re:View – The X Files: I Want to Believe (that this is not the film I’ve waited for for six years!)

The story
Some FBI agent goes missing. Some psychic creep goes all psychic about it. Let’s call Agent Mulder. Much stalking through the snow sans plot ensues. Oh, and there’s some dodgy Modern-Day-Dr-Frankenstein-Thing going on. And dog tranquilizer. For the sake of this re:View, however, we’ll focus on the aspects of the film you’ll actually (possibly) be bothered about.

Act One
No-Longer-Special-Agent Dr Scully works in a Catholic hospital and has a bit of a faith crisis because The Church Folks won’t let her do some Really Totally Radical Risky Brain Surgery to save a little boy’s life. Xzibit Special Agent Mosley Drummy shows up, somewhat inappropriately, asking for Mulder.

Scully tells him to go screw himself cause, ya know, they’re no longer FBI and all. She also kind of annoyingly stresses the point, throughout the film, that she’s a DOCTOR now.

Also, The Creator tries to shock us for a sec by making Scully talk about Mulder like he’s History. But then she totally goes home to convince Mulder to get on the case. With the F-B-I. And the audience goes

“I’m happy as a clam hiding away from the world and cutting out newspaper articles all day”-Mulder says the FBI can go screw themselves. Also, he’s got a beard. Well, not any kind of beard. Maximum eeew!-level kind of beard. He tries an eyebrow wiggle that used to be sexy in pre-beard times on Scully–

and they both go all awkward and you can tell they’re WAY beyond frustrated. And just in case we still don’t get that point, there’s THE PENCILS™!

The audience goes

(The Pencils™ = Universal X Files Symbolism for Frustrated!Mulder – and consequently Frustrated!Scully – since February 8, 1998.)

But somehow The Pencils™ work their magic and Mulder agrees to be airlifted to DC.

Act Two
At the FBI Headquarters we learn that The Creator would like to make a political statement-

and Mulder and Scully are eagerly greeted by FBI Barbie.

Then it’s all about the missing agent and Father “I kissed an altar boy, I liked it” Creepy who claims to have some psychic connection with the whole affair.

Father Creepy does some psychic stuff and Mulder, Scully and the FBI do some FBI stuff. There’s snow. Lots of snow. The audience wonders WTF this is all about.

FBI Barbie annoys everyone by going all Psycho Stalker Bitch on Mulder-

…and Father Creepy makes Special Agent X to da Z Whatshisface look REALLY dumb.

The audience keeps going

…and The Creator realizes that the fans are going to walk out any second if he doesn’t throw in some Shipper Candy RIGHT NOW.

Act Three
Consequently, we get a classic Sleeping!Scully shot-

…kind of with a new twist:

There’s a supposedly saucy (read: really bad) bed joke.

Then there’s more awkwardness. The film is clearly claiming its next victim: Mulder and Scully’s sex life. We blame the beard. So does Scully:

Also, there’s some far-fetched, heartbreaking and entirely unnecessary reference to Baby William (aka Scully’s mysterious connection to Really Totally Radical Risky Brain Surgery Boy).

And then – OMG! – Mulder and Scully indulge in some vaguely almost-cute cuddliness. But the husband-and-wife-illusion-

is interrupted by some random occurrence of dog tranquilizer, and Mulder and Scully get called out to join the others for some more psychic/FBI/snow fun. We all go

…and The Creator throws in another biscuit to shut up the fans:

Oh, and Mulder shaves off his beard, which apparently supposedly has some symbolic meaning for the plot.

There’s more stalking through the snow and FBI Barbie makes a pass at Mulder.

Act Four
Scully’s apparently getting as bored with the whole psychic/FBI/snow thing as the audience and tells Mulder to STAY THE HELL OUT OF IT. Whoa, wait.

“I’m gonna guilt trip you into getting on this case”-Scully now tries to guilt trip Mulder OUT of the case? She does indeed. Because, ya know, they’re not FBI any more but two people who come home. And FBI equals The Dark Side and stuff, and home’s a darkness-free zone.

Mulder goes all like, but…but…but…hav’ta do this/X Files were there before you/this is everything I know/blah blah. And Scully’s heart breaks right there. See:

The most emotionally shattering piece of dialog ensues.

Mulder: “Are you asking me to give up?”
Scully: “No. I can’t tell you to do that Mulder. But I can tell you that…I won’t be coming home.”

And we’ve reached the dramatic climax in the plot. Seroiusly. Maximum suspense level here. At exactly 54 minutes. From there, we spend the rest of the film trying to figure out how many more times we have to watch watery-eyed Scully battling with her faith, Mulder stalking through the snow, and Father Creepy being psychic before we finally get to The Final Making Up And Kissing Scene.

