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Overall Rating
3.39

Awesome: 17.98%
Worth A Look34.83%
Average: 23.6%
Pretty Bad: 15.17%
Total Crap: 8.43%

11 reviews, 112 user ratings


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X-Files: Fight the Future, The
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by Rob Gonsalves

"I've seen the future and, brother, it is boring."
2 stars

Early in 'The X-Files: Fight the Future,' Agent Fox Mulder (David Duchovny) is getting drunk in a bar and rambling about his life to a bartender. "I'm a disgrace to my superiors and an embarrassment to my peers," he mumbles. "They call me Spooky." Nobody will call this movie "spooky," as hotly-awaited and incessantly-hyped as it's been. Indeed, most of it is pedestrian and boring, with the kind of murky script and uninspired "suspense" sequences that wouldn't have been enough to get this movie made if it didn't come with the 'X-Files' label on it.

The truth isn't out there, it's in here in this review: The movie is a dud. Having seen perhaps ten episodes of the TV series since its 1993 premiere, I went into the movie with an open mind -- hoping to be converted, perhaps, or at the very least thrilled or entertained. I left my Scully skepticism at the door and aspired to be more of a Mulder -- I wanted to believe. But the movie, written by series creator/guru Chris Carter and directed by series veteran Rob Bowman, displays all the insecurity associated with the conscious birth of a movie franchise. Almost twenty years ago, Star Trek: The Motion Picture suffered the same jitters. It couldn't decide whether to please Trekkies or convert new ones. It ended up failing both ways.

The X-Files smells like another such failure. If Chris Carter plans to drift away from television and embark on a movie series, he needs better scripts -- preferably written by someone other than himself -- and he needs to give the whole conspiracy thing a rest. In this movie, Mulder and Dana Scully (Gillian Anderson) seem so helpless in the face of this far-reaching conspiracy (I couldn't begin to tell you what it's about -- something to do with aliens and "black oil") that they hardly register as heroes. Why hasn't the government killed these two by now? Well, in this movie they do so little that the government can afford to let them live.

The charm of the TV show (at least in the better episodes I've seen) is its intimacy, its bringing weirdness right into your living room. And it wasn't the alien-conspiracy story arc that won the hearts and minds of X-philes, it was off-the-wall episodes like "Squeeze" and anything written by Darin Morgan (who should be tapped to write the next X-Files movie, if there is one). The movie comes on strong -- wide screen, big boring music by series composer Mark Snow (trying way too hard to be John Williams) -- and goes out of its way to convince you that you're not watching a glorified two-hour TV episode. But that is exactly what you're watching.

Any synopsis I could attempt is doomed to failure, because (A) I'm not supposed to give away the plot and (B) there isn't a plot to give away. I'm sorry, a series of scenes showing shadowy figures plotting is not the same as a plot. A series of scenes showing Mulder and Scully in a variety of remote locations -- that isn't a plot, either. So what's left? Certainly not excitement or, God knows, scariness. I never worried about Mulder or Scully; I knew Dave and Gillian have signed on for another season. I was more worried about Martin Landau, as an informer who talks to Mulder; such informers have as much life expectancy as red-shirted crew members on Star Trek. In all, this is the most stubbornly incomprehensible big movie since Mission: Impossible -- which was a huge hit, as this movie might also be; the American audience seems to care less and less about stories, actual narratives that can be followed and enjoyed (remember those?).

I'm not a fan of the show, but, having seen some of the better episodes, I can understand its appeal. At its best, the show is dark and techno-gothic and witty. Except for some lame jokes (in a self-conscious attempt to lighten up the proceedings for newcomers), the movie offers no wit whatsoever. It's stuffed plump with its own major-motion-picture importance, but it feels like a substandard TV episode. Chris Carter truly has become the Gene Roddenberry of the '90s -- he's begun to take his creation, and himself, so seriously that he's forgotten the goofiness and quirkiness (and genuine spookiness) that made his show a hit in the first place.

