Monday, July 28, 2008

The Verdict

Saturday morning, barely able to contain my excitement, I walked the five-ish blocks to the theater to watch The X-Files movie.

Short version: Yes, it was cheesy, but I loved every moment of it.

Long version: Buckle up; here we go.

Geez, where to even begin?! I guess I'll start with the raves, move on to the gripes, and then round it out with some final, fangirl thoughts.

  • Obviously, the first thing's got to be, 10 years after the last movie, and 6 years after the show went off the air, there's new Mulder & Scully awesomeness out there in the world. Yay!
  • There were lots of little goodies thrown in for the fans - references to past episodes & characters, Mulder's quirks (pencils in the ceiling, dish of sunflower seeds at his desk), and of course the portrayal of Mulder & Scully as an established, acknowledged romantic couple. Finally.
  • Skinner! He didn't show up til the end, but I was glad to see him eventually make an appearance.
  • Yay for the Mulder & Scully dynamic. It was a little awkward at the very beginning of the film, but once they got in the groove, it was just like old times, and even a little better, with the addition of occasional makeouts. Yay for makeouts.

  • The FBI agent in the beginning, the one whose disappearance gets Mulder & Scully involved in the first place, did not behave as I would expect an experienced federal officer to behave. She gets home, alone, late at night, realizes there's someone prowling around her house, and instead of getting back in her car, calling for backup or maybe even just drawing her damned weapon, she decides to take the guy on herself with some sort of claw-rake thing? And doesn't anticipate that there might be a second guy she'll have to fight off after she's dealt with the first one? Come on, Chris & Frank. Do better by your characters. I know you had to get M&S involved somehow, but I'm fairly certain you could have done that one a little better.
  • There were too many things they didn't tie up or explain. Why was the severed arm buried in the snow in the middle of a field? If the agent was supposedly able to survive her head-severing, and Scully even said, "She's still alive!" once she figured out about the crazy Russians and their wacky head-transplant schemes (Oh, X-Files...), why did they never mention it again? Why the hell were the Russians transplanting heads anyway, in West Virginia no less?
  • I'm a little annoyed at how Scully first came into Mulder's office, as if she hadn't seen him in a while, and then made a comment later about his "scratchy beard" when he'd clearly been growing it for quite some time, and they've supposedly been living together for the past six years.
  • I guess my biggest gripe is that Chris Carter et al keep persisting in their belief that they can make an X-Files movie "for all audiences." They tried it with the first one, and it sort of worked out a little better then, but this time? Dispense with the lengthy introductions and cumbersome explanations (there were some) and just make a movie for the fans. We're the only ones who care any more, anyway.

Final Fangirl Thoughts

So, here's basically the progression of my opinions from the moment I walked out of the theater:
1) Ah, yay. That was great. I want to watch it again. (I saw the first movie five times in the theater. What I wouldn't give for the return of the $5 movie ticket...)

2) Head transplants? Really? I have to say, that's pretty dumb. If this were anything but The X-Files, I would be mocking it pretty mercilessly.

3) But it is The X-Files. And when have they ever had realistic cases/bad guys/etc? The liver-eating Stretch Armstrong guy? Flukeman? Alien bounty hunters? Vampires, werewolves & shapeshifters, oh my? Cult of the Jesus slug? I mean, the "mythology" episodes were the most believable out of any of them, and even they were all about aliens & government conspiracies. So yeah, crazy head-transplanting Russians are actually kind of par for the course!

4) But...they still could have done better. The movie didn't really get moving until more than halfway through. Back in the day they could get you completely sucked into an episode over the course of the two-minute opening teaser. And a lot of the early baddies were so much more compelling and scary. If they were so determined to go monster-of-the-week, they should have just really gone for it.

5) I'm conflicted on the whole William issue. I think the decision to have Scully give him up for adoption near the end of the show was just a poor one all around. You've already established that he's not normal. He can't grow up like a normal kid, even if he's not being raised by his drama-attracting parents. And do you really think that sending him to live with some normal family in New Mexico or wherever is going to protect him from alien supersoldier bad guys who were so determined to find him at all costs? Ugh. So yes, I am glad that they acknowledged him in the movie, acknowledged that his absence from M&S's lives is a big, gaping hole, and part of me really did hope that the second movie would be all about getting him back. But...that would only have worked if the movie had come out a couple of years after the show had ended. The kid's supposed to be, what, 7 now? (I think he was about a year old when Scully gave him up.) If they haven't heard about him in 6 years, haven't tried to find him or see if he's doing all right, or anything, going after him out of the blue wouldn't make sense. Yeah, I just think the whole thing was poorly handled from the get-go, and there's no good way to salvage the storyline.

6) I need to sit down and re-watch the whole series. Re-live the glory days. Buy the movie the moment it is released on DVD and watch it again. And again, probably.

7) Yay! Now that I've seen the movie I can get caught up on all the interviews & stuff that I was so carefully avoiding! (I had no idea Gillian Anderson was pregnant again.)

8) Sigh. I sure did love that damned show.

All right, that's probably enough for now. The bottom line though is that I did enjoy the movie, I'm very glad they made it, and I'm even more glad I kept myself in the dark beforehand. (Mom told me after the fact about something she'd read in sone article that gave her a certain expectation about the ending, and I would probably have been WAY disappointed if I'd read the same thing before seeing the movie.) Anyway. We'll be returning to Soren posts soon enough, I promise.

Update: Whoa, whoa, what now?

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