Tuesday, July 29, 2008

I want to believe The X-Files movie is great, but the most exciting thing about it was the earthquake I felt before it started...

What a 'spooky' day I'm having!  Celebrity sightings and 5.4 magnitude earthquakes - it's like something out of The X-Files themselves. 

So today I decided to go see the second movie starring Mulder and Scully, The X-Files: I Want To Believe.X-Files I want to Believe movie poster
I went to The Grove for the 11.45am showing and who should I see as I was walking from the car park, but Kirsten Vangsness, who plays Penelope Garcia in Criminal Minds.  
Kirsten Vangsness plays Penelope Garcia, the computer genius in FBI profiler TV show, Criminal Minds

Is that a coincidence that I see an actress from a TV show about FBI profilers and I'm going to see a movie about ex-FBI Agents Mulder and Scully?

She was with a man and it looked like she was headed back to the car park.  She was dressed as eclectically as her computer whizz character does in Criminal Minds and they were deep in conversation (and there was me without my camera, again!).  

Charlie and I just finished watching the second series of Criminal Minds on DVD and she's one of my favourite characters and brings a lot of quirky humour and heart to the show. Kirsten has starred in about 65 episodes of the series so far.

Anyway, I digress from my X-Files movie review.  So I get to the cinema and but my ticket and the obligatory popcorn (even though I don't really like U.S. popcorn, I'm getting used to it), and take my seat.
Kirsten Vangsness plays Penelope Garcia, the computer genius in FBI profiler TV show, Criminal Minds

So I'm sitting there watching the previews before the film and at about 11.42am I feel my seat trembling.  I thought it was someone behind me being rude and annoyingly shaking my seat with their feet or something, but as I discovered when I left the theatre totally oblivious and checked my phone messages, it was actually an earthquake of 5.4 magnitude.  Who'd have thought!

The funny thing is, that only the other day, Charlie had earthquake training at work and they said that we were due a big quake sometime in the next 30-odd years. How spooky is that?  Is that another coincidence?

But back to the movie.  (Spoiler alert: Don't read any further if you don't want to know plot and storyline details from the film).  

I was really looking forward to the film as I was a fan of the original TV series (although I didn't stick with it until the bitter end) and liked the first movie spin-off, The X-Files: Fight The Future.
X-Files I want to Believe movie teaser poster
The difference with that first film to this one, is that it had so much more energy and excitement, whilst The X-Files: I Want To Believe, just feels a bit stale and worn out.  It doesn't really breathe any new life into the franchise and I don't feel any great affection for the characters, I just feel sorry for how tired and sad they seem to have become.

So instead of government conspiracies and alien abductions we get Russian 'Frankenstein' doctors who are kidnapping women with a rare blood type and reattaching limbs (including heads) to keep some other Russian alive.  Just who is a bit vague, as well as any real motivation why.  
X-Files I want to Believe movie poster - Mulder & Scully
At the same time we are presented with our two main characters, Fox Mulder and Dana Scully, as a couple living together, sharing a bed (shock horror!) after all those episodes of sexual 'will they, won't they' tension and so totally changing the dynamic between them.  OK I'll say it, they are a bit of a boring couple.

No longer FBI Agents they are contacted by the Feds for their help in finding a missing Agent, due to the involvement of a psychic who has helped to discover a severed arm matching the blood type found at the scene of the Agent's abduction. Knowing of Mulder's work on the X-Files cases in the past, they want him to discern if the psychic (played by Scottish actor Billy Connolly) is legit and can really help them find their missing Agent.

Unfortunately the psychic, Father Joseph Crissman, is an excommunicated pedophile which makes him come into conflict with 'Doctor' Dana Scully, who now works at a children's hospital.  So what we get is a lot of angst about belief - belief that Father Joseph can reform, belief that Mulder's sister (remember her) may still be alive and belief that a risky stem cell treatment may help Scully's terminally ill young patient, oh and maybe most importantly, that Mulder and Scully should be together!  I knew there was a reason why they called the second movie 'I Want To Believe'.   
David Duchovny and Gillian Anderson as Fox Mulder and Dana Scully in The X-Files - I Want To Believe movie
Overall the film feels like a cheap thriller and I think loses something without it's more paranormal and extraterrestrial connections, just a few psychic visions don't quite do it for me.  

I'd be interested to see what people who watch the film without any nostalgia or preconceived ideas from the old TV series think.  For me it was lacking in many ways and I was going to give it three stars out of sheer loyalty, but I think it only really deserves two stars **.  

I'd wait for the DVD to come out with this one and let the aftershocks of the earthquake provide the excitement you may be looking for.

Buy X-Files merchandise in the U.S.A. and relive the glory days:

Buy X-Files merchandise in the UK:

If you want to check out Kirsten Vangsness in Criminal Minds in the U.S.A.:
In the UK:

P.S. Our puppy, Cooper, was fine when I got back home too!

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