'The X-Files: Fight the Future' is one big, vaguely ominous blur, in which nothing really seems to be at stake except Chris Carter's future as a movie creator -- a future that moviegoers should fight.

link directly to this review at http://www.efilmcritic.com/review.php?movie=33&reviewer=416
originally posted: 01/18/07 03:25:58
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User Comments

5/15/11 stephen nettles LOVED 5 stars
9/30/08 matt Completely worthless nonsense from beginning to end 1 stars
3/09/07 johnnyfog Loud orchestral music everytime Cigarette Man pops up, as if he's Vader or something. 3 stars
1/18/07 del Almost as dumb as the series...almost. 1 stars
5/29/06 Troy M. Grzych I liked the tv series better, I hope part 2 turns out better. 3 stars
9/13/05 drew thrilling 4 stars
8/18/05 ES unnecessary movie for a show that lost it edge after season 3 2 stars
5/17/05 E-FUNK Some say extended episode... I say that fucking rocks because the show fucking rocks. 5 stars
12/09/04 Kristina Williams better than the damn show 5 stars
8/25/04 chris i liked it. it some nice chills, Mulder & Scully were great. waiting for the second one 5 stars
4/18/04 Zach Pretty dang good. The bees & corn crops especially. 8) 5 stars
2/01/04 STUFU Decent summer movie, but not even a decent two part episode of the X-Files at its best. 3 stars
7/19/03 Daddy Plaid My questions were answered. This film delivered. If ustil have questions,rewatch the series 5 stars
6/27/03 XF SUCKS after S5, including this flick - maybe because of it! Beginning of the end of XF. Badly plotted 2nd half - show was never the same after this. 3 stars
6/23/03 Jack Sommersby Well-photographed and -paced, but the story and characters are for the birds. 2 stars
1/10/03 Mitsaso An extended episode 4 stars
5/27/02 R.W. Welch Mulder and Scully do what they can with a swiss cheese plot. Some nice FX. 3 stars
5/12/02 Charles Tatum Better than most of the sci-fi out there. 4 stars
4/06/02 Heidi intense and thrilling 5 stars
3/04/02 anne the anticipation for this film was half the fun for me (a huge XF fan). loved the film! 5 stars
2/27/02 Shrike Quality intelligent cinema...and Scully! 4 stars
1/25/02 Andrew Carden Boring From The Start...and The Ending Is So Obvious. 1 stars
1/21/02 Mouse Not very memorable, this also marks the 'shark jump' for the series. 2 stars
12/23/01 Nathaniel-M. Naske It took awhile to dig the "mythos", but the movie is very, very good! 4 stars
12/06/01 KMG Duchovny.....I'd rather have my eyes eaten out by ants 2 stars
11/25/01 Butterbean SLOOOOOOOOOOOWWWWWWWWWWWWW ass movie!! I guess that you have to be fan to appreciate it. 2 stars
10/21/01 Bleave Gillian Anderson = muff diver! Currently eating out Helen Hunt 1 stars
9/09/01 Gary Just anBut there's been way better episodes that wasted less of my time on Earth. 1 stars
8/15/01 Dusty Fabulous. Mulder and Scully are my heroes. Fredy, learn to spell her name, at least, okay? 5 stars
7/31/01 Scully i am a lesbian, and me and my girlfriend loved this movie..i believe in ALIENS!!!! 1 stars
6/05/01 Roy Smith Hm...I want to cover up the deaths of a few people...let's blow up a building! Stupid!!!!! 1 stars
5/03/01 Gracy Lionheart I used to love the X-files, but it has stepped down in quality. 3 stars
4/27/01 randy mellick x-files sucks real big juicy fat ass 1 stars
