The X-Files: I Want To Believe

Since its inception in 1993, The X-Files has become a global pop culture phenomenon.  Basing stories on pulpy science fiction and paranoid thrillers, creator Chris Carter seemingly revelled in scaring audiences.  Catering to enthusiastic fans known as ‘X-Philes’, Carter expertly wrote tales for them and the casual viewer.  Ten years after its first big screen outing ‘Fight the Future’, the series returns with a complex plot showing that the truth is still out there.
In snowy North Virginia, a serial killer is on the loose. Sending their best agent, the FBI come to rely on the services of psychic priest, Father Crissman (Billy Connolly),  who may not be what he seems.  After an agent goes missing, a desperate bureau enlists the help of former agents Fox Mulder (David Duchovny) and Dana Scully (Gillian Anderson).  Joining forces once again to take on a bizarre case, their personal and professional dynamics lead them to question their beliefs in things that are perhaps best left unexplained.
Ever since its finale six years ago, fans have been desperate to know what happened next.  The answer may not be what they expect as ‘I Want to Believe’ reflects the more intimate of its TV episodes.  Having already done a big conspiracy tale with the last film, writer and director Chris Carter delves into the eternal questions of science versus religion.  Using his main characters as conduits, he attempts to show what it means to play god and the ethical responsibilities of people in positions of power.  Wrapped around a ‘monster on the loose’ scenario, the film has fun posing these riddles in an entertaining way unique to the series.  The ever present sense of urgency is well handled with a story clear on its intentions and execution.
Comfortably slipping into their roles, Duchovny and Anderson stylishly re-live their famous characters. Anderson in particular has more to do than usual, with her character torn between her loyalty to Mulder and of her faith.  Her scientific rationalism to Mulder’s dogged determination still brings plenty of bite to proceedings with each actor giving their best throughout. Billy Connolly provides a major surprise as the shady priest, adding a dramatic weight erasing memories of his previous comedic roles.  This is one of those rare movies that could have lasted longer due to the multi-layered intricacy of its script. Whilst aspects leave some gaping plot holes, generally the film successfully functions as a stand alone/continuation adventure that should satisfy a broad audience.
Providing the requisite tension and intelligently written, I Want to Believe expands on the series’ themes and mythology.  As is always the case with the franchise, this film may not mark the true end, something hinted at in the amusing nugget during the end credits.  If a return is not forthcoming the reason may be one even the toughest of X-File may not be able to crack.
Rating out of 10:  7

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