By Natasha Felder
Gillian Anderson and David Duchovny reprise their roles as Dana Scully and Fox Mulder in the second installment in the X-Files movie franchise, the aptly tittled The X-Files: I Want To Believe. For those of you who weren’t fans of the show, a brief synopsis. Fox Mulder was an FBI agent, whose life was consumed by The X-Files; a special unit dedicated to the study of paranormal activity. FBI higher ups assigned Mulder a partner, Dr. Dana Scully(A scientist), in order to debunk his work. At the Shows end, Mulder found himself kicked out of the FBI, wrongly convicted of murder and on the run with Scully. The X-Files aired on the Fox Network for 9 years, and it’s fair to say it began the internet fanboy/fangirl phenomena that’s so common today. I know because I used to be one of those fangirls. I’ve been eagerly awaiting a second movie, hoping that creater Chris Carter could breathe some new life into a franchise that went out with a whimper instead of a bang. While “I Want To Believe” isn’t the best movie I’ve seen all summer, I still found it to be intertaining and a decent goodbye to fans.
Gone is the over-complicated mythology that confused some and maddened others. Mulder and Scully are no longer in pursuit of “The Truth”, instead we find them living the simple life. Scully is working for a local hospital and Mulder? Well, Mulder seems to be lamenting the loss of his former life. He spends his days feathering his nest with clippings of the strange. This is their existence, until the FBI comes knocking promising to forgive Mulder for his “crimes” IF he will help find a missing agent. Quicker than you can say, “Duh” the pair are off to solve a new paranormal case. The case in and of itself is fairly creepy. A psychic, pedophile priest (Billy Connolly) has been leading the FBI to body parts buried in the middle of nowhere. As if that’s not impressive enough, he cries tears once they’re found. The FBI suspects the parts are related to their missing agent.
The case becomes….complicated and slightly hard to follow after that, which is typical X-Files Fare. The best thing about this movie is the relationship between Mulder and Scully. After 10 years, I was worried that Anderson and Duchovny may have lost their spark. I’m pleased to report that no such thing has happened. The two are just as dynamic and interesting to watch as they were at the start of the series. Both Amanda Peet(ASCA Dakota Whitney) and Alvin “Xzibit” Joiner are forgettable here. Neither actor hurt the movie, they were merely eclipsed by Anderson and Duchovny. Billy Connolly did a fairly creepy job, but his performance was nothing to get excited about.
Here comes the problem: “I Want To Believe” has very little action. Being a summer movie, I find that to be a courageous choice by writers Chris Carter and Frank Spotnitz. Yet, I must acknowledge that the lack of action did surprise and leave me slightly puzzled. This lack of action may disappoint movie-goers who were casual viewers, as well as those who have never seen an episode. It may also disappoint those who have seen the previous movie with its black helicopters and exploding buildings. The weight of action in this film is tied up in the relationship between the two leads. This isn’t to say that the movie is devoid of action-like sequences. They’re just not what an audience may expect from a summer movie.
So, what’s my final say? I enjoyed being in the X-Files world again. I recommend this movie to all X-Files fans, casual and long-suffering….er…..I mean, long-devoted. The movie is worth your ten bucks, just don’t expect to see loads of car chases and gun fights. For those of you who’ve never been exposed to the X-Files? Wait for the DVD.