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The 100




X-Files: Fight the Future
(1998)
Reviewed by Russell Tharp
Rating: 5 Beans

admit it; I'm an X-Files fan. I like watching Mulder and Scully engage in their weekly arguments about scientific rationalism vs. "extreme possibilities," even if--after five years of aliens, flukemen, shapeshifters and ghosts--Scully looks like kind of an idiot for still doubting. I like the big, paranoid government conspiracy "mythology" episodes; and I like the cheesy "Scooby-Doo Meets Kolchak: The Night Stalker" episodes. I think Gillian Anderson looks better now than before she had her baby, and I search the net for nude photos of her like a true X-Phile. So, in that spirit, I'd like the next TV season to begin with an investigation into what alien-hybrid-clone-shapeshifting-black-oil-infected-liver-eating-cigarette-smoking government agent possessed the X-Files creators to make this eye-throbbingly dull parody of the hit Fox series.

For the uninitiated, Fox Mulder (David Duchovny) is a genius FBI agent whose little sister Samantha was (maybe) abducted by aliens when he was a kid, and who now operates just beneath the sight-lines of the Bureau investigating weird cases (designated "X-Files") from his office basement. Mulder is an outcast, and is nicknamed "Spooky" by his contemptuous peers. Dana Scully (Gillian Anderson) is an MD who joined the Bureau and was immediately assigned to spy on Mulder and debunk his wackier theories, but instead she has thrown herself into his investigations with gusto. Mulder has been shot several times, seen his father murdered, been beaten up countless other times, and once was subjected to experiments with an alien "black-oil." Scully has been shot, too; also, abducted, had an implant placed in her neck, contracted and recovered from cancer, found her sister murdered, had her ovaries emptied of all her eggs, and found and lost a daughter she never knew she had. She has had the worst of the deal, by far. I'd have killed Mulder myself, if I was her.

As you can see, this is a rather busy series. And therein lies one of the greatest weaknesses of the movie. In trying to make "Fight the Future" an epic X-Files event, creator Chris Carter throws in damn near every character and plot device he's come up with in five years of episodic television, plus a few more designed just for the big screen. The sad result is a nearly incomprehensible mishmash of random references, pointless cameos, and a plot that folds back on itself like a celluloid Moebius strip until it collapses under its own weight into a great black hole of boredom. Worse, the home video release adds a scene involving Mulder's long-lost sister which was cut from the theatrical version, adding yet one more plot point to a story already drowning in its own excesses.

I recall seeing "Star Trek: Generations," and coming away from the transition from the small to the big screen with one startling revelation: Picard has a HUGE nose. In "Fight the Future," a similar revelation occurs when the X-Files mythos is painted large on a widescreen: it's silly as hell. And, once that revelation has been made, suspense is pretty tough to maintain. Maybe it won't be so bad if the video release is your first exposure.

Just don't watch it on a projection TV.




Other reviews for this movie:

Beau Murray




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