X-Files: I Want to Believe

David Duchovny, Gillian Anderson, Amanda Peet, Billy Connolly, Callum Keith Rennie

Directed by Chris Carter
Rolling Stone: star rating
5 2
Community: star rating
5 2 0
July 25, 2008

Being suitably paranoid about the paranormal, I wanted to believe thatX-Files creator Chris Carter, having had six years since the TV show went off the air to craft a humdinger of a plot, could conjure up something withore ding and less (ho) hum than The X-Files: I Want To Believe. What I believe, hell, what I know is that if I toss spoilers into this review, X-Philes will come to haunt me. So I'll say three things and no more.

1. David Duchovny is back as Fox Mulder and Gillian Anderson joins him as Dana Scully. That is the best news about this movie. No screen lovers have ever gotten more sizzle out of withholding. Forget carnality. Any Internet porn flick can show you penetration. Mulder and Scully get inside each other's heads. Now that's sexy. Duchovny, bless him, is also a master of deadpan wit. Let's not go into the activities room, he quips before visiting a pedophile priest.

2. If Seasons 1 to Season 6 of the TV show, represent the best of the series that ran from 1994 to 2002, then this second X-Files movie, following 1998's impenetrable The X-Files: Fight the Future, plays like also-ran from Season 7 to Season 9. That's not good news. You may be excited that Mulder and Scully are back at the F.B.I, after being tossed for their beliefs. But the old spark is missing.

3. The true fans who love the show's mythology won't have much to chew on. Russian scientists with a thing for internal organs can't stand up against the complex network of government conspiracies on the TV series. The filmmakers insist this movie is a stand-alone, meaning you don't need to have watched a single episode of The X-Files to get it. Ha! Do the names Samantha, William and Skinner mean anything to do? If they don't ring a bell, expect a struggle. In not knowing who it needs to please, I Want to Believe pleases no one.

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