The X Files - I Want To Believe (2008)

Starring: David Duchovny, Gillian Anderson, Billy Connolly, Amanda Peet, Xzibit, Mitch Pileggi

Directed by: Chris Carter

Rating: 1 2 3 and a half

Mulder (David Duchovny) and Scully (Gillian Anderson) - together again The X Files - I Want To Believe

I think when God was handing out girliness genes, I was in the loo reading a book about monsters, because I'm much more excited about a new X Files film than I ever was about a Sex and the City movie. And, as ex-agents Fox Mulder and Dana Scully are dragged out of retirement with (I suspect) as much reluctance as David Duchnovy and Gillian Anderson, I want to believe that the film will be good.

Well, the good news is, there's none of that Deep Throat alien conspiracy nonsense that eventually rendered my one-time favourite TV series unwatchable. Which may, of course, be completely missing the point of The X Files, but I always preferred the episodes that featured firestarters and freaks of nature, dark demons and weird wonders, monsters that lurked in your walls and in your mind.

Agents Mulder and Scully come out of retirement for The X Files - I Want To Believe

So if you're expecting some great X Files revelation, you can forget it (did anyone ever care about Mulder's sister anyway?). If, on the other hand, you've never seen a single episode before, I wouldn't start here, because I Want To Believe, complete as it is, carries the baggage of nine series' worth of on-off Mulder Scully romance and will they/won't they – actually believe in the supernatural that is. (The getting it together is a fait accompli – although, with my love of the early series, I still find it wrong when they kiss…)

A story centring around the revelations of a psychic paedophile priest (Billy Connolly) provides fertile breeding ground for the familiar tension between Scully's religious faith and scientific scepticism (to really drive the point home, she's now a doctor at a Catholic hospital – although I'm not sure I'd put my faith in someone who discovers 'extremely painful, radical treatments' on Google…) and Mulder's need to finally find proof positive that there's more to heaven and earth than are dreamed of in his partner's philosophy. Throw in a couple of adbucted women, a soupcon of Frankensteinian science and dash of healthy scepticism from the FBI and you've got a pretty classic X Files recipe.

To be honest, I Want To Believe is an entertaining way to pass a Sunday afternoon, but it's not exactly a great film. Like Sex and the City, it seems too much like a feature-length TV episode – and not the best episode either. But if the aim of reopening The X Files at this moment in time is to boost flagging sales of DVD boxsets, then it's served its purpose well, because I for one can't wait to delve back into the murky depths of the cases the FBI wanted us to forget. 61 disks of Mulder and Scully? Now that really is something to believe in…

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