The X-Files: I Want To Believe

The subtitle for this second X-Files film, following 1998's Fight The Fear, sums up a lot of what this film is about - the need to believe in something. Events have moved on significantly since the end of the TV series, to the point where the bare minimum of knowledge abut the show proves perfectly adequate to make the film enjoyable. Scully (Gillian Anderson) is now a doctor in a Catholic hospital, treating a boy with a rare degenerative brain disease, Sandhoff disease, for which there is no treatment. Mulder (David Duchovny) is now a fugitive of the FBI, living in rural isolation.

The plot of the film is very much a "monster of the week" style plot, as opposed to the arc-centric plot of the first film. The result of this is that the film is far more accessible, focusing on the intricacies of the plot and the dynamics rather than a grand overall story. The plot itself is in fact rather grizzly, beginning with the abduction of women from isolated areas and taking some wonderfully nasty turns from there.

Billy Connolly takes a hauntingly believable turn as a psychic paedophile priest (try saying that ten times fast), the man who is helping the FBI to find these women, and the nature of his psychic abilities is what seperates Mulder and Scully. Throughout, Mulder is clearly a man who wants to believe, nay, needs to believe in something, anything; while Scully has to reconcile her sceptical nature with the need to believe in something, even if it only herself.

However, the film is not without its flaws. The relationship between Mulder and Scully feels a little muddled and uneven in numerous points, though perhaps if I had followed the series I may have gotten more of this. However, overall, The X-Files is still an enjoyable watch, with a number of chilling scenes. B-.

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