Movie Review

The X-Files: Fight the Future

MPAA Rating: PG-13 for some intense violence and gore.

Reviewed by: Bill Williams
CONTRIBUTOR

Very Offensive
Moviemaking Quality:

Primary Audience:
16 to Adult
Genre:
Science Fiction
Length:
121 min.
The X-Files
Relevant Issues
The X-Files
Aliens (extraterrestrials)

What does the Bible say about intelligent life on other planets? Answer

Are we alone in the universe? Answer

Does Scripture refer to life in space? Answer

Questions and Answers about The Origin of Life Answer

Starring: David Duchovny, Gillian Anderson, Martin Landau, Blythe Danner, Armin Mueller-Stahl / Director: Rob Bowman / Released by: 20th Century Fox

Vicious alien attacks from the dawn of time. The bombing of a federal building. Government conspiracies. Alien viruses. A mysterious black oil that threatens human existence. A group of bureaucratic officials at the heart of the matter. A quest for the truth. Sound like supermarket tabloid fodder? No, just the latest movie based on a TV series, in “The X-Files: Fight the Future”.

Now I have to profess a certain level of ignorance in never having seen a single episode of the entire series, so maybe that’s why I went into it with a certain level of objectivity and non-bias which far exceeds the fan community of approximately 20 million who watch the series on a weekly basis. Like “Star Trek: The Next Generation”, “The X-Files” smoothly makes the transition to the big screen and maintains the continuity first established in the popular series.

For those like myself who haven’t seen the series, a brief refresher is needed: Two FBI agents—Fox Mulder (David Duchovny) and Dana Scully (Gillian Anderson)—regularly investigate paranormal sightings, UFO and alien mysteries, and government conspiracies. Created by Chris Carter in 1993, the series has challenged the way we look at the world and ourselves by respecting the people’s intelligence while positing the notion that maybe the world isn’t what it seems, and maybe people really are afraid of the truth.

The movie follows in the same vein, after the close of the fifth season and the burning of the X-Files division. How do an alien attack, the bombing of a federal building, a killer virus, and government conspiracies all add up? That is what Carter (who wrote and co-produced the story in his feature film debut) and director Rob Bowman (who has directed 25 episodes of the series since the beginning) manage to pull off with a certain style that keeps the viewer guessing. Duchovny and Anderson maintain the partnership that has been the heart of the series, and maybe the lack of any romantic relationship only heightens Mulder and Scully’s compatibility. Even when threatened by the government’s closure of the X-Files division and Scully’s reassignment, she and Mulder hang in there for the long haul. When her very life is at stake, Mulder sacrifices everything he knows to save her. And there are enough references to give both the fans and first-timers information as to who’s who. Even the series' popular catch phrases—“The truth is out there” and “Trust no one”—work their way into the mystery.

Like “Star Trek”, maintaining the continuity of the series cast is essential to making “The X-Files” work, and each member’s involvement is critical to the story. Why is the Cigarette Smoking Man (William B. Davis) at the heart of this conspiracy? What does the Well-Mannered Man (Sir John Neville) know? Why are the Lone Gunmen onto the government? In the new movie, Martin Landau only adds to the mystery as a doctor whose past ties in with Mulder’s father, and Blythe Danner’s role as a FBI trial judge contributes more government conspiracy than she lets on.

But the exposition of graphic and often bloody alien attacks, autopsies, and explosions, and needless profanities by the characters sometimes distracts from what could be a really great film. Two or three attacks are shockingly out of “Alien” and are in there purely for the shock value.

All in all, “The X-Files: Fight the Future” is a respectable debut for the popular series, but there’s one thing that Mulder and Scully seem to have forgotten: the series' often quoted catch phrases have failed to accept a simple truth. The truth has always been out there for the last 2,000 years, that there is still someone we can trust, and that is our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ lived for us, died for us, and is planning His return for us. And that’s something no fearful government conspiracy can hide from us.

