Posts Tagged ‘x-files’

The X-Files: You’d Better Believe It!

July 26, 2008

I want you to believe there are little to no spoilers below.

Ten years ago The X-files hit theaters in a big way. Trailers depicted cavemen, aliens, corn fields, men in black suits, explosions and little boys falling into holes. The X-Files: Fight the Future was a serious summer event. Having latched onto the series in it’s fourth season, I did the best I could in late night reruns to catch up on the first few seasons and get an idea of the overall mythology of the series before seeing the movie. I’ll admit, I still don’t really get it. I remember black ooze, aliens, a syndicate and Mulder’s little sister going missing. Oh yeah, and Skully was supposed to be immortal. Some of those pieces to the puzzle fit into Fight the Future, and the film acted as an arc between seasons. As a newcomer to the series with half an idea of the overall story, the film was quite entertaining.

Now, this summer Mulder and Skully return in The X-Files: I Want to Believe. The subtitle of the film comes from a poster seen in Mulder’s office and was a common catchphrase of the series. Another phrase of the series, “Trust no one”, appears in the opening credits for many episodes. It is in these conflicting phrases that the dynamic of Mulder and Skully is revealed. Mulder wants to believe the unbelievable while Skully trusts logic and rarely trusts anyone. The series relied and thrived on this dynamic. And despite the aliens, garbage monsters, detachable conjoined twins and telepathic death row inmates; Skully continued to be skeptical of the paranormal up until the series end.

Picking up six years after the last episode, The X-Files: I Want To Believe drops the alien mythology that either fascinated or confounded viewers. Rather, the film relies on the dynamic of Mulder and Skully in a much smaller, personal and still very creepy X-file. Mulder and Skully are still their old selves yet are a little closer than they were in the series. After six years together in hiding, the two have a questionable relationship. The words “boyfriend” and “girlfriend” are never used, and yet they live together. I think they’d like to think it’s because Mulder is still wanted for his actions in the last season, but really they can’t live without each other. Mulder and Skully are a perfect example of yin and yang, dark and light. And while Mulder truly thrives in the dark and Skully seeks the light, they both have a bit of the other in them (that’s what those little dots in the yin and yang mean). The focus of the film isn’t so much the case, the case is what’s necessary to bring Mulder and Skully together and to bring back their old dynamic. In working through the case, a deeply personal story is told of belief and disbelief. The X-Files: I Want To Believe is simply that at its core, an allegorical tale of belief and how wanting to believe can lead to the light or the dark.

For viewers looking for a huge summer event movie, look elsewhere. The X-Files: I Want To Believe is cold, creepy and deeply touching for those who know the characters of Mulder and Skully.

Four out of Five pencils stuck in the ceiling

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