on December 29, 2008
To fully understand the significance of this film as part of the X-Files storyline, we must take a quick look back to the television series. "X-Files: Fight the Future" was filmed before season 5 (this complicated things a bit for the cast and crew in filming that season because they knew how things would turn out.) The X-Files had been shut down for a second time. This left fans wondering how Mulder and Scully will continue to battle the Shadow Government and fight for the truth when they are reassigned to other tasks. But this film doesn't fully answer that question, and instead acts as a sensational detour from the recent series of events. We learned from previous seasons that killer bees are intended as carriers for some sort of virus, and of course that extra-terrestrials do exist.
Mulder and Scully attempt to stop a bomb planted inside a building, as they are currently on anti-terrorism duty. Being a big Hollywood production, of course the building blows up anyway. A man claiming to have known Mulder's father discovers that the bombing may have been part of a bid to cover up the outbreak of a mysterious extraterrestrial virus, the so-called Black Oil. As this virus is a threat to all humankind, our favourite FBI agents work their way north in a search for the truth. Along the way they encounter a gigantic dome full of virus-carrying killer bees.
This film dishes out everything that you'd expect a Hollywood X-Files movie to give its fans. It also has cutting-edge FX and astounding visuals. Mark Snow is brilliant as usual; the often-underappreciated X-Files composer. On the downside, I have to say that this film could have given the fans a little more. The story is just like a typical `two-parter' from the series, but for its pricy FX. As well, despite all its high critical praise it isn't quite the solid, richly layered masterpiece of the recent film ("I Want to Believe.") There actually are some interesting similarities between the two films: Both have an older man who offers help to the agents and happens to be a child molester, both have snowy northern settings, both involve a woman being rescued, and in both films Mulder and Scully are officially off the X-Files.
"Fight the Future" is smarter only in that it knows to give the fans what they expect in an X-Files movie (aliens, horror and the Shadow Government.) I'd recommend the film for anyone familiar with the TV show, as it is a very entertaining and fairly fast-paced thriller. It is not a masterpiece, however. Greater gems can be found from seasons 1-6, and in a recent underappreciated film. I hope for a third one that may at least give fans of the long-running saga a semi-conclusion to the mythology.
on July 7, 2004
"The X-Files: Fight the Future" doesn't answer a lot of the questions that fans were waiting for from the movie. The only difference between this movie and, say, a two or three part X-Files story arc is the size of the budget, effects and the guest stars. The writing, unfortunately, doesn't measure up to the best the series offered. Nevertheless, it's a fine theatrical episode of the series.
Thousands of years ago an alien species ruled this planet. Humanity was just an afterthought. It's clear that these aliens want to regain control of the planet and members of the government have made a pact with the devil; humanity will become a slave race to these aliens (and other things you don't want to know about if you haven't seen the movie otherwise it'll spoil plot points).
Somehow all of this is tied into two little boys that discover an ancient underground cavern. One of the boys is infected with some sort of virus as are several rescue workers. In another part of the US, Mulder and Scully are checking out terrorist threat against the US. The building that Mulder and Scully and the rest of the team believe to be the target is a decoy. Mulder and Scully accidently discover the real target. The mystery at the heart of the film is why the terrorist targeted a building that had the agency FEMA in it when there were more vital government agencies they could have hit. Also, the building was evacuated. So how come there were two victims discovered in the rubble?
All of this remains at the heart of the mystery and it does, indeed, play into the alien conspiracy story arc than began to be undcovered in season one of the series. If you're interested in "The X-Files" but haven't seen the entire series, this movie is still comprehensible to the average moviegoer. The ramifications of the plot, however, will be much more important if you've seen the bulk of seasons 2-6 first (season 1 just sets up the conspiracy angle and is important but not a central part of the conspiracy arc).
The picture quality is pretty good considering this came out close to the beginning of the DVD craze. It could be improved with an anamorphic widescreen transfer (higher picture quality)and with a separate disc of extras. The extras aren't bad here they're just not as indepth as they should be. My guess is that Fox plans on re-releasing this on DVD when the new X-Files movie comes out in 2006 and/or within the next year or two because they've finally got the entire series on DVD.
Well worth picking up for fans but for casual new viewers, I'd suggest starting with seasons 2-6 to fully understand the consequences of this film's plot line. Carter's script isn't his best but there are enough gems in the script to make it worthwhile for fans of the series.
on December 4, 1999
Those who haven't seen the show before will find this movie to be totally confusing. Even X-philes will be perplexed about what the deal is. I became a fan of the show for many reasons- series creator Chris Carter's unorthodox takes on society & myth, the acting of David Duchovney and Gillian Anderson, and the show's quirky humor. This movie really doesn't showcase any of those things.
For the movie Carter wrote a decent story which never really breaks free from its moorings. The potential scope and grandeur of the story is hinted at but never seen. While the directing is decidedly second-rate, the music is quite good- appropriately dark and moody. Anderson & Duchovney make what they can of Agents Mulder & Scully, but the story too often leaves the Agents reacting to events more than acting upon them.
