The X Files: Fight the Future


Rating 2¼

Directed by Rob Bowman

Written by Chris Carter, from a story by Chris Carter and Frank Spotnitz

Starring David Duchovny, Gillian Anderson, Martin Landau, John Neville, William B Davis, Mitch Pileggi, Armin Mueller-Stahl, Bruce Harwood, Tom Braidwood, Dean Haglund, Jeffrey DeMunn, Blythe Danner and Terry O’Quinn

FBI agents Fox Mulder (David Duchovny) and Dana Scully (Gillian Anderson) are assisting in the search of a federal building in Dallas, Texas after a tip-off that a bomb had been planted there. Mulder follows a hunch and checks a building across the street. An explosive device is discovered and the building is cleared moments before the bomb detonates, causing considerable damage. Following an encounter with Alvin Kurtzweil (Martin Landau), a conspiracy theorist who claims to have once worked on secret government experiments with Mulder’s father, he begins to suspect a high level cover up involving proof of the existence of aliens. He persuades Scully to help him, even though the “X Files” has been shut down and the two of them are under investigation, putting both their lives in deadly danger.


‘The X Files’, also known as ‘The X Files: Fight the Future’, was released into cinemas in America in June 1998 following the end of the fifth season of the television series. At the time, I was a huge fan of the show and was very much looking forward to the film. I came away from it feeling decidedly disappointed. Despite a reasonable opening thirty minutes or so it quickly ran out of steam and ended up playing like a painfully over-stretched run-of-the-mill television episode. Some of the major problems that the television series had encountered and been unable to resolve were brought into sharper relief here, not least of them being Scully’s continued refusal to believe what she saw with her very own eyes and her constant attempt to find another explanation for it.

Watching the film again for the first time in over nine years, exactly the same problems became apparent. It is certainly a whole lot better than the dismal 2008 film ‘The X Files: I Want to Believe’, but it’s still not all that great. There are far too many gaping holes in the plot and the story just doesn’t stretch to the two-hour running time, although it is certainly not entirely bereft of merit.

‘The X Files’ movie has a 63% fresh rating at Rotten Tomatoes from 68 reviews. It had a box office gross in excess of £189 million, nearly three times as much as the belated second film.

Review posted 5 April 2009.


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