'X-files: I want to believe', betrays the memory of the phenomenally successful, pioneering Television series. In becoming too linear, it sidetracks completely from the two things that made the show so endearing in the first place – the alien, paranoia mythology that drove it for nine seasons and the paranormal nature of the investigations that acted as fillers. While neither of those is to be found in this, the second film, X-files 2, if it were to be judged on its own terms, is completely devoid of merit or entertainment value based on its pedestrian approach.
Deciding to forgo the "myth-arc" storyline as it is referred to – that confusing, yet highly entertaining mix of government cover-ups, mistrust of authority and the general fear of the unknown – might probably have been a very good idea. Ask any fan of the show to name their all-time favourite episodes, and more often than not, you would find the so called 'Monster of the week' types outnumbering those that had anything to do with the core storyline. Despite taking on such a safe bet, the plot meanders with issues of Scully's faith juggling with her new career path in medicine juxtaposed with Mulder's return to active FBI duty after a case pops up that seems to catch his interest due to elements of abducted or missing people. I am at a loss to understand however, who series creator and film director Chris Carter thought might have an interest in this? For fans of the series, the settings and nature of the investigation are far too removed from the X-files general thematic and scientific construct to be appealing. Even while trying to be a trip down nostalgia lane, the premise is both surprisingly reserved and dramatically timid to find any one not familiar with its legacy to bother with trying to keep up. Like a dime a dozen serial killer TV movies (and even some cinematic ones in the 90's) the film is indistinguishable from its copycats.
Everything and everyone (including the tired looking co-stars that headline this act) seem too resigned. The case itself (without giving the 'what' of it away) is so blah, Carter, always a good writer but perhaps never a good director, tries to rest everything on the presence of the duo, but even their banter isn't close to the highs of the T.V. show. My only regret, having watched the film now, is the bitter aftertaste of it that now remains, overshadowing the memory of this great television show. If this is Carter's way of getting both fans and non-fans to appreciate his creation, his film fails on both counts. - Faizan Rashid