall that he shares with Scully.
X-files: I Want To Believe is a darker ride than most X-files television shows and it is more of an emotional brow beating than a mysterious thriller. Nothing paranormal here, only struggles between the characters and their various beliefs about life and death, God and science.
I am sure that most other critics will not like the film because with films like this you have to get the obligatory complaint that the film strains logic and credibility.
The reason you hear this complaint is because most critics are snoozing through some
French film with subtitles instead of reading about some of the strange news out there. About certain scientific methods to prolong life. Most of these stories are touched on in the film from the methodical to the profane. Of course, a lot is fiction, for now. But during a critic’s screening, I overheard two critics talking about how they never watched the TV show and were comparing notes. I am sure many of them are at IMDB and Wikipedia right now doing a quick key word search to make all of their critiques relevant.
Being and X-files fan, I enjoyed the film because in some ways I learned some new things about the personalities of the characters that I religiously watched on television.
They seem more human now that they no longer work in the FBI and how they wind up back into the fray reminds us all too well that we can’t run away from who we are and what we do. I believe that this was the mission of the film. Giving both Scully and Mulder an opportunity to redeem themselves after an unrewarding anticlimactic end to a great series.
At least I want to believe this because there were no amazing special effects in the film that I could see. No real gunplay, it was a vehicle to demonstrate the real emotional maturity of the characters. That alone is an amazing feat when you consider that the blockbusters lately have been so CGI prone that we forget that actors can carry a movie that at times can be dull and full of dialogue. But it might just be a symptom of the times. This film is more cerebral than eye popping. If anything, I hope the real critics will point this out.
There are some real horrors in the film and some really graphic scenes that will make you squirm a bit, but I found myself sympathizing with Scully and Mulder. They wanted to get on with their lives but it just doesn’t happen when you feel the need to chase those things that haunt you. Billy Connolly turns a dramatic performance as Father Joe, a visionary priest that has dark premonitions and a criminal past. The question of course is whether or not this destroys his credibility.
This is some familiar territory for most X-Philers because much of the same themes were brought up in an episode called “Beyond the Sea” where a death row inmate named Luther Lee Boggs, played by Brad Dourif, claims that he is psychic and can lead Mulder to a serial killer in exchange for a lesser sentence of life in prison. When it is found that Boggs can also communicate with Scully’s dead father, we begin to see a very emotional and human side to the FBI agents hardened character. I won’t give any spoilers here or any more details as to why this film is worthy. All of the dark trappings you love in a good X-Files story are there. The biggest treat of all is that we get to see how each character has grown, how they have dropped the paranoia for a philosophical perspective.
It is exhausting job, hunting real demons, when you don’t have a big gun, a girl friend that shoots fire or a wet and fishy sidekick named Abe.
It is just a typical day in the life of Mulder and Scully, however in this movie they both have to fight their urge to disregard the very thing that draws one into this type of investigating.
The questions draw us into the darkness and the questions that will draw you to X-files: I Want To Believe movie, if you are unable to get into that Dark Knight screening.