X-Files: Fight the Future

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The X-Files: Fight the Future - Conspiracies Abound

Jun 20, 2008 (Updated Jul 26, 2010)
Review by  
Rated a Very Helpful Review

Pros:story, acting, effects

Cons:not really accessible to non-fans of the series, bombing scenes might be disturbing

The Bottom Line: A movie that gives the well-written and crafted television show a bigger budget to do a bigger story with better effects.


Plot Details: This opinion reveals major details about the movie's plot.

In preparation for the new X-Files film due out this summer, I thought I'd check out the last time our two heroes bent on exposing government cover-ups graced the silver screen. The movie The X-Files: Fight the Future was not just based on the television show, but also the continuation of the end of one of the show’s season. At the same time, the film’s creators and series producers wanted to make the film accessible to the casual viewer.

Two FBI agents, Fox Mulder (portrayed by David Duchovny) and Dana Scully (portrayed by Gillian Anderson) are assigned to cases known as The X-Files. These are cases that are a little out of the ordinary and usually involve supernatural or paranormal phenomena. A recurring theme throughout the series was the fact that Mulder’s sister was apparently abducted by aliens when they were both young.

The X-Files: Fight the Future opens with cavemen coming out of the ice age and finding something buried deep within the ice. They are relentlessly attacked in a scene that resembles Alien more than anything else. Cut to the present as a group of boys uncover a cave of sorts in North Texas. One of the boys, Stevie (portrayed by Lucas Black), falls through the opening and gets infected with the same black goo series viewers have seen before, and that the caveman encountered earlier. Rescuers come and are they themselves exposed, followed by government agents. Once they take over, things seem to take a dramatically different turn.

Building in the events in Oklahoma City in 1995, events cut to Dallas where Mulder and Scully are with an FBI team investigating a bomb threat on a federal building. Mulder and Scully find the bomb in a different building from the one they were looking in. Their discovery helps get the building clear - or so they think. When Mulder hears the news afterwards that three firefighters and young boy were killed in the blast that virtually destroyed the building, he is skeptical.

All of this sets in motion the events that tear the team apart, but also keep them as united and close as ever. The two track the clues throughout Texas as it leads them on the path of an alien virus the government is attempting to experiment with and keep secret from the population.

For series fans, the movie was terrific. It built nicely on the series events and put it on a scale that we never would have seen on the smaller screen. There are shots and effects that are magnificent, from an alien craft taking off to the aliens themselves, the makeup and effects are excellent. A television series would have never been granted the budget to do such things as the scenes with the bees in the corn or the bomb blast.

The bomb blast… let me discuss that as one point that made me rather uncomfortable. Some people might be offended and upset that a bombing similar to Oklahoma City is being used for a plot point. I can understand that completely. The building even looks like the Murrah building a whole lot. I just know there are people out there who see conspiracies everywhere who would decide after seeing this that Timothy McVeigh was set-up and the whole thing was a government cover-up of something.

The story is accessible, although I don’t know that anyone would really go see this unless they were fans of the series. Certain things like the growing closeness between Mulder and Scully have a deeper meaning to series fans and people who aren’t invested in the series won’t understand the impact these events have.

The cast is great. Many of the regulars from the series are here. Mitch Pileggi is back as Assistant Director Skinner, as are the Cigarette Smoking Man (portrayed by William B. Davis), the Well-Manicured Man (portrayed by John Neville), and The Lone Gunmen (portrayed by Tom Braidwood, Bruce Harwood, and Dean Haglund). There are some great new characters in this one such as Dr. Kurtzweil (portrayed by Martin Landau). Terry O'Quinn from Lost is here as an FBI agent in Dallas who is also a part of the conspiracy.

The question is if The X-Files: Fight the Future is something that will really bring in people who haven’t watched the show. Even though I think there were extensive attempts to make this happen, I really don’t think people would get a lot of it. Without the history of the recurring characters, there’s no real meaning when they appear on the screen. I don’t expect them to explain every little thing, but just knowing that when the Cigarette Smoking Man appears on the screen that he’s a bad guy doesn’t really give it the same impact it has for people who know the history he’s had within the show. Likewise, The Lone Gunmen still seem to be a bit f comic relief, but they come off more like just three kooks to anyone who doesn’t know their history.

The DVD has some nice extras including commentary with series creator Chris Carter as well as a nice featurette about the film, showing how some of the effects were done. The bee scenes were interesting as I don’t think there was any way I could have gotten through that one.

For series fans, The X-Files: Fight the Future is a must-see. It builds on the characters and creates great drama for them while entertaining and growing the characters. If you haven’t seen the series, check out a few seasons first before attempting to view this film, or I would dare say the upcoming one. The show is as highly regarded as it is for a reason.



EXTRA FEATURES:

• The Truth Behind the Making of the X-Files Movie
• Commentary with series creator and writer Chris Carter and Director Rob Bowman
• Theatrical Trailer


Other X-Files reviews:

Season One ~ Season Two ~ Season Three ~ Season Four ~ Season Five ~ Fight the Future ~ Season Six



© 2008 Patti Aliventi


Recommend this product? Yes


Viewing Format: DVD


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