I never thought I’d come to write this: this is movie isn’t Hollywood enough. As you probably know, it’s based on the cult TV show of the same name. And even though this is supposed to be a big summer movie, it still feels like TV material with a bigger budget. There is a surprisingly low level of action scenes, FX sequences, or any kind of typical Hollywood thrills. All that’s left, pretty much, is plot. Not that there is anything wrong with that, but I would have like to see more aliens and action, and less of people standing around and talking. So you got Scully and Mulder, a pair of FBI agents who used to investigate the unknown. In the last episode of the previous season, their superiors pulled the plug, and as the film begins, they’re assigned to some terrorism affair. But of course, that’s just the tip of the iceberg, and they’re soon caught in a blend of government cover-ups, alien conspiracy and stuff. Just like the TV show, right?
More or less. The problem with the film is that it tries to do two opposed things at the same time. In a way, creator/writer/producer Chris Carter wants to give his audience a bigger scale installment, some kind of big transition episode between season 5 and 6. But the man also wants to make a movie for the masses who don’t watch the show. In both cases, the film doesn’t really get the job done.. I have just been watching the show for like, a season or so, but I’m already hooked on all that conspiracy stuff. But in the film, I thought it wasn’t as involving. What works on TV doesn’t necessarily work in a movie. In the show, it’s possible to stretch a storyline over a season or more. Each episode is a piece of the puzzle. But the film tries to solve everything and nothing at the same time. What you get is a bunch of stuff that was supposed in the series that is now confirmed, a few twists, but not much striking revelations. The film involved me throughout, but I wasn’t, like, riveted.
It was directed by one of the series guys, and he’s talented, but he ain’t no genius. The whole film is like that. Actually, if it wasn’t for the show’s appeal, this film wouldn’t even matter, despite a few interesting scenes. I still love David Duchovny and Gillian Anderson, who form a very fun duo. David is a charming dude with a very sly sense of humor, while Gillian’s overwhelming skepticism and seriousness is enjoyable when opposed to David’s blind trust in weird events. They’re an endearing pair on TV, and yes, they have good moments together in the film, like the bomb scene à la “Lethal Weapon” at the beginning of the film. As for the rest of the cast, Martin Landau and John Neville are very good as conspiracy elements, and that Cigarette Smoking Man sure leaves a strong impression, even though he’s underused. You know what’s the film biggest flaw? It’s that it feels like a hassle, as if Chris Carter wasn’t all that thrilled about it. It lacks the shrill enthusiasm and sense of wonder of such sci-fi masterpieces as “Close Encounters of the 3rd Kind”. It’s still a modestly cool flick, but it ain’t a must-see unless you’re a diehard fan of the show.