The supporting cast is badly under-served as well. While Martin Landau has some nice scenes as Mulder's latest informant, the Lone Gunmen have little more than a cameo. Cigarette-Smoking Man & Skinner (both complex characters important to the show) are both left with small parts that are hardly relevant to the story. John Neville's Well-Manicured Man may have the best role in the movie as the man who brings Mulder closer to the truth than he has ever been.
Based on this film, Fox's strategy of bringing the show onto the big screen seems fated to failure.
Carter would do well to turn the screenwriting duties for his next film over to X-Files scribe Vince Gillighan or even Duchovney, a talented writer himself.
on May 30, 2004
Keeping in mind that the success behind the X-Files series was not only the brilliant writing, but also the cinematography and "movie-look" of the directing, it is little wonder that the X-files movie was just a two-hour long, big-budget episode of the t.v. show. As another reviewer pointed out: what else did we really want or expect? However, because this is the X-Files Movie, it would be wrong-minded to buy anything but the widescreen edition. As with the series, Chris Carter knows how to effectively fill a screen. And the movie is just as visually efficient. None of the edges are lost on this edition, as they are on the other VHS edition. And maybe it's me, but the sound is a little crisper too. In any event, if you're going to buy this film, this is the edition to get!
on February 7, 2012
A quick review of the movie: amazing. Enthralling. Riveting. Exciting. Definitely a must-see for all X-Files fans, or even if you haven't seen an episode of the X-Files in your life and just like a good sci-fi flick, this is the film for you. It's rather in-depth though, so fans of the X-Files will have more of an insight into what is happening than those who have not seen any episodes. The conspiracy that is developed throughout the seasons is basically explained entirely in this action-packed extravaganza, which should not be missed. I downloaded it first, before deciding it was definitely a film I would like to own on DVD. It was just excellent.
on June 17, 2004
The X-Files "Fight the Future" takes place after the end of season five when the X-Files have been shut down. FBI agents Fox Mulder (David Duchovny) and Dana Scully ( Gillian Anderson) are assigned to a Federal building in Dallas to locate a bomb. Unfortunately, the bomb goes off before it can be defused, and an FBI agent as well as three fireman and a boy are killed in the explosion. The FBI needs someone to blame for what happened and look to Mulder and Scully. Wanting to find out what really happened to save their careers, Mulder starts searching for clues. He soon encounters a paranoid doctor ( Martin Landau) who reveals to Mulder a conspiracy dealing with a deadly virus that could be alien in origin - and capable of destroying all life on earth. Mulder and Scully are soon forced to put their careers and lives on the line, when they are pitted against a powerful group of men known as the Syndicate, who are somehow connected with the virus and willing to kill to keep their secrets safe.
The X-Files film "Fight the Future" offers a very enjoyable transition from the television series to the big screen. I first saw the film, back when it was released in theaters. I had never seen a single episode from the show, and even though there were some things I did not understand, like who the Lone Gunmen were, the Syndicate's role in the overall conspiracy, etc., the film managed to entertain me. Now that the prices on the DVD sets for the show have been reduced, I was able to go back and finally watch the first five seasons. I recently watched the film again, and I really enjoyed it because I was finally able to understand all the smaller details that eluded me the first time around. David Duchovny and Gillian Anderson are in fine form once again as Mulder and Scully. Martin Landau was very good as well. Fans of the show will be happy with the film, because it does a very good job expanding on the overall mythology, as well as bringing in characters from the show like Assitant Director Skinner played by Mitch Pillegi, the Lone Gunmen, and the Cigarette Smoking Man played by William Davis. The special effects, action sequences, and suspense this film brings will entertain people who have never seen the show.
In my opinion, "Fight the Future" can be enjoyed by hardcore fans of the show, as well as a person who has never seen the show. I know this from experience because I was able to watch the film from both points of view. In fact, it was seeing the film the first time around that made me want to watch the show in the first place. The DVD itself offers top notch picture and sound quality, as well as commentary from Chris Carter, and an in-depth featurette on the making of the movie and the transition from the show to the big screen.
A solid 5 stars...
on June 4, 2004
...not just movie.
See when I first saw the movie I was hyped by the phenomena of the X files. Though, I had never seen a single series. And, I was totally lost. I remember watching the movie with a sense of 'duh' on my face and in my mind.
Yet, after I was introduced to the series the movie took on a whole new life. I understood everything and everything made sense. Since I was able to watch the series, along with the movie in order of the precedent it was meant to be seen, I felt extremely privileged to finally be apart of the whole X files mania.
Even the last remaining seasons took on a new dimension for me. I thought the movie was great...in the context of the seasons. Without them, however, the movie will seem lackluster.
Now, why did I give the movie four stars. Well, because it is a good movie. It's ambitious and funny, and the two actors playing the role believe in the characters they are playing. You can see this through out the movie. Also, the movie is made very well. The camera action and storyline are engaging. Seriously, it's a good movie.
