The X Files
1998
FBI agents Fox Mulder (David Duchovny) and Dana Scully (Gillian Anderson) trail an intricate conspiracy around a prehistoric extraterrestrial virus in this feature-length film based on the hit sci-fi television series. When the long-dormant strain reemerges at a housing development in a Dallas suburb, an unknown organization goes to extraordinary lengths to cover up the truth behind the mysterious disease. Martin Landau and Blythe Danner co-star.

Scott Hardie: “It ruled.”

The first time I saw this movie, in theaters with Jason Fedorow and Denise Sawicki, I was a former fan of the series who had grown too tired of trying to keep up with its labrynthine mythology after missing only a few episodes. I still enjoyed the film because it has some amazing sights and plenty of Mulder's deadpan humor, but I'm not surprised to have liked it even more today, after watching the first five seasons in their entirety on DVD. This was plainly made for fans first: The hefty slabs of exposition may sound to a casual observer like ridiculous bullshit made up just to give the movie a semblance of a story, but longtime viewers would recognize it as major steps forward in the ongoing ridiculous bullshit of the series. The film is ultimately unsatisfying because A) Scully once again plays the damsel in distress to Mulder the hero, and B) there is no significant closure at the end. Jesus, Chris Carter wasn't kidding when he told Fox in 2001 that the series could go on in perpetuity, even if its entire cast quit. (Luckily Fox didn't agree.) I look forward to reaching the final episode and seeing at last whether the series is capable of its own demise. As for the movie, I recommend it, but I recommend it even more strongly if you start here and work your way to it. It's a great ride.

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