Wednesday, July 30, 2008

movie review--the x-files--mulder is mulder, scully is house

When I saw last year that this summer there would be an "X-Files" movie coming out, I was quite happy about the prospect. "The X-Files" numbers among my very favorite TV serieses, and the hope of a continuation of it, even in movie form, was a nice hope indeed.

The summer has seen some very good movies so far. Sadly, I cannot put "I Want to Believe" really among those.

It's not awful. It's not garbage. It's actually pretty interesting, in it's ways. should I put didn't feel much like an X-File. If anything, it seemed more like one of those investigation shows, like a "Law and Order" or a "Criminal Minds", with a bit of "House" thrown in when it came to Scully at the hospital.

The movie does bring us in after the events of the series' end. It's been a few years, Scully is now a doctor at a hospital, and Mulder is still in hiding from the FBI. That same FBI comes to Scully looking for Mulder to help them find a missing agent, with the offer that all will be forgotten if he helps. Scully convinces him to do so, and they are off.

Perhaps one problem with the movie is that it tries to do too much. There are things about hospital ethics, doctor-patient relations, experimental cures and stem cell research, a pedophile former priest and far-reaching consequences to his actions, what prayers God hears and what sins He forgives, and the creepy people performing Frankenstein-like experiments in the scrap yard.

Which brings up another problem, the feel of the movie. The usual X-Files episode succeeded in bringing about such things as creepiness, drama, a sense that things are not just not normal, but not normal is an way that is not easy to say--conspiracies within conspiracies, strange creatures, aliens, cover-ups.

The movie tried, I think, but it didn't really have that. We do see the one patchwork man, but only on an operating table. To go with the Frankenstein theme, it would be as if the villagers burned down the castle before the monster rose and did havoc. It may be smart of them, but it makes for a not-as-interesting movie.

On the plus side, there was Mulder and Scully. And they brought back Skinner, too. Nothing is said about the others from the end of the series, no mention made of what happened to Reyes or Doggett or Kirsch.

No alien bounty hunter roaming about. No black oil roiling over people's eyes. No mysterious lights in the sky. No Gibson Praise. No supersoldiers. And I guess Cancerman is still dead.

It's not a bad movie, it's just...unsatisfying.

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