Friday, August 8, 2008
X-Files: I Want to Believe
This film hasn't been given a fair shake at all. I think a lot of the criticism has come from non-fan reviews and casual fans. For the hardcore fans of the series, I Want to Believe delivers the goods on what we realy want: Mulder and Scully. The plot takes a backseat to their relationship.
Let's get to the plot first. Mulder (David Duchovny) has been living in exile when a young FBI agent is kidnapped. Another agent in charge (Amanda Peete) reaches out to Scully (Gillian Anderson) to help her locate Mulder so he can use his unique skills to find the missing girl. The audience (and Mulder) is lead to believe that suddenly the FBI is all forgiving and will let the the two back without consequences. Mulder decides it is worth the chance to help sort out the mystery. Here is where it gets a little foggy. The only lead the FBI has is a reformed molester who happened to be a priest that still goes by the moniker Father Joe (Billy Connolly). Father Joe claims to have pyschic abilities and in fact led the FBI to a field with a maimed arm. Whether or not the good Father has a hand in this is the mystery.
Much of the plot was kept on the down low for reasons unbeknownst to me. Nothing in it is that original other than you do have a legitamite WTF moment half way through. The real story is Mulder's attempt to reconcile who he is and Scully's questions of faith in a fucked up, apeshit world. Ultimately those of the two major themes of the series so to say this is unexpected would be to reveal you to be a nonfan.
I think if you go into the film knowing that it is very low budget(Half the original film's budget) and expect a good longer episode you'll be fine. The interplay between the leads is still some of the best you can find. It is also a pleasure to see Duchovny in something smarter than the lackluster Californication. Series creator Chris Carter wrote/directed the film with a limited feel for visuals. It might have been better to obtain someone a bit more skilled with the camera to make the film look a little bigger. This one looks and feels small. Carter also makes a horrible casting decision with Exhibit as another FBI agent...terrible terrible. What was TI doing...oh yeah he's in jail.