Top critical review
Poor movie - but a must see for fans
on 6 April 2016
The X-Files was one of the best things to ever happen to TV, and it fully deserved a place on the big screen to compliment the brilliance of the TV show. This movie is pivotal to the whole story development of the TV series. If you want to understand what has come before, and what follows, you need to see this movie.
With all that in mind, I'm sorry to say that this is one of the worst movies I've ever seen, and it only avoids getting a one-star because of its place in the overall X-Files continuity.
Why is it so bad? On the face of it, there is no reason why the X-Files should fail to convert well to the big screen. The movie format supports the concept fine. But there are a lot of things in this particular movie that just don't click. I can spot some bad direction at times, but my guess is the editing is to blame for some of the problems with the story flow (it's difficult to be sure about this without seeing everything that ended up on the cutting room floor). But beyond that, there are a number of howlers (spoilers ahead)...
Gillian Anderson must have been upset at her watered-down role as victim, rescued by Mulder, in this movie. Hollywood sexism in action.
The Lone Gunmen seemed to have been included purely as a cameo, with Langley delivering one particularly lame line. If they had no real role in the movie, they should have been left out.
The same can be said for Skinner. So important to the show, but just a cameo here.
John Neville, the so-called Well-Manicured Man, gave us a double whammy, having been saddled with some horrible, lame, expositiony dialogue, only to then suffer in what I assume was supposed to be a plot twist, but which was so unbelievable in the context that it actually made me laugh out loud.
Other laugh out loud moments came from the brilliant Martin Landau who was horribly miscast in his role.
Some of the gaps in this story were horrendous - and I'm not talking about stuff that was deliberately being left unexplained, just poor storytelling. Like when Mulder's snow vehicle ran out of fuel. Did he not think to take some extra fuel cans with him to the antarctic? Oh, but it's okay, because the fuel ran out just as he was within walking distance of his destination. I facepalmed so hard, I got a headache.
The worst laugh out loud moments came towards the end, as Mulder was tracking down Scully: Accidentally stumbling across her neckchain cross, and then somehow just finding her in this huge subterranean installation that remained unguarded - although it is revealed there are staff there! Oh, please! And when the Cigarette Smoking Man exclaims, 'Mulder must have the vaccine!' I was literally wiping away tears of laughter.
It's such a shame, really, because if the story is stripped to its basics, it's not too bad, and I suspect that better editing and direction would have made this a good solid movie, instead of the turkey the fanboys refuse to accept it really is.