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The X-Files: I Want To Believe

01/05/2011. Contributed by Geoff Willmetts

Buy The X-Files: I Want To Believe in the USA - or Buy The X-Files: I Want To Believe in the UK

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region 2 DVD: pub: 20th Century Fox 3969911044. 2 DVDs 103 minute film with extras. Price: under GBP 3.00 (UK) if you know where to look) stars: David Duchovny, Gillian Anderson, Amanda Peet, Billy Connolly and Alvin ‘Xzibit’ Joiner

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It’s rather interesting going through the extras about behind the scenes of the second X-Files movie, ‘I Want To Believe’, how much attention Chris Carter and Frank Spotnitz made to keeping the plot of the film from hitting spoiler zone on the Net. I find the best way is to avoid such sites so after completing Season Nine this month, I went to this film without knowing much other than the cast. There are people like us out there. As the film’s been out three years now, I guess if you’ve wanted to see the film then you know what’s in it. If you’re pondering on should you see it, then read on.

The plot revolves around Scully (actress Gillian Anderson) being asked to entice Mulder (actor David Duchovny) to help the FBI with examining a prolific seer paedophile ex-priest (actor Billy Connolly) because of his remarkable record in finding dead body parts of various people by having his record cleared. The two FBI agents in charge of the assignment are divided as to Mulder’s worth. While all this is going on, Scully has been acting as a surgeon in a Catholic hospital with the dilemma as to what to do about the health of a boy who has an apparent incurable disease and her priest boss wanting to send him to a hospice.

The paedo-priest’s ability, other than being right, isn’t really explored that much and only used to propel the plot along for the finale before being removed. As that is spoiler zone territory, I shall have to chop you into bits if I tell you about that.
In many respects, there is no definitive villains here. Yes, there are bad guys but they are pretty much non-entities compared to the likes of the people that appeared in the original series.

I’m also amazed how Scully can move from being a pathologist to being a specialist surgeon in five years, especially in the middle of nowhere. Then again the truth about Mulder’s dinky from the episode ‘Ice’ seems to be verified.

The story is more about Mulder and Scully getting back into the mainstream again. Mulder is willing to do so after a little thinking but Scully flutters between the two poles and becomes more reluctant to get involved again. It’s amazing the pair of them have stayed together so long considering Mulder broods so much and she has an involving job.

The audio commentary from Chris Carter and Frank Spotnitz highlights a lot of significant information. The number of acquaintances, friends and previous production team members from when X-Files was films in Canada crop up is probably a nepotist’s dream but I suspect they were also the ones trusted not to reveal aspects of the story elsewhere. Unless you knew who these people were, it would be meaningless although having an FBI agent walking past the newly arrived Mulder at their Washington headquarters being the adult who was the Samantha Mulder in the photograph, used in an earlier scene, is something you would only know from the audio commentary.

If overall flaw with the story lies with not making for a decent villain. In this case, it’s only a set of nameless villains who at close quarters don’t end up being particularly scary. As a character piece, it shows what happened to Mulder and Scully next and wouldn’t surprise me if Fox (Century not Mulder) periodically fit another film into their schedule.

GF Willmetts

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