A and A's Movie A Day

Watching movies until we run out.

The X-Files: Fight the Future

July 11, 2011

The X-Files: Fight the Future

I’ve never been a rabid X-Files fan. I’ve known a couple, and I’ve seen my fair share of episodes over the years, but I never really made a concerted effort to catch the show when it was on. As a result I might not be the right person to be reviewing this movie, since it is clearly aimed at fans. I enjoy this movie well enough, I suppose, for a longish big budget episode of the show, but I also have issues with this movie.

If you are unfamiliar with X-Files you’re probably going to be pretty lost watching this movie. It purports to answer long unanswered questions that had simmered in the show for years before this movie came out. The whole thing about the show was the slow simmer and the hints of an over-arching plot behind the scenes. By the time this movie came out it was pretty well established that there was some kind of conspiracy involving aliens. Reoccurring characters like the Cigarette Smoking Man have something to do with this conspiracy. We know that Fox Mulder’s sister has been missing since they were children and that he believes that she was abducted by aliens. We’ve seen the black oil that somehow corrupts people. This movie attempts to answer some of the questions from the series, but not too many of them.

The biggest problem I have with this movie is the way it goes about presenting its answers. This is a film with a lot of exposition. Partly this is because some attempts were made to explain what was going on to people unfamiliar with the show. There’s a lot of scenes where Dana Scully explains to Fox Mulder why she’s a skeptic, why she was assigned to be his partner. Then a crazy conspiracy theorist spends a bunch of time explaining to Mulder that some people who were found in the rubble after a terrorist explosion were already dead before the blast (because it’s part of a cover-up by those masters of global conspiracy FEMA.) Mulder and Scully follow a hunch to a hole in the ground that had “fossils” (they’re bone fragments from the last ice age – so they’re not fossils) tainted by the same mysterious virus that turned the corpses from the FEMA offices to goop. They then drive off into the Texas desert where they find transgenic corn crops and deadly bees tainted with the alien virus. (Yeah, it doesn’t make any more sense in the movie than it does when written down.)

Then there’s another expository scene where one of the conspirators explains to Mulder what exactly has been going on with the whole conspiracy. They’ve been working with the aliens on a delivery method for the virus in hopes that they could on the sly create a vaccine. Or at least that’s what the Well Groomed Man says.

I told Amanda that I felt like the movie did more telling than showing, and that I was frustrated that Mulder doesn’t actually discover anything for himself and was pretty much led by the nose. She says that her impression is that this is typical of the show itself, so maybe it’s supposed to be that way. I don’t know. I’m not really invested in this movie. It talks a lot about the aliens and the impending invasion and the horrifying black oil virus that turns people into aliens… but it doesn’t actually show any of that cool stuff. Mostly, I suspect, because the producers and the executives at Fox wanted to have something left to keep the TV series going. Nothing is resolved, and we don’t really even get to see many aliens or anything. Maybe if I was a rabid fan of the series this would be an important turning point in the overall plot arc, but as a stand alone movie it is pretty underwhelming.

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July 11, 2011 - Posted by | daily reviews | , , ,

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