Why are you talking shit about The X-Files: I Want to Believe without even seeing the movie? I guess I should ask myself that same question because I feel like a damn traitor. Before Buffy, Angel, The Sopranos, Entourage, The Wire, and even 24- there was a show that I made sure I watched every week. Before you could pop in a DVD and tear through multiple seasons of a show in a matter of days, there was a show that I made sure I never missed. That show was Just the Ten of Us. So when The X-Files started airing, I remember thinking “Fuck this is good! Who thought it could get any better than Just the Ten of Us?”
I remember one Sunday night, there was an X-Files episode where Mulder and Scully were battling some sort of El Chupacabra thing. I fucking loved that show. From what I remember, the first film seemed to leave a bitter taste in the mouths of fans. I still know people, apparently who need to watch the film again, who say that it didn’t have aliens and it didn’t deliver on answering questions raised on the show. After watching Fight the Future recently, I can’t believe how good that movie actually is. It confirms that there are aliens, or at least some sort of alien project the government is in on. It has a big huge space craft for cryin’ out loud. Chris Carter has a talent for adapting his television show for the big screen and he doesn’t get enough credit for it.
One thing I’ve heard about I Want to Believe is that it is basically an episode of the show expanded to two hours. I guess that is sort of true, but only in that it stays true the nuances of the series. The relationship between Mulder and Scully, for example, wasn’t a focus of the show in the way that it is for the main characters on say, The Office or Friends.
I was worried the film would have a sense of desperation to it since the main folks involved haven’t that much success since the show went off the air. The film actually feels necessary when you look at how the show concluded. The film doesn’t feel forced and I think that there is no question that we did need this film. The show’s ending was executed so poorly. X-Files 2 is executed damn near perfectly.
It’s a two hour episode that uses all of the more subtle aspects of cinema like a motion picture score and cinematography and just overall scope to tell a more emotional story. So all those subtleties and intangibles that made Mulder and Scully so amazing benefit from the jump to film more than the effects and explosions and all that.
It all boils down to what feels natural. Prior to actually watching it, the biggest turn off about the film for me was the feeling I couldn’t shake that the stars and director were returning to the material because they were sort of desperate for success.
There is something about the magic of cinema that really compliments the Mulder and Scully dynamic. That’s why I Want to Believe works so well. The only information we had to go on leading up to the film’s release was Carter’s assertion that the film was very much a film about the relationship between Mulder and Scully. It’s no more a story about the relationship between Mulder and Scully than the show was. While the show was always, at its core, a show about Mulder and Scully, a lot of that came from the actors and their chemistry. The relationship between Mulder and Scully has always had some intangible qualities to it. Really there wasn’t much in the way of romance, it was just all the shit they had been through and the fact that they had developed such a bond. It wasn’t like a Ross and Rachel kind of thing or a Jim and Pam. There was so much more to it and I don’t know if I can really articulate it. That’s why this a blog and not a review. I’m not articulating too much from the looks of this entry. I really liked the film though. I’m talking like-liked it. Like, more than just a friend.
Behind every great book adaptation is a forgettable first try. — By Ryan Covey