Monday, October 8, 2007

The X-Files: Fight the Future

It’s a bit difficult trying to discuss this movie outside of the context of the show. When I had first seen it in theaters, admittedly, I had never watched the show but had casually enjoyed the film all the same. Now, having finally plowed through the first five seasons and become fairly well versed in the show, I stand ready to critique it properly. With that in mind, I think my initial opinion stands: this movie is good, but nothing really special.

Spinning out of the events of the season five finale, the X-Files have been shut down for the second time and Mulder and Scully are now being dumped into routine FBI work when they (of course) stumble across the same massive conspiracy they’ve been struggling with throughout the show. The main benefit of the film’s increased budget is that the movie is just packed to the gills with action scenes to propel its rather labyrinthine plot onward. During its two hours of running time, our heroes are menaced by a bomb planted in a large hotel, a secret base populated by bees armed with a deadly virus, exploding vans, deadly alien leeches that invade people’s bodies, a great deal of old white men talking in riddles and covering up things so as to be good and sinisterly ambiguous, and an encounter with aliens at the South Pole. Never let it be said that show creator Chris Carter was lacking in ideas for their first film.

All that works well enough, which is good, because it makes palatable the fact that the film plays like an extended episode. Not only does it start by coming out of the season five finale, but it ends ambiguously, preferring to set up the sixth season rather than provide any firm resolution (other than the re-opening of the X-Files, of course. I haven’t yet seen episodes past this, but I’m dying to see how many more times it gets shut down to end a season). It works well enough while watching it, but there’s nothing to really make it stand out from the show. It’s something for the fans to see, everyone else can feel free to give it a pass.

Rating: ** ½

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