The X-Files: Fight the Future

Don’t Miss The X-Files: Fight The Future!

Am I biased? Maybe. I’ve been an X-Files watcher since episode one and haven’t missed an episode since. I buy anything with the X-Files logo or name on it: I have stacks of X-Files books, an X-File cup, X-Files posters, fan.

I guess you can imagine the wait I endured after I heard in June of 1997 that The X-Files movie was starting its shoot. When the teasers hit the big screen I was ecstatic; my two favourite FBI agents were going to be on the big screen.

The X-Files: Fight The Future has to do two things: It has to satisfy the die-hard X-Philes, like myself, and it has to entertain casual viewers. Does the film do both?

The X-Files starts with three TV-style teaser bits. The first starts us off in 35,000 BC, in the area of Texas. The second brings us to present time in the same place. The third is longer, more exciting, and is a fitting introduction to our favourite heroes.

The third TV-style teaser shows a bomb blowing off the front face of a building in Texas. Special Agents Mulder (David Duchovny) and Scully (Gillian Anderson) are being blamed for the explosion and the resulting deaths. Mulder doesn’t want to be the scapegoat in such an incident and coerces Scully into investigating in order to clear their names. The investigation leads to the duo finding out more than we can imagine.

If I tell you what the investigation turns up, I’ll be spoiling the film for you. But, let me give you some hints to what it turns up: informants in dark alleys, a Smoking Man, a Well-Manicured Man, a deadly virus, corn crops, bees, and more questions than answers.

Chris Carter, the creator of The X-Files, during the filming of the movie bombarded us X-Philes with misinformation, trying to keep the plot a secret. He did a good job. The last few episodes of The X-Files TV show builds up the story that leads into the film. But, there is no prerequisite of having seen the TV show to thoroughly enjoy the film. Carter, who wrote the screenplay for the movie, does an incredible job of introducing us to the characters and doing exposition in ways that don’t scream “This is a speech to fill you in on background and characters!” Watch for Mulder in the bar to see how Carter intelligently hides exposition in a speech that fits into the story so well. Also look for the scene where Mulder and Scully come to a fork in the road; this scene so fittingly shows how well these two work together.

As for the performances of the leads, both Duchovny and Anderson make the leap from the small screen to the big screen without a hitch. Duchovny brings his trademark under-acting to the big screen along with his dry humor. Anderson looks stunning on the big screen. She brings her trademark stoic acting to the screen along with her now famous scream, “MULDER!” Kudos to both Duchovny and Anderson for not trying something new for the big screen version of the show.

Among the supporting cast, Martin Landau and Armin Mueller-Stahl are standout performances. I was sad not to see Krycek (aka “Ratboy”) in the film and was somewhat disappointed with the small role that the Smoking Man (William B. Davis) was given. Other X-Files regulars show up also, including Assistant Director Skinner (Mitch Pileggi), The Lone Gunmen (Dean Haglund, Bruce Harwood, Tom Braidwood), and The Well Manicured Man (John Neville).

Worth mentioning are the score by Mark Snow and the wonderful cinematography by Ward Russell. Snow’s score is haunting and rhythmic. Russell’s cinematography is the big screen extension of his work on the small screen. The film is dark and moody.

A regular director on the TV series, Rob Bowman, directs this big screen version and keeps the movie clipping along at a good pace. He also keeps the scares coming.

The X-Files: Fight The Future is a two hour-long big budget episode of the TV series. It is exciting to see Duchovny and Anderson together on the big screen. The movie itself serves its purpose well: it satisfies the die-hard viewers. I do feel that the casual watchers will get more satisfaction out of the film, though. Carter promised a lot when he promoted the film (“The truth is revealed”) and there are still a lot of remaining questions, but that doesn’t bother me because there’s a sixth season of The X-Files right around the corner. The film serves to reinvigorate the series and to revitalize the story line. It also serves to introduce new viewers to some of the intriguing stories that are in The X-Files universe. Thank you, Chris Carter for putting out a wonderful movie that extends the small screen X-Files to the big screen. Don’t Miss The X-Files!

“Trust no one, Mr. Mulder.”

Edited by Cher Johnson.