Rating: 2 stars
This is going to hurt you more than it hurts me: The new X-Files movie kind of stinks.
I was never a big fan of the show (I mean, I wasn’t a detractor or anything, I just never got into it), so the fact The X-Files: I Want to Believe plays like a pretty standard horror/thriller with uninteresting characters (unless, I suppose, you are predisposed to find them interesting) and tired scenarios that wouldn’t look out of place on an episode of Medium (or, uh, The X-Files) doesn’t bother me much.
But I know that the cultish fans of the show were expecting big things from this movie. They wanted to believe, you could say.
And show creator Chris Carter has really let them down.
For starters, of all the paranormal phenomenon that Mulder and Scully could’ve been investigating, they choose psychic ability? Yup, in this film true believer Mulder (David Duchovny) and skeptic Scully (Gillian Andserson) are sussing out an accused pedophile priest (Billy Connolly) who has visions of a missing FBI agent. Is the psychic priest on the up-and-up? Is he a con-artist, a man receiving a redemptive message from above, or a prime suspect?
Look, if you’re going to make a movie based on The X-Files, make a real movie. Make everything bigger, raise the stakes, expand the locations, up the drama (the first X-Files movie did a better job of that—maybe it had a bigger budget). The X-Files: I Want to Believe feels small, in every respect. As for Anderson and Duchovny? They both seem like they’d rather be elsewhere (Californication and Bleak House, perhaps?). Fans will feel the same way.