The X Files The Movie (1998)
Director: Rob Bowman
Martin Landau/Dr. Kurtzweil
John Neville/Well Manicured Man
The X-Files are closed. That doesn’t stop Mulder and Scully from being slapped into the "extraterrestrial" game again. Mulder is tipped concerning a very nasty alien virus that does more than give you a cold and that tip sends our love bound agents on a quest for the truth.
I’ve seen every X-Files episode and still follow the series to this day. I love the show. This film was a very big deal for me when it first came out and I was mostly pleased.
The movie is like an overblown version of the TV show (that’s positive). We get our conspiracies, our informant (this time played by thespian extraordinaire Martin Landau), our aliens (mean buggers), our space ships (impressive), our weird locations (the bee hive domes are the shite!!!) and lots of traveling around (we get to visit Antarctica!).
The humor much like on TV is dead on and the chemistry between Mulder and Scully is pushed up a few notches (we almost get a kiss). They feel so much like a couple. Seeing two people care about each other so deeply but not do "the nasty" gives way to a very original relationship. It works.
On the TV show, the alien oil only controlled the human host, here it gestates inside the host until a creature bursts out in all of its alien glory. This small change peeved me a bit (cause the show was leading us on a different trail) but I understand why they changed it. It ups the physical threat and makes the story more exciting for non x-philes who have never seen the show.
Most of the TV regulars pop up: Skinner, The Lone Gunmen, Cancer Man…and for X-philes, that’s a treat in itself. I will say that non X-Files fans will still understand what’s going on but won’t get as much out of it as the hardcore followers. The subtle things might go over their heads (but make x-philes smile).
Since this is the big screen we get to hear Mulder say "shit", see him ramble on in a drunken fit (great way to expose the un-initiated to the X-File back story) and see him piss on a "Independence Day" poster (funny scene).
The flick reminded me of James Bond at times. With lots of government shenanigans, lots of location changes and lots of hiding, running and plot twists. Like "Well Manicured Man" says: Trust no one.
One thing this flick is missing: The Bounty Hunter (Brian Thompson from the show). He’s part of the main conspiracy, he’s a great character and having him in there would have upped the action quotient. Since this is the big screen a few more action set pieces would have been nice. Mulder doesn’t fire his gun once in this film. Being in his shoes (especially in the end with all the aliens) I would have gone on a rampage. The film doesn’t always milk the action it sets up (best example is the helicopter chase scene…it begins, it’s happening and then it's dropped…almost felt like Carter didn’t know how to wrap up that sequence…)
The film also makes a few logical mistakes: Why blow up a building to cover up two bodies? Were they begging for attention? Since when do bees pollinate corn? Mulder gets to Antarctica in 48 hours! It would have taken him weeks to get there. Why isn’t Mulder freezing to death wandering around Antarctica with almost no protection! I guess he’s high cold tolerant.
Those logical gaps don’t hinder the movie too much and are easy to ignore. After all, the film is about a conspiracy concerning our government working with aliens towards an impending world invasion. So yes, bees can pollinate corn…lol. I took it for what it is: A good time adventure featuring my two favorite FBI agents.
The Truth Is In Here…
Slimy aliens, bloody alien attacks and gooey autopsies.
David Duchovny (Mulder) steals the show. He’ so funny. I really liked the poke he took at himself concerning his lack of facial expressions (loved his worried face…lol). Gillian Anderson (Scully) is hot, charming and a good actress. She and Duchovny work wonderfully off each other. John Neville’s (Well Manicured Man) cold disposition works for the part, you’re never sure where he’s coming from. Martin Landau (Dr. Kurtzweil) is effective as the kooky informant, he delivers his lengthy dialogue bits with all he’s got. Mitch Pilleggi (Skinner) is the kind of actor that doesn’t need to speak. His gaze and his presence speak for itself. I love the man (remember him in Shocker?)
T & A
A naked Scully but we don’t see squat. The aliens do have nice behinds though…mmm.
Bowman directs the film with lots of pizzazz. It’s always on the move and rarely gives the audience a "pee" break. After directing over 25 X-Files episodes Bowman knows what makes the X tick and delivers the goods.
The X-File theme gets an upgrade (it works) and a score that fits the many moods of the film to a T.
If you like the show, you’ll like the movie. It doesn’t give too many answers to the questions asked in the TV show (I really wanted a lengthy "physical" answer to the Mulder sister thang) but it sure entertains. Seeing Mulder and Scully on the big screen is pure pleasure. I for one hope that X-Files will become a long lasting film series. It has two essential things going for it: A wide storyline and wonderful characters (they’re the real reason the show is so popular). The possibilities are endless. When will I get my X-Files Part 2??
The video release has additional footage not shown in the theatrical release:
In the opening scene you now see more of the alien. In the theatrical release we see it fight off on of the cavemen, killing it, and the other caveman gets up to see it lying on the ground draining out the black blood (or what fans know as black oil). In the video release we see it run off after it kills one of the cavemen and when the other caveman gets up he tracks it down and then kills it using the broken end of his torch.
In the scene with Mulder talking to the Well Manicured Man in the car, he reveals to Mulder that Samantha, Mulder's sister, was abducted by aliens at the request of her father, William Mulder, so she could be part of the colonization project, thus ensuring her survival in the colonization of Earth by the visitors. Also revealed is that when plans went awry, Mulder was interned, by his father, to seek the truth and reveal what had been done.
There is also an added scene in the video release with Mulder running down the street after the hospital scene.