Saturday, 26 September 2020
I Want to Believe
Written by Sandra Fitzpatrick   
Thursday, 31 July 2008 00:00

ThumbnailI wanted to believe that my one-time favorite television show The X-Files would make a triumphant return at the box office this summer, ten years after it’s first foray into feature film. That initial effort – X-Files: Fight the Future – was an outstanding transition from TV to film. From what I remember it was thrilling and tied in well with the series while also being able to stand on it’s own. Plus it had a killer soundtrack which still makes it’s way into my playlist now and then. The latest movie, I Want to Believe, isn’t so remarkable.

Ten years have passed for the characters as well, and former agents Scully and Mulder have been keeping a low profile. Mulder was once a wanted man, but now the FBI is just happy to have him lay low and out of the way. The spark is kind of gone from Mulder and he basically sits at home all day in his newspaper-clipping plastered office looking up paranormal phenomena on the internet. Scully is a doctor at a Catholic Hospital where she still pines over the loss of their son, who was possibly conceived by aliens. I can’t remember the details of that storyline since it took place when The X-Files TV series got really bad.

Long story short, the FBI turn to Mulder for help on a case involving a missing agent. It classifies as an X-File because a man has stepped forward claiming to have psychic visions connected to the woman’s disappearance. Father Crissman (Billy Connelly) was a Catholic Priest, excommunicated for child molestation, which casts a shadow over his character as an informant. The FBI isn’t sure whether to believe him or pass him off as a loony. Enter Mulder and Scully to sniff out a rat and hopefully find the missing agent before it’s too late.

Soon other mysteries factor into the plot, like a multitude of severed body parts buried under the snow; a sick boy needing experimental medical procedures; a kennel of barking dogs; organ transplants; and a fair bit of relationship angst. If it sounds like a mixed-up jumble, that’s because it is… although it makes a bit more sense in the context of the movie.

ThumbnailIt’s not a bad story, but plays more like a stand-alone episode of the show - nothing to do with aliens, abductions or crop circles. In fact there isn’t even anything very X-Filesy about it and it might have felt just as at home with a title like CSI: Fox Mulder Edition. As a storyline follow up it really isn’t very satisfying. As an emotional follow up it is a little more so. With Mulder and Scully now in an open romantic relationship, fans of the show finally have a result from the sexual tension between the two characters on TV. But what sparks there were have already flown, leaving two people that have a deep understanding of each other, but behave like an old married couple. Amanda Peet is thrown as an agent who pitches Mulder a smoky glance now and then, but he never really seems interested, Scully never seems jealous, and Peet’s character is forgettable at best.

It has moments of redemption but overall this movie is a bit of a mess. Good performances elevate it, but poorly developed story kept it at a mediocre level.