Year of Release—1998

Are we alone, or is there life elsewhere in the universe? Answer

Has a “Martian” meteorite proven the existence of ET? Answer

What does the Bible say about intelligent life on other planets? Answer

Is Jesus Christ the answer to your questions? Answer

Viewer Comments
extremely graphic and sick
Would someone please mention just how graphic this film is!! After reading the reviews on this page, I thought the X-Files might provide some interesting sci-fi entertainment. THIS IS A SICK MOVIE!! Unless you find yourself to be very desensitized to and unconcerned about pointless gore and death, DON’T GO!! This is a visually dark and disturbing movie lacking any purpose or message. Throughout the film, we get to see the graphic, alien virus caused death of many individuals including a young boy. We also get to see numerous views of the decaying corpses as a bonus. The acting is ho-hum and the plot very farfetched. The conspiracy in the X-Files is also poorly done. I hope this pathetic X-Files feature oozes into oblivion… it’s a sick portrayal of killing for Christians and non-Christians alike.
—Todd Adams, age 31
does not stand on its own merits
Being a sometimes fan of the TV series (I turn the show off when it has occult overtones), I enjoyed the movie a lot. After talking to a few non-fans about the film, however, I realized that from a more objective general moviemaking quality viewpoint, the film had many gaping plot holes and loose strings. The whole scene where Scully is saved from near-frozen alien-infested death and emerges almost instantaneously healed, fully clothed, and able to climb, crawl, and run to escape the super-fast alien chasing them, then collapses on the frozen tundra only to appear in the next scene magically back in Washington D.C. (rescued by the aliens perhaps?), is a bit too much for common (non-fan) moviegoers to accept. I would say that this film is almost a must-see for X-Files fans (because of the information revealed about the long-running X-Files mysteries), but will not satisfy the average moviegoer on its own merits.
—Tim Blaisdell, age 34
“unnecessary use of God’s name in vain”
I have been a fan of the X-Files TV series since its first season. I went to see The X-Files movie the weekend it came out. I was pleased with the movie, except the unnecessary use of God’s name in vain. For the record, g** d*** was said twice by Duchovny/Mulder in the middle of the movie. And the only objectionable launguage that Anderson/Scully uses is when she says, “Jesus, Mulder,” after being surprised and playfully frightened by Mulder. The word d*** and h*** were used about twice each by different characters. Also, the word for excrement, s***, was said 2 or 3 times by Duchovny/Mulder. The word f*** was not used. I don’t want to hear unnecessary profanity in movies I see, but the words that I can’t stand to hear are using God and Jesus Christ’s names in vain. It’s a sad commentary on our society that the Hollywood types think that such stuff has to be in the vast majority of today’s movies. The words d*** and h*** are used, but not too often, in the TV series… The gore in the movie was about what you might see on the TV series. And the gore in the movie was limited to about 5 instances. Two were alien attacks, both of which were in a slightly dark cavern. Two were limited views, and not too close to see in the body, of a body that had been cut open for an autopsy. As for the ridiculous evolutionary overtones in the movie, its about the same as the series. I enjoy waching the TV series, but I don’t believe in evolution, or even aliens, government conspiracies, or alien/government conspiracies. The series and the movie is pure escapist entertainment…
—LB, age 29
why bother adding language not on the TV show?
…I was pleased with the movie except of course the swearing. That could have been left out, as there is little swearing allowed on TV anyway… so why should they even do it in the movie? I don’t believe in aliens. I struggle with issues of evolution/creation. Really what attracts me to the X-Files show is the quest for the truth. I don’t mean to say I believe in half that stuff like aliens and such… I mean I have struggled as a Catholic Christian in a world that often turns its face from the mere SEARCH for answers. The TRUTH, like the reviewer mentioned, is in Jesus Christ… an answer that most people do not expect to even consider. That is what I like about the storyline of the X Files… the answers are those you wouldn’t ever think to consider…
—Mary, age 27
“I stopped counting at 6 [instances of swearing]”
…I was very disturbed with the use of the Lords name in vain, I stopped counting at 6 times in the movie could have been more but I kept thinking to myself, why put this language in the movie? It isn’t in the TV show why bring it to the big screen, I mean you watch 2 characters for 5 years and you get used to the way they are, and they had to go and ruin it by putting the language in the movie. I think it would be a great idea if Chris Carter did put a Biblical twist on the X-Files for the final season or final big screen release, can you imagine “X-Files The Apocalypse” for a grand finale? I think it would be great :o) Hey Chris why not go against the grain of Hollywood?