4/19/01 Tam Plot was hard to understand. Too slow-paced for me, lacked the magic of the TV series. 2 stars
2/28/01 Steve in Prague teen movie II has got to be the dumbest bitch in the world..fuck you ya fat cunt 5 stars
2/22/01 Fredy Disapointed, Just like when I found out Jillian Anderson was a die hard democrat. 2 stars
1/21/01 fifu it was well done, confusing with the plot but well done 4 stars
10/31/00 Ground Zero saw it on TV, made my Halloween weekend somewhat interesting 5 stars
4/03/00 Bruce One of the best T.V. show translations to the big screen 5 stars
3/14/00 yankee great movie, have to be an x-phile to understand but action is good 4 stars
3/10/00 David Rogers Saw it with a friend, but I'm not an X-files fan so it didn't make sense. 3 stars
8/10/99 Ted Wetzel The Truth is out -Carter is a hack.There was no need for this movie. 1 stars
7/12/99 ken heine the blown up building scene was cool. 2 stars
6/13/99 Ah Dooey Not too bad, not too bad. Like the series, though. 4 stars
6/13/99 Freyja Good solid movie(this from an Xfile geek who does watch the show to beat off to David :)) 5 stars
6/07/99 Elizaveta Yesss...excellent... 5 stars
5/09/99 Beachlovr9 I like the series better.. 4 stars
5/07/99 Dana Scully I'm an die hard X-Phile and a Shipper to boot and the hall way scene was well worth the $$! 5 stars
5/02/99 PJ Good solid movie(this from an Xfile geek who doesn't watch the show to beat off to Gillian) 4 stars
4/24/99 gibb i've seen it 4 times. goo flick. 5 stars
4/20/99 bb The truth is out there. X-Files fans will like it! 5 stars
4/19/99 jimmy jam Pretty good, could have been series ender. 3 stars
4/08/99 Michael Grimm should have been so much more 3 stars
3/09/99 Cathy & Kevin AWESOME !!! Can't wait for the sequel. So good paid to see it twice. 5 stars
2/20/99 Piz like the show, gripping intro, trails off and dies by the end. 3 stars
2/12/99 mandy I'm praying for a sequel. 5 stars
1/28/99 Goofaloo Moderatley interesting. Should have been the finale of the series, but greed wins out 3 stars
1/15/99 Dasha I'm not an X-files fan, but I liked the movie. 4 stars
12/13/98 Binky Why didn't they just fuck? I felt fucked. 3 stars
11/24/98 Mr.Pink A very average double episode, the-almost-kissing scene is fucking anti-climactic 2 stars
11/20/98 Missy What can I say, it's X-Files. Gotta love it. 5 stars
11/10/98 Hugh Jass Flawless, excellent movie for Goosebumps haters and X-Files lovers alike! 4 stars
11/06/98 David Torpey Typical X -- just should have been a video release. 4 stars
11/05/98 tom the ending sucked my ass---i hated it and i love xfiles on tv 1 stars
11/02/98 MR HOLLYWOOD !! I was forced to watch this....GOD-AWFUL,X-Files SUCK ewwwwwww...UGH!!! 1 stars
10/28/98 Silent Rob Not as good as the best episodes, but not as bad as the stupidest either. 4 stars
10/24/98 grunter Fuck Ike! Resolution only panders to the LCD, witness: Twin Peaks. 4 stars
10/23/98 Ike I'm sick of being strung along. I want some goddamn resolution already! Total BS. 1 stars
10/21/98 PirateGirl Beautifully filmed, consistent characters, fun and somewhat suspenseful 4 stars
10/20/98 John Lyons Disappointing for an X-Files fan 3 stars
10/18/98 Kwyjibo Truly, this is just a cash cow. A two hour episode you have to pay to see. Fuck off. Hated. 1 stars
10/17/98 Foxgirl The best movie I 've ever seen.A present to all X philes,like myself.See it more than once. 5 stars
