The X-Files 2: I Want to Believe (2008)
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Frank Spotnitz, Chris Carter
David Duchovny, Gillian Anderson, Amanda Peet, Billy Connolly, Xzibit, Callum Keith Rennie, Adam Godley, Alex Diakun, Nicki Aycox, Carrie Ruscheinsky, Marco Niccoli, Spencer Maybee, Denis Krasnogolov, Fagin Woodcock, Veronika Hadrava
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I Believe This is Mediocre
Favorite Movie Quote: "Maybe I'd stay out of bed with him."
The word that first comes to mind is competent. The next word that comes to mind it pilot, almost as if The X Files: I Want to Believe was a pilot episode designed to relaunch the show. As a film it should stand alone and it's been a while, so re-introducing the characters is good form either way, but as backstory goes if the show wanted to be an FBI procedural about the supernatural it painted itself into a corner insofar as using the Fox Mulder character (David Duchovny), run out of the FBI at the series conclusion.
I Want to Believe focuses on psychic, as well as convicted and repentant Catholic pedaphile, Father Joe (Billy Connelly) and a mile of bad psychological road that starts with a missing FBI agent investigated by Special Agents Whitney (Amanda Peet) and Drummy (Alvin Joiner, okay Xzibit) and ends with something appropriately X-files weird. At the end of the day this feels like a fairly good episode, so if you're catching this for free then it's a strength but a weakness when viewed as a silver screen motion picture; one would've hoped that given an increased budget and platform that Cris Carter would expand the scope of the show, but on the other hand it stays true to its roots.
There's really not too much more to say. If you liked the show, specifically Mulder and Scully (Gillian Anderson), or if you like a show like Fringe, you'll probably like the movie with the above caveat, but if the show was never your thing I imagine this will bore you to tears. An interesting side note is that Fringe has actually established that The X-files is the same universe, so perhaps a more useful application of these characters might just be to bring them onto that show.
I will say that this film, like all films dealing with the supernatural, reaches that point of critical mass where it just gets annoying that characters are skeptics. I suppose if you can explain to me how a man can bleed tears on cue I'll join you in the naysayers breadline, but to a degree do you really care HOW someone is helping you stop a serial murderer? After a while the bickering, which I understand is somewhat necessary for friction and drama, just sounds like FBI agents who don't want to do their jobs. I mean, being a skeptic is one thing, but it's almost as if certain characters would rather victims die than Father Joe get any credit for helping find them.
As a real-world skeptic and atheist, even I'm not that much of cynic. Just because I don't believe doesn't mean I refuse to when it bites me in the ass.
(Bookend note: I'm a big believer in how you open and close your film, including credits, leading you in and taking you out of the movie. The end credits of this move were so out of place - the music, the sprawling vistas, even the rowboat - it was like it was from another movie.)
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