Don't watch trying to understand, just watch because it's a good movie. Yet, if you want to understand everything then buy or rent the movie.
on May 4, 2004
Here we go: The X-Files movie. When I bought it, all I knew was that it took place between seasons 5 and 6. But upon watching it, they didn't really take anything from the last episode of season 5 and put it into the movie. Like the little psychic boy, Gibson. But that's ok, as Fight the Future is a great movie that all X-Files fans will enjoy. And, as everyone keeps saying, people who've never seen the show can get into this and not be lost in the sea of the plot.
Sure, the movie is pretty much a longer episode, but would you want anything else? I wouldn't. And the movie isn't a stand-alone deal, it comes into play with the main plot, which answers a lot of questions. One of which being the origin of the black oil. I was really surprised to see where it came from. The writing, as usual, is fantastic. The characters don't reintroduce themselves to us old fans, but they explain (very cleverly) who they are and why they're where they are to new fans in the snap of a finger. And the special effects were better than any movie from that same summer pretty much. UFOs and trains don't look the least bit CG for the most part. Mark Snow, of course, provides us with an excellent soundtrack. It's a lot more epic than the series.
There aren't many special features. You get a half hour behind-the-scenes look at the movie with some short interviews with the cast. Of course there's the staple in dvds: theatrical trailers. And we get three of them here. But there's also the commentary. Chris Carter man, don't do a commentary like this again. You just spoon-fed us what was going on the whole movie. "This is where Scully talks to Mulder on her phone" isn't anything special. At least he said a few smart things here and there. One of which is the official word that a certain someone is dead in the series. Plus he tells us that there are going to be a few more movies to continue the series. So that's cool. But the commentary...I seriously almost fell asleep a few times while listening to it...at 3 pm...after drinking 3 cans of Mountain Dew.
I only have two small complaints about the movie. One being that the editing in some scenes is kind of sloppy. Watch the scene with the bees when Mulder and Scully evacuate the base, and you'll see that she puts her shirt over her head about 4 times. It's not for a repeating effect of drama or anything either, it was just bad timing on the edit. The other would be that some of the bigger characters of the series (Skinner, The Lone Gunman) are in the movie for probably a total of 10 minutes, if that. Other than that, I thought the movie was awesome, and I look forward to the future X-Files movies that are coming out to expand upon the series.
on April 24, 2004
As a die-hard fan of "X-Files", I have always had a fondness for "Conduit", one of the very earliest episodes. This is a thoughtful and somewhat melancholy story which gives some of the first background about the disappearance of Mulder's sister when they were kids, and how that event continues to play into Mulder's adult life. This ep has some lovely "X-Filey" images: bikers riding in the woods at night; Kevin Morris' haunting drawing of the missing Ruby; the white wolves at the lake campsite; Mulder contemplating a snapshot of Samantha at the end. It's also nice to see Carrie Snodgress (who, sadly, just passed away) in the lead guest role. "Conduit" is a more emotional and introspective story, while "Ice" is more of an action/thriller. "Ice" is also a good ep, but I've always thought it to be overrated in the series. It IS derivative of "The Thing" - not that that's so awful (after all, "Conduit" samples "Poltergeist"). But the "science" of the writers' premise keeps falling into rather large plot holes, the guest characters are somewhat paint-by-numbers, the CGI effects leave something to be desired, and the identity of the "villain" is really not set up effectively, so to me it's just not as good an ep as it's often made out to be. The increasing paranoia of the characters is done well though (which helps to disguise the weaknesses in the story), and director David Nutter does a terrific job with the claustrophobic location - the ep looks just great. I would recommend this tape to someone who's unfamiliar with the show and wants to start at or near the beginning, but I think the other two tapes in Wave 1 ("Pilot"/"Deep Throat" and "Fallen Angel"/"Eve") are stronger.
on February 21, 2004
For the uninitiated, Gypsy Rose Lee was a famous fan dancer that was able to strategically twirl fans about her unclothed body, never revealing anything to her ogling audiences.
In other words, she was the ultimate tease...until this movie came out.
Fans of the show flocked in droves to see a movie that didn't really answer a single "question" from the series. Seeing Mulder and Scully, as well as Director Skinner, The Cigarette Smoking Man, The Well-Manicured Man, and the Lone Gunmen, do the "movie-thing" is a treat, although the story could've been fleshed out a bit more. Creator Chris Carter promised a film that was a transitiion from season five to season six, but this film, while enjoyable is a definite "dangling carrot".
Acting wise, stars Duchovny and Anderson do no more with their film incarnations than they do on television and, perhaps, that's as it should be. Oscar winner Martin Landau basically does the wild-eyed, seeing conspiracies around every corner quirky scientist-thing. None of the other actors has enough screen time to access their performances.
The film does possess the look of a big budget theatrical film but there was more tension, suspense, and horror in the small screen outings.
If Carter thought this film would gain converts to the X-Files mythology, he was sadly mistaken.
It's a film only for those already hooked...of which I am one of them.