The X-Files: I Want To Believe – the review

I will hold my hands up here and admit that I was wrong about some of the points I raised in my previous blog on this subject.

1. I could get past the fact that it was Billy Connolly playing the disgraced paedophile priest.

2. The dodgy bit in the original trailer didn’t make it into the film. However, relieving as this was, this raises another complaint I have about the film – there were bits in the trailer that weren’t in the film, and some parts of the film had been edited differently in the trailer to combine parts of conversations in such a way as to create completely new situations between characters. There is one exchange in particular in most of the trailers I have seen which goes something like this:

Mulder: "I need you with me on this one, Scully"

Scully: "That’s what scares me."

which, as far as I remember, never occurs in the film. I’m not even sure that Mulder’s line appears in the film, and so I suspect that it was spliced in from an out-take.

3. The writers hadn’t ignored the past. Mulder and Scully are together (in fact, they’re living together out in the middle of nowhere with Mulder something of a recluse, conveniently out of the FBI’s hair but no longer in any danger), and his situation with the FBI is explained and dismissed early on in the film.

4. The film wasn’t a highlights reel for all the previous ‘Monster of the Week’ episodes.

5. Whilst religion was shown as a meddling influence, Scully wore her Catholicism proudly throughout the film, and at no point was it implied that this was an impediment to her. In fact, she was a shining example of religion and science co-existing in (almost) perfect harmony. Some of the other characters did come across as bible-bashers, but it wasn’t the overwhelming theme of the film as I thought it might be.

Now to move on to the actual review of the film…

I enjoyed the film a lot, and was more excited about it than perhaps I realised. It was great to see Mulder, Scully and Skinner again, even though the latter only made a brief appearance, and clearly only to appease the fans. I was also secretly delighted to have been present at the release of this part of the X-Files saga, as I had come to the TV series long after it had finished. I will probably go and see it again in the cinema, and I will certainly add the DVD to my collection.

It wasn’t perfect though. There were flaws within it, some more noticeable than others. Despite the fact that this is a supernatural thriller, and the poster warned that it contained "strong violence and horror", there was little in the way of suspense or genuinely scary moments. The best quote I found from another review that sums up my feelings is this:

"The truth is, the mystery pales next to the best "X-Files" plots. But fans will appreciate sly references to past episodes, an unexpected appearance from an old friend and the still-poignant bond our heroes share." (taken from the NY Daily News.)

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