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Thursday, July 24, 2008

I Want to Believe


- FBI Special Agent Fox Mulder :)

Yes! At long last, another X-Files movie. Readers of the blog will know I'm a fan of the series, and I've been looking forward to this second film, The X-Files: I Want to Believe, starring David Duchovny.

The film's story is set six years after the events at the end of the X-Files series ..... Scully had a child but gave it up for adoption, the evil Cigarette Smoking Man was dead (maybe) and Mulder, having been abducted by aliens, found dead, buried, disinterred and resurrected, was no longer a member of the FBI ..... if I remember correctly. The film is said to be a stand-alone and doesn't deal with the complex mythology of the series but is a straight thriller, so it should be accessible to people who were not fans of the show.

I haven't seen it yet, but hope to soon .... meanwhile, here is some of Robert Ebert's review of it .....

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"The X-Files: I Want to Believe" arrives billed as a "stand-alone" film that requires no familiarity with the famous television series. So it is, leaving us to piece together the plot on our own. And when I say "piece together," trust me, that's exactly what I mean. In an early scene, a human arm turns up, missing its body, and other spare parts are later discovered.

The arm is found in a virtuoso scene showing dozens of FBI agents lined up and marching across a field of frozen snow. They are led by a white-haired, entranced old man who suddenly drops to his knees and cries out that this is the place! And it is.

Now allow me to jump ahead and drag in the former agents Mulder and Scully. Mulder (David Duchovny) has left the FBI under a cloud because of his belief in the paranormal. Scully (Gillian Armstrong) is a top-level surgeon, recruited to bring Mulder in from the cold, all his sins forgiven, to help on an urgent case. An agent is missing, and the white-haired man, we learn, is Father Joe (Billy Connolly), a convicted pedophile, who is said to be a psychic .......

What I appreciated about "The X-Files: I Want to Believe" was that it involved actual questions of morality, just as "The Dark Knight" does. It's not simply about good and evil but about choices. Come to think of it, Scully's dying child may be connected to the plot in another way, since it poses the question: Are any means justified to keep a dying person alive?

The movie lacks a single explosion. It has firearms, but nobody is shot. The special effects would have been possible in the era of "Frankenstein." Lots of stunt people were used. I had the sensation of looking at real people in real spaces, not motion-capture in CGI spaces. There was a tangible quality to the film that made the suspense more effective because it involved the physical world .......

The movie is insidious. It involves evil on not one level but two. The evildoers, it must be said, are singularly inept; they receive bills for medical supplies under their own names, and surely there must be more efficient ways to abduct victims and purchase animal tranquilizers. But what they're up to is so creepy, and the snow-covered Virginia landscapes so haunting, and the wrong-headedness of Scully so frustrating, and the FBI bureaucracy so stupid, and Mulder so brave, that the movie works like thrillers used to work, before they were required to contain villains the size of buildings.

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4 Comments:

Blogger cowboyangel said...

Yeah, I'm looking forward to this. I want to believe it will be good. Ha, ha, ha.

Didn't read too much of Ebert's review, as I don't want to know what's going on. Will re-read it after I see it.

I thought the first film was pretty good. I need to watch the last few years of the series. Once I went to Spain, it was harder to follow. Though the Spanish loved it. It was always funny watching it dubbed into Spanish. Once you know their real voices... but they did a good job with it.

4:16 PM  
Blogger crystal said...

I liked the first film too - from what Ebert wrote, this one sounds better than the first.

Yeah, the last couple of years of the series are a little hazy for me too - I didn't watch as religously when Mulder left for that one season and I thought the writing wasn't as good in the last year. Still, it's probably my favorite tv series.

4:47 PM  
Blogger Garpu said...

I really want to see both this and "Dark Knight," but I"m insanely busy. No fun for me for awhile.

12:32 AM  
Blogger crystal said...

Hi Garpu - Are you busy with school? I think I'll wait for the Dark Knight to go to DVD, but maybe my sis will take me to see Mulder :)

1:13 AM  

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