Harry's Review of the Theatrical Broadcast of This Week's Episode of X-FILES: I WANT TO BELIEVE...
Why take a television show from TV to a Theatrical Environment - if you're just going to tell a story that could have easily fit within the confines of at Television Budgeted Universe?
Did I enjoy the film? Yes, but is it worth putting in a theater? Not really. I'm not sure where the problem lies... is it Chris Carter just holding back and being stuck in the serialized reality of his Television Existence - or is it the numb-nutted executives at Fox forcing Chris to make a film within a narrow confine?
I don't know.
The film's budget was a scant $30 million - Which is many times the budget of an episode of THE X-FILES television series. I'm sure inflated budgets to all key personnel devours large chunks - followed by the more expensive post process - but seriously - it this all that they could come up with?
I know - I said I liked it. I did. It's hard not to like an X-FILES episode about a group of Russian Scientists that are taking up the better work of Dr Herbert West - not Dr Frankenstein.
Now I'm not asking for a giant ALIEN bonanza - in fact - I'd prefer it if we never ever saw an Alien again in an X-FILES movie. Instead, how about just a balls out supernatural film. Something like CURSE OF THE DEMON with Mulder & Scully - but when the Demon shows - he's holy fuck awesome. How about something on a taller order than just exchanging an arm here and a leg here. Something that gets the ol nightmare factory going in the noggin.
I've been talking about what the film could have been, what I expect or desire from the X-FILES films. How about I talk about what it was?
The film was an ok episode. I feel they spent a bit too much going back and forth with Mulder and Scully's personal life - and frankly - I had very little interest in the sub-plot of the dying kid that Scully was treating. I also don't like Mulder & Scully being outside of the FBI. I understand that the 'conspiracy' needed to get them out of the FBI, but if they have to be outside the FBI - and they have to be "Consulting Detectives" - then set them up as a modern day Sherlock Mulder & Dr Scully. Specializing in unsolved and unexplained cases. But I would prefer that they not be in "retirement" - the bitching about the "darkness" and harping on the "Searching for your sister" stuff and Scully's "Me or Investigation" bit all just makes Dana unlikable. I get that she doesn't want this life anymore, but they're fated to it - I find it hard to believe that anyone that has seen the things these two have seen - that have been through what they've been through together... that they wouldn't be glued to one another.
I know there seems to be a lot of gripping for a movie I liked, but that's exactly the problem. I liked it. I don't want to "like" an X-FILES movie, I want to LOVE it. I want to come out of it scared of the shadows, freaked out by the night sky, jumpy at every creak and slightly traumatized by it all. I want to be filled with an urgent excitement to share my theories with my fellow crackpot X-philes.
I'm a huge X-FILES fan. I have every episode made on DVD. I have attended 2 X-FILES conventions, on my own dime. As a result, I honestly feel I couldn't not at least LIKE an X-FILES movie. It's so nice to see Fox and Dana on that screen. Fox's dry wit. Scully's concern. It's just so nice to see them doing anything. You know - it's kinda like the ALIEN VS PREDATOR movies. I love the Alien creature and I love the Predator. I love seeing the creatures on screen together, but the films that have surrounded them are so much less than what these characters I love deserve.
Maybe what really needs to happen is to have Chris serve as a producer and bring in a great director. Someone like a Jonathan Demme to make it all come to life. Put the characters in a situation and the actors in an environment that would challenge them. While at the same time creating a cinematic world that isn't like what we've seen on the TV.
Probably the best thing about the film, and possibly the worst is it makes you want to go back and watch your favorite episodes. The shame of that is, the best X-FILES episodes are so much better than either of the Feature films. And that's a damn shame.