The X-Files: Fight the Future (1998)


Trust No One, Mr. Mulder.

Today’s review was requested by my friend Tiffany, and I was more than happy to oblige.  It had been years since I last saw this movie, and it may even have been when it was still in theaters that I last saw it.  I had been a fan of the show that this movie spun off from since day one.  So much so that one of my fondest memories from my youth was going to a convention for the TV show with my mother.  So when I decided that I would review this movie, I went over to my shelf to grab my DVD until my heart sank.  I don’t own this movie.  I have the second movie, but not the first one.  Whatever could that mean?  When I originally saw this movie, did I hate it?  Did I hate it so much that I could overcome my OCD and only own one movie in the series?  I didn’t remember!  There was only one way to find out.  I immediately put the movie on my Netflix queue and, when it came in, set about watching it.  Let’s see what happened in my review of The X-Files: Fight the Future, written by series creator Chris Carter, directed by Rob Bowman, and starring David Duchovny, Gillian Anderson, Martin Landau, William B. Davis, John Neville, Armin Mueller-Stahl, Mitch Pileggi, Blythe Danner, Jeffrey DeMunn, Terry O’Quinn, Dean Haglund, Bruce Harwood, Tom Braidwood, Glenne Headly, and Lucas Black.

The film opens on the icy tundra known as North Texas, about 35,000 years ago.  We watch as two cavemen enter a cave and fight with some kind of green monster, the blood of which oozes towards the caveman and infects him with something.  We’ll find out about that later.  About 35,000 years later, when Texas has thawed out nicely.  Here and now, a little kid (Lucas Black) falls through a hole and finds a human skull, and then he finds a black oil that crawls through his skin and turn his eyes black.  When his friends get the firemen to rescue him, the three that go down after him go missing as well.  But to hell with that noise; let’s see what FBI Special Agents Fox Mulder (David Duchovny) and Dana Scully (Gillian Anderson) are up to!  They’re messing around on the roof of a building in Dallas, investigating a bomb threat.  Finding nothing, they go back downstairs and Mulder goes off to get a soda from the vending machine, only to find that the delicious soda goodness in the machine has been replaced with C4.  Special Agent in Charge Darius Michaud (Terry O’Quinn) orders everyone to evacuate the building as he disarms the bomb.  As Mulder and Scully begrudgingly leave, the building explodes, killing Michaud as well as a young boy and three firemen.  Why does that sound familiar?

In much the same way as Tiffany loves me; I love the X-Files.  And that is with all my heart and equally as sexually because the X-Files has Gillian Anderson in it.  But I still really liked this movie and have no good reason to not have it in my collection yet.  The story of the movie is really tight and keeps your attention all the way through, but I can’t say I really expected anything else.  This movie was set into motion after the X-Files already had five successful seasons.  They knew how to make a great story.  And their shows were an hour a piece, and some were two or three part stories.  So how would they have a difficult time translating that into a story that would last 114 minutes?  They wouldn’t!  They also have a fairly unique ability to have the story of their movie continue on through their TV show.  The story is the same kind of thing that you’d find in the TV show: government cover ups and aliens.  They allow the mystery to unfold nice and slowly, and end it with a great climax that gives the audience most of what they want, but they don’t give you everything you want.  I did wonder about one thing from the story, though.  It’s when the people are talking about how to stop Mulder.  One suggests killing him, but they write that off because it would make him a martyr.  They then decide they should take from him something he loves most, and that turns out to be Scully.  But how would taking Scully away stop Mulder?  I mean, you’ve seen what happens to this guy when he gets an idea in his head about something.  That would just lead to him being a man on a mission the likes of which you’ve never seen before.  Then Mulder proves that for me later in the movie.  I think most of the people watching the TV show always hoped that Mulder and Scully would end up together, but they never really did it.  It usually just got as far as having Mulder make flirty comments to Scully.  In this movie, after an emotional confession by Mulder, the two almost kiss before a bee stings Scully and interrupts it as a nice, calculated “Fuck you” to the audience.  You’ll get your love story eventually, but not just yet.  I also wondered if the scene where Mulder was pissing on a poster of the movie Independence Day was another little “Fuck you”.  I like all of the dialogue in the movie as well, particularly the lines from Mulder.  He always has a nice little joke on deck, like when he said that the two strange, round buildings in the middle of the cornfield were Jiffy Pop poppers.

The performances are also totally great, but the characters also had the luxury of at least five or six years to settle into their characters.  The new people that were added to the equation were also just top notch actors, so they really could do no wrong.  I love David Duchovny.  He’s vaguely serious, but usually more snarky.  He doesn’t try too hard to be funny, usually getting there with more of a dry wit, but I like dry wit.  Gillian Anderson is ever present to be the straight man to Mulder, occasionally breaking her serious façade, but usually being all business.  Also, she’s fuckin’ sexy.  Remember a time when a beautiful woman could be noticed as being gorgeous and sexy while constantly wearing a suit?  How did she ever manage to become a sex symbol without showing up on camera with electrical tape over her nipples and nothing else?  However it is done, she pulls it off.  It leaves it all to the imagination, and I like that.  And my imagination does go wild.  Like when Mulder is rescuing her near the end of the movie and he comes across her clothes lying in the chamber they used to transport her there.  Mulder wraps her in his jacket and they make their way out of the facility through a vent.  My imagination envied Mulder for what he must’ve been seeing; crawling through the vent behind Gillian Anderson dressed only in a jacket over her nakedness.  But then they get out of the facility and she’s suddenly wearing pants!  Where’s the verisimilitude?!  I also got to wondering what Gillian Anderson has been up to recently.  The last time I saw her was the second X-Files movie.  Well, wherever she is and whatever she’s doing, I like to think that she’s doing it naked.

The X-Files was awesome, and the first movie they made from the already awesome series had not lost any of its quality.  The story works very well, capturing everything we loved about the TV show, from the mystery, the government cover ups, the paranormal, and the sometimes flirty relationship between Mulder and Scully, who continue to bring their characters to life amongst a slew of other great performances.  Great movie, and one that I need to purchase as soon as possible.  The X-Files: Fight for Future gets “After all you’ve seen you can just walk away?” out of “Look, if I quit now, they win.”

Let’s get these reviews more attention, people.  Post reviews on your webpages, tell your friends, do some of them crazy Pinterest nonsense.  Whatever you can do to help my reviews get more attention would be greatly appreciated.  You can also add me on FaceBook and Twitter.  Don’t forget to leave me some comments.  Your opinions and constructive criticisms are always appreciated.

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