So Scully goes on being Dr Totally-Not-FBI Dr Scully and Mulder hangs out with the FBI and Father Creepy doing random creepy/FBI stuff that doesn’t really get the plot anywhere. FBI Barbie demonstrates kind of impressively that prettiness doesn’t make wearing a loser hat any less, uh, loser-y:

And she actually dares to makes another pass at Mulder.

FBI Barbie duly dies a completely random and avoidable death-

– which exclusively serves to point out what you’re gonna get for making a pass at Mulder (unless you happen to be Scully).

Act Five
Mulder and Scully get to hold hands briefly.

But wait- dramatic setback! Mulder still wants to hang out with the FBI a little longer!

Scully activates Female Persuasion Powers:

And – because we all know how much The Creator enjoys ScullyTorture (Melissa…The Cancer…Emily…Seasons 8 & 9…feel free to join in if I’m forgetting something) – we get to see Scully’s heart break a little more:

In good old X Files fashion, Mulder runs off to perform a classic ScullyDitch. Classic ScullyDitch chain of events ensues: He totally survives nearly being killed and goes on to solve the case get himself killed.

As the mystery unfolds, he also comes across

Scully, who you’d think would be all “all right screw him then” by now, gets all freaked out ‘n worried and orders

down from the FBI headquarters to help her go chasing after Mulder. Skinner goes all 21st century:

But Scully’s got ears and Bible quotes and don’t need no bleepin’ technology. She saves Mulder’s ass just as he’s about to get chopped up by Monster of the Week’s Little Helper. Skinner, desperately clinging to his few seconds of screen time, gets dangerously close to encountering the same fate as FBI Barbie:

They’re home again. And, look! Scully did come home after all.

There’s some more bad news-

…and Scully gets to doubt her faith a little more, and Mulder gets another chance to be TotallyInsensitiveAsshole!Mulder.

Watery-eyed Scully heads off to do some more Really Totally Radical Risky Brain Surgery on Pseudo Baby William Connection Boy and Mulder finally gets his act together:



I agree here with the judgment passed by the Almighty Gods of the Cheezburger Universe:

Special Features:
Things we’ve learned from The X Files: I Want To Believe

1. The Creator’s Wife wrote a book. It needed to be promoted, regardless of whether it makes sense in the story or not.

1.a Scully totally wouldn’t read it. You’d think The Creator whould know that, considering that he, uhm, created her and all. But I do hope, for the sake of The Creator’s Wife’s career, that it got like three hits or something on Amazon.

2. David Duchovny is getting older:

3. Gillian Anderson is getting hotter:

3.a. This observation might be biased.

4. Mulder’s got four contacts saved in his phone. One is Scully. The other three happen to be writers and producers of the show.

Edit, 28/08/09
I just came across this “abridged script” by someone who seems to feel along the same lines about the film but clearly has a better way with words (although sadly not with apostrophes). It’s hilarious if you’ve seen the film and especially if you thought it was crap. (“Crap” not being synonymous with “didn’t like it”. There is no such thing as “didn’t like” in relation to X Files. Not even El Mundo Gira or seasons 8 and 9. Crap, yes – and a whole lot of it sometimes. But you still love it. Just because.)
Oh, and to the author I would like to point out that Gillian Anderson did not do this film to save her career. Gillian Anderson’s career did not and does not need to be saved. Shoulda done your homework, sir.


  1. Jeanna Schaumann

    I loved your review of XF2. My sentiments exactly put to word bubbles and pictures!! You are hilarious! It’s nice to feel validated after so much time has gone by since XF2 came out and I still feel unsettled and disappointed about the movie. I felt like they changed the story a lot as they went along. I mean, Scully says, “Scratchy beard..” when Mulder kisses her and it makes me think that she doesn’t even live there at that house and that she just goes to visit him occasionally, and that she obviously hasn’t kissed him since he started growing the beard! And then later….”We have a home now…a home” and I’m all, “What?” I thought it was Mulder’s hideout. They have a home now and Mulder has been jobless for 6 years and he hasn’t even put in one foundation planting in front of their HOME? I can see her staying with Mulder for the great sex, but if he isn’t going to do anything but cut up newspapers while she’s working her butt off, I can see one day not coming home. And not warning him about it either.

  2. Carlie

    Very funny. Totally entertaining, I laughed out loud several times. Way to ignore the impending alien apocalypse in this second and final installment of the X-Files and replace it with meaningless and incoherent dribble, Chris Carter. Also, you couldn’t have mustered a little more Mulder/Scully cuddles? We have waited ten years and deserved more than that.

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