Movie Magazine International

The X-Files

USA - 1998

Movie Review By Heather Clisby

With devoted fans of the television series counting down the days, "X-Files: The Movie", has arrived. In 1993, when Chris Carter's sublime series debuted, no one could have foreseen the phenomenal cult hit that it would become and its popularity shows no signs of slowing.

For the few remaining clueless, here's the deal: The X-Files revolves around two FBI agents constantly investigating bizarre cases steeped in governmental conpiracy, paranormal activity and alien life. Fox Mulder, played by the enigmatic David Duchovny, has spent a lifetime trying to seek the truth. (It all began when, as a young boy, he supposedly witnessed his sister, Samantha, being abducted by aliens.)

At the FBI, Mulder creeped everyone out so they stuck him in the basement and assigned him a scientist sidekick to keep his wacky theories at bay. Thus, we have the always-logical Dr. Dana Scully, played by her-wowness, Gillian Anderson, the shortest and strongest goddess that ever carried a jumbo flashlight.

The film is an extension of the series' persistent premise: Is the government trying to conceal their knowledge of extra-terrestrial life? Directed by Rob Bowman (who directed many of the weekly shows) with the distinguishing touch of music master Mark Snow (this guy should get some kind of award) the translation of the X package, from little screen to big, is practically seamless. Best part is, no commericals to interrupt the momentum.

In true Chris Carter fashion, the film begins in North Texas, 35,000 BC. The guy is such a fun storyteller, after a while, you don't even care how far out it gets. "Fine, whatever," you say, swallowing it all. Sure enough, the next thing you know, you're in Antartica, watching a spaceship rise up out of the ground. It works because when things like this happen, Mulder turns to his partner, who's busy dying of frostbite and says, "Scully, you've got to see this."

Humor is provided, as usual, by Duchovny's deadpan style. When a bartender, played by Glenne Headly, asks what he does, he tells her all the freaky details, including his in-house nickname of "Spooky." She reponds by cutting off his alcohol supply. In the next scene, we find him pissing in the alley, bemused with an old poster for "Independence Day."

The cast, an exact carry-over from the series, also features bonus inclusions like Martin Landau, Blythe Danner and Armin Mueller-Stahl. We get lots of Smoking Man and witness a warmer, squishier side to The Well-Manicured Man.

Fans of the series won't be disappointed; Scully and Mulder break new ground in their already-tight relationship and many questions are answered. Though there is more light than most episodes, non-X-phelians may not understand what all the fuss is about and get lost in the dark. Bring a map and a mind cracked wide open.

© 1998 - Heather Clisby - Air Date: 6/17/98

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