Guest Author - Jamise Grace Liddell
Movie Reviewed: X-Files: I Want To Believe
Directed By: Chris Carter
Starring: David Duchovny, Gillian Anderson, Billy Connolly, Alvin 'Xzibit' Joiner, Amanda Peet
Rated: Rated PG-13 for violent and disturbing content and thematic material
Runtime: 104 min
Studio: Warner Bros.
Expect nothing but the unusual in the presence of FBI agents Dana Scully (Gillian Anderson) and Fox Mulder (David Duchovny). The bizarre main character in the film X-Files: I Want To Believe film is a physic priest with a sordid past who walks like a Weeble. Remember the little toy Weebles? “Weebles waddle but they don’t fall down.” The priest (Billy Connolly) thrust himself forward as though he were a penguin. That is this priest’s shuffle and you don’t know whether to snicker or have pity.
Poor priests, they can’t catch a cinematic break can they? In this new X-files film infamous priests are everywhere. The “penguin” priest character was especially strange and so many of his scenes were “off”. For example, Scully and Mulder arrive at a crime scene where dozens of cops are poking through the snow and ice to find a body part. The priest is just standing there gazing at nothing when our dynamic duo arrive on scene. A few minutes after Scully and Mulder’s arrival, the cold and tired cops are ordered to stop searching for the night by ASAC Dakota Whiteney (Amanda Peet). Mulder, a great believer in the priest's visions, and forgiving of his many transgressions against young boys, tells the priest, “I believe you. What else are you seeing?” Suddenly the priest wobbles right over to the body part that he sensed was in the snow covered field. Huh? Was this an arc in the story. Why didn’t he just go to the body part in the first place? Did the priest really need to hear Mulder say “I believe you?” Did they just need to waste yet another kooky minute of my time?
If you didn’t follow my explanation of this account, then you know how I felt most of the movie. In spite of my confusion the main themes of faith and fathers (meaning men of the cloth) was explored in many levels in I Want To Believe. None of the priests in this film are very nice guys, which doesn’t help agnostic Scully, who just might be in need of a higher power. Scully is a doctor in a children’s hospital and has to make some tough decisions about a young boy’s future.
Is it good to see Scully and Mulder? So good. We’ve missed the hunters of the abnormal and their crazy adventures. Dana looks great with her long red hair, and has traded hunting phenomena for work as a legitimate doctor at a Catholic hospital, where, another strange priest, this one thin and heartless, is her boss. The X-files: I Want To Believe is more of a long television episode on the big screen.
Chris Carter missed something, this film has all of the elements of a thriller, a mystery, murders and abductions, and a pretty good chase scene. But the film lacks “the wow” factor. Even Anderson and Duchovny deliver milktoast exchanges during several of the disagreements their lovebird characters have in the film. And when Scully and Mulder embrace standing in the winter sun, the physical interaction lacks warmth.
Maybe all that cold snow, and the bleakness of frost rubbed off on the cast. Amanda Peet is beautiful, but useless, as ASAC Dakota Whiteney, the woman who is responsible for coaxing Mulder out of hiding. Her sidekick, handsome rap star turned actor Xzibit scowls his way through the film as Whiteney’s inter- agency partner, Agent Mosley Drummy. Walter Skinner (Mitch Pileggi) makes an appearance with his usual “savior” timing. The bad guys were cold blooded, and creepy, and experimenting on humans, but that is par for the course. I Want To Believe that there was something more to offer the viewer after all these years and all those episodes.
At one point Mulder and Scully are walking in the halls of the FBI and they are made to wait in front of a giant picture of President George Bush, several notes of the X-File’s theme song plays and loud audience laughter filled the theatre. It is one of the few times in the film that the characters are in sync with the audience reaction to this tale.
That said, if you are a fan of the show, you will more than likely like the film which was not bad. I Want To Believe, however, that this team can deliver more that the common “okay” summer film.