—Dave Ponticelli, age 35
“heavy evolutionary overtones”
Good special effects but heavy evolutionary overtones… If you like the X-Files TV show you’ll probably like this but as with television keep a scripturally tuned mind. This show is really (in my opinion) one more piece of alien indoctrination propaganda in a long series of alien movies. Although I can speculate I have no idea why we’ve seen such a long line of movies purporting alien life when, as of yet there is not one shred of good, hard, physical evidence for extraterrestrial, physical life. All we’ve seen are real stretches like the “Mars” rock and the like. With intellectually dishonest stretches like these the current totally secular zeitgeist is, in my opinion, attempting to undermine faith and even subtly question the very existence of God. Think of the spiritual implication the discovery of et life would have!!! Go to be entertained keeping in mind that as of yet this stuff is pure fiction and you’ll have a good time. Oh and by the way I live in North Texas and the landscape they show is maybe Texas but not North Texas.
—Bob, age 34
unfortunate use of profanity and swearing
All in all, I was wowed by the “X-Files” movie. The effects were great and it was very suspensful. No real answers were provided and a few new questions were added for fans. Some of the new twists on the conspiracy were particularly disturbing, but that is all part of the show’s intrigue. I was disappointed to read that the reviewer had never seen the series. But then again, it was interesting to see what a non-fan thought. The movie was no more gory than some of the TV episodes. The only real difference was the unfortunate use of profanity and taking of the Lord’s name in vain. Very unlike the TV version. I am a big fan of the “X-Files”. My husband and I have many silly conversations on the conspiracy stuff and each have our favorite episodes. What I like best about the show is 1) the main characters love each other but it is not a physical relationship. Very refreshing. And 2) the representitives of scientific community rarely have answers to what the main characters discover. I view the whole thing as pure escapism and think it is one of the best written TV shows ever. It translated well to the big screen.
—Laura Maples, age 34
repetitive swearing
This movie was ho-hum. I found that it tends to keep a person on a continuous adrenaline rush. The most upsetting part of this movie was the needless and repetitive taking of the name of our Lord Jesus in vain. It is most insulting to the Christian faith!
—Maria, age 49
I am a long time fan of the TV series and think its excellent. I went and saw the movie this weekend. It was really good with all the special effects and plot, but was like a 2 hour long episode on TV. I kept your eyes glued to the screen and on the edge of your seat. It was bloody at times, but that stuff does not really bother me. Overall, it was a great movie. Mabey a bit to intense for my 9yr old brother though…
—Allison, age 13
“avoided pushing Hollywood morality on the public”
The X-Files movie avoided pushing Hollywood morality on the public, with the obligatory gore and profanity kept at a minimum, and it was refreshing to see a male and female lead NOT sleep with each other. (Be prepared to refute the evolution connotations to your friends.) It was just a fun, escapist film, though not for children. It even showed the necklace worn by Scully (who is a struggling Catholic on the show) on which is a crucifix! (gasp)
—Doug Overmyer, age 24
“tells enough truth to be dangerous”
The feeling I had at the end of the movie says it all for me: Replace ALIENS with DEMONS and the X-Files suddenly becomes prophetic to a degree. A segment of the Christian community believes, as I do, that the government could be planning a UFO HOAX to deceive the whole world and unify it under the Antichrist. Also, we believe that it is no accident that aliens and demons are both portrayed as being reptilian in nature. Knowing that the movie had to do with aliens and government conspiracies, I couldn’t help but see it to find out how they handled these issues. A careful study of New Age teachings reveals that they await the coming of the “Enlightened One,” who will perform great signs and wonders. Trance channeling and other demonic practices abound in New Age publications (Perceptions and Nexus magazines, among others) as well as various stories of “space brothers” and “trans-dimensional beings” promising to return to Earth and lead us into spiritual “enlightenment.”

Many New Age “prophets” hold that a reptilian extra-terrestrial will come to Earth and show us the “Way to Enlightenment.” Antichrist du jour. These publications also cover government conspiracies as well, using that coverage to gain credibility. The X-Files movie plays well to this audience. Like the New Age magazines, the movie tells enough truth to be dangerous.

Fortunately, well-studied Christians know better, and need not fear this movie. We recognize the Antichrist when we see him, that old snake. But sadly there are some that do not know that the Antichrist reveals himself BEFORE Messiah returns (II Thess. 2:3-4), so we, as Christ’s watchmen, need to use this movie as a catalyst for discussion.
—Steve, age 35