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'X-Files' New Movie Contrasts Faith with Skepticism


The creators and characters of "The X-Files," one of the most popular series on American TV, join forces for an encore on the large screen. From 1992 to 2002, the series enthralled viewers around the world. But is the movie as good? VOA's Penelope Poulou has a review.

It's been six years since Fox Mulder worked for the FBI. And once again, the Bureau needs his help.

Fans of the TV show know that expert psychologist Fox Mulder, played by David Duchovny, was in charge of the X-Files. These are FBI cases of the paranormal and of extraterrestrial life on earth. This time Mulder tries to interpret visions of a missing FBI agent by a self-proclaimed psychic.

Mulder's former FBI partner, Dana Scully is now a practicing physician. She joins in the search for the young woman. Mulder believes in Father Joseph's psychic abilities, but Scully, played by Gillian Anderson, thinks he's a fraud.

"Scully is going to represent whatever scientific angle is happening," says David Duchovny, "and Mulder is going to represent the unscientific, intuitive angle. And then there is the truth, which the audience usually sees."

This may have been the case in the TV series. But in Chris Carter's film "The X-Files: I Want to Believe," viewers may find it difficult to follow the twists and turns of the story.

For more than an hour, the movie tosses out random clues about kidnappings and gory murders. We bear with the incoherent ramblings of an unlikely visionary, and we hope to finally catch a glimpse of an alien lurking in the shadows -- it's the X-files after all. But writer/director Carter says there are no extraterrestrials here.

"We had a mythology in the show that basically revolved around an alien conspiracy" says Chris Carter. "The idea that the government was keeping the truth about extraterrestrials secret from the population of the U.S.and that storyline we're putting aside to do a stand-alone story."

Carter's fast-paced, mood scenes create tension and lead viewers to believe that the loose ends will eventually come together and throw light on the mystery. But the plot ends abruptly and the conclusion is so improbable it leaves the viewer unfulfilled.

The movie's saving grace is the chemistry between the two main characters: Fox Mulder and Dana Scully.

"There was a lot of romance and longing over time that I think was heightened to good effect," says Gillian Anderson about Mulder's and Scully's relationship.

But the love affair alone cannot satisfy an audience prepped to expect an intelligent, engaging story with stunning revelations like those -- from the X-Files -- we enjoyed on TV.

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