Magazine article The Spectator

Not for Terrestrials

Magazine article The Spectator

Not for Terrestrials

Article excerpt

The X-Files: I Want to Belive15, Nationwide

OK, straight to the point, because we are busy people, right? And when we are not busy we are pretending to be busy, right? So, The X-Files: I Want to Believe, worth your time? No. As it is, it's 104 minutes that I won't be getting back. Just think: 104 minutes. I could have done a lot of pretending to be busy in that time. I could have done a lot of 'Not now! I've got a deadline!' while making typing noises with one hand and leafing though the Boden catalogue with the other. Do we like Boden?

I don't know. Sometimes I think I'm just not 'sassy' enough.

Anyway, I should, I suppose, confess that I never particularly cared for the popular TV series on which the movie is based. In fact, the nine seasons of it pretty much passed me by, probably because it was always billed as 'sci-fi' and I only have to get a sniff of sci-fi, and I'm off. I am very terrestrial in this way.

Still, none of this should matter. According to Chris Carter, the series creator who also wrote, directed and produced this, an understanding of the series' mythology is not a prerequisite. 'This is a real stand-alone movie, ' he says in the press notes. 'If the show hadn't existed, this is a story that would have found its way to the big screen.' Well, if he wants to believe that, let him believe it. Do I have time to argue? Do I even have the 'sass'? It's rubbish, though.

OK, I know the basics. The X-Files is about two FBI agents, Mulder (David Duchovny) and Scully (Gillian Anderson), who are assigned to investigate unsolved cases within the Bureau; cases that often involve the paranormal, the supernatural and the inexplicable. Perhaps the TV series was as good and entertaining as it was popular, but this is so terrible it's not even quite fun (like Mamma Mia, say); it's just terrible. It's muddled, confusing, contrived, suspense-free, utterly pointless and, for the most part, boring as hell. My dears, it's The Zzz-Files, fit only for Zzz-ing, which you can do in spades.

You won't miss anything, I promise.

It's one, big, juicy cliché, and even begins, as countless thrillers do, when Mulder is summoned out of retirement -- you're the only man for the job! -- by the FBI because a female agent is among women being kidnapped in a wintry patch of rural West Virginia, where body parts are turning up under the snow. …

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