Reel Society

Reviews for the latest movies in theaters and on DVD.

The X-Files: I Want to Believe

Review by Matthew Frendo 
If I don't start rating some movies badly, I'm surely going to be seen as an uncritical, easygoing movie watcher, which is far from the truth.  I'm usually an ultra-critical pain in the you-know-what who makes watching movies a task equivalent to getting drilled by the dentist (with no anesthesia)…but the movie has to be bad for that.  Problem is, they are making some really good movies lately.  I've really liked the last four movies I've seen in the theater.  The last bad one was Hancock, and what an utter mess that was.  After that and I Am Legend, I may have to vow to never pay to see a Will Smith movie again. 

But that's a different and ultimately much more disappointing story.  The story here is that the X-Files movie is great.  I'm not going to talk about the plot all that much, as I don't feel like ruining secrecy surrounding it (which was surprisingly successful).  I'll give the film makers that respect, as I feel Chris Carter and Co. have earned it.  I will tell you a few things:  1) do not come into it looking for aliens.  In fact, the lack of extra-terrestrials is exactly why I took off half of a star (and what kind of year is this when Indiana Jones has aliens, and the X-Files barely mentions their existence); 2) this is not a blow-up-the-entire-screen-with-CGI, action-oriented movie.  I liked that fact.  If you don't, you have been warned. 

While the plot has been kept secret, it is actually the least important part of the story.  I expected a movie about aliens and weird beings, but what I in fact received was a movie about people.  This X-Files story is all about the characters, mainly Agent Scully.  While Mulder has always been the lead, the heart of the show always belonged to Scully, mainly due her constant internal bout between science and a belief in something more.  The confusion and pain of not knowing an answer has been the true emotional appeal to X-Files fans, and this film is about that uncertainty, the feeling of not knowing what the truth really is. 

But I'm not going to talk anymore about that.  Part of the appeal with this type of scenario is that the viewer brings as much to the table as the art, letting a person's perception understand it differently than another.  And I won't ruin it for you.  Even my ultra-critical self isn't that mean.  I thoroughly enjoyed it, enough said.  If only they could have had some damn aliens… 

4 ½ /5 stars


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