The X Files: I Want To Believe


Rating 2

Directed by Chris Carter

Written by Chris Carter and Frank Spotnitz

Starring David Duchovny, Gillian Anderson, Billy Connolly, Amanda Peet, Xzibit and Mitch Pileggi

Dana Scully (Gillian Anderson), who now works as a medical physician/surgeon in a hospital, is approached by the FBI and asked to help them locate Fox Mulder (David Duchovny), now a fugitive, with the promise that he will be given amnesty. Mulder is asked to help with the investigation into the abduction of several women and the claims made by a defrocked Catholic priest and convicted paedophile, Father Joseph (Billy Connolly), who claims to be receiving visions from God about the abductions. Mulder agrees to help and Scully reluctantly becomes involved.

Released in 2008, ten years after the first film and six years after the end of the television series (which ran for a total of nine seasons and 202 episodes), ‘The X Files: I Want to Believe’ proved to be a rather disappointing and anti-climactic coda to a once much-loved franchise. Eschewing the alien mythology that drove the television series and was the subject of the first film, its vaguely religious paranormal theme had already been explored with much better and concise results in the old 40-minute television episodes.

Gillian Anderson and David Duchovny never manage to spark the way they once had done, although some residue of the old chemistry still remains. The absence of several favourite recurring characters from the television series hinders the film – and the brief appearance of Walter Skinner (Mitch Pileggi), their old FBI boss, feels like an afterthought. The story never really goes anywhere and Father Joseph proves to be something of a non-character.

For old X-Files fans it’s nice to see Mulder and Scully one more time, even in such disappointing circumstances. For anyone else, I imagine the film would be absolutely pointless. Critical reaction to it was largely muted and it has a 32% rotten rating at Rotten Tomatoes from 156 reviews. It grossed a credible $68.2 million at the box office against a production budget of $30 million.

Review posted 30 December 2008


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