10/14/98 Paul Non-stop ass kicking. This movie had some excellent scenes. 5 stars
10/05/98 Mira Wierd plot, by wonderful directing and technical stuff.Gillian Anderson is awesome,DD sucks 4 stars
9/28/98 Heather David Duchovny. *drooooool* Don't go expecting it to be just like the series. 4 stars
9/26/98 Kimmo It was Pretty good movie 4 stars
9/25/98 Pat Flanagan Not really a X-Files fan, it was nothing spectacular. 3 stars
9/25/98 Natalie=ALIENat I absolutely love The XFiles, I'm obssessed, but the movie wasnt a classic,but it was great 5 stars
9/24/98 Feynman I was a casual viewer before I saw the movie, but the movie got me hooked on the show 5 stars
9/24/98 Spooky T Pretty good movie. I wasn't disappointed 4 stars
9/24/98 Red02 Great Movie from a Great show (prolly why i loved it) 5 stars
9/24/98 Tashfin Wahid kindda too complicated even for the show 4 stars
9/23/98 ShadowStar© Big screen cash cow with small screen appeal. Would've made a decent episode, though... 3 stars
9/23/98 Xiphias Wonderful. Not the plot, though. And why the hell did they have to kill off WMM. 5 stars
9/21/98 MR HOLLYWOOD BORING!!!zzzzzzzzzzzzz....ohh,is that popcorn on the floor ? 1 stars
9/16/98 Trav Recommended for those that NEVER watches the actual series episodes! 4 stars
9/15/98 tessSpork excellent thriller, entertaining, and altogether great! But I'm an x-files fan, so... 4 stars
9/14/98 anonymous I liked it 5 stars
9/13/98 Paul Leone Wow. Disappointing doesn't go quite far enough. GA's the only reason to see this stinker. 2 stars
9/12/98 Bart Barton pretty good 4 stars
9/11/98 LuvPat Excellent characterizations, dynamite editing and pacing 4 stars
9/11/98 Day THE Diva It's the best fuckin' film of the summer 5 stars
9/07/98 Young Einstein Shitty shitty episode of a good show. 2 stars
9/07/98 kyle chlebowski your site kix ass 5 stars
9/06/98 Bob A. Booey Killer show dude! Can't wait for the new season!! 5 stars
9/06/98 Kid Pee-Pee A sad rip off. Like a really bad, long, boring episode. Kill this series. 2 stars
9/05/98 Vince X-Files FUCKIN ROCKS 5 stars
9/05/98 X-Phile Hey, this was a fun movie 5 stars
9/04/98 Badass I don't watch the show, but I liked the movie 4 stars
9/01/98 kooky sal Martin Landau was great as always but the movie didn't satisfy 3 stars
8/26/98 zubilicious I'm not a diehard fan, but I really liked it. Good plot, but the ending kinda sucked 4 stars
8/26/98 Chuck-D not bad. I'm not a fan of the show, but this was OK 3 stars
8/24/98 The Capital City Goofball Just a complete and total let-down. A longer TV epsiode. Blargh. 3 stars
8/24/98 Neil Shearing Expected sooo much more from paying good money and going all the way to the cinema! 2 stars
8/23/98 Mister Whoopee Major disappointment. I as looking forward to this for two years. bah. 2 stars
8/18/98 spork-girl mulder = good. scully = good. 4 stars
8/16/98 Mike F I was gonna say what Ben said. I like it. But I was let down. oz sumed it up good. 4 stars
8/16/98 bizzy saw it 3 times and was still nervous. 4 stars
8/16/98 Johny They had some awesome sets 4 stars
8/15/98 Schmeekins Bah. Scully is a pooper. 1 stars
8/14/98 J-Guy I liked it a lot. 4 stars
8/13/98 {{OZ}} A two hour TV episode 2 stars
IF YOU'VE SEEN THIS FILM, RATE IT!
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USA
  19-Jun-1998 (PG-13)
  DVD: 03-Jun-2003

UK
  N/A

Australia
  23-Jul-1998 (M)




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