X-Files: I Want to Believe
Unessential and boneheaded, this six-years-too-late second X-Files movie from series creator Chris Carter isn’t even as good-bad as a marathon episode. Lacking aliens, Bigfoots, and brains, it’s merely a Very Special Episode of CSI. Someone’s slashing up West Virginia, and Scully (Gillian Anderson) has been pressed to enlist the estranged Mulder (David Duchovny), who been avoiding the FBI ever since that nasty time they sentenced him to death for murder. We’re under the impression they haven’t seen each other in ages – she’s awkward, he’s bearded – but after one instance of goo-goo eyes and zero instances of pleasant conversation, a scene finds them post-coital spooning with an upside-down book spelling “SEX” on the cover, in case we were in doubt. Carter assumes we’ll care, despite the absence of their once combustible chemistry. We don’t, and we don’t fall for Amanda Peet as a romantic red herring either.
Meanwhile, there are violent Russians and a possibly psychic, definitely pedophiliac, priest (Billy Connolly) with a suspiciously good homing instinct for severed limbs. Scully also struggles to heal a terminally ill child (Marco Niccoli). (The film’s best scene is when she announces she’ll perform a stem cell transplant that afternoon and immediately rushes to Google it.) Director Carter and co-writer Frank Spotnitz have penned one of the year’s most asinine flicks, with Scully and Mulder floundering about, trying to solve a mystery that could have been unraveled with a day’s decent detective work. It’s so astoundingly ludicrous, I’m tempted to spoil it here. But I won’t, as that would ruin the one glimmer of fun for audiences prepping to lambaste it themselves.