The X-Files: Fight the Future

Case: Spontaneous alien repopulation, if you will.

Destination: North Texas, Dallas, Washington D.C, Antarctica

The second sentence in the action description in the Fight the Future script reads: "We're not in 19" television land anymore, Toto." It’s beautiful. It’s Chris Carter’s perfect joy at making The X-Files into a feature film contained in one simple sentence. For Carter, this was what he always envisioned for the series. Panoramic Mulder and Scully.

So much for little green men.

There's really a lot to love about this film. It was a novelty then, and it still is, in many ways. There is no other show that has attempted this level of daring -- to place a movie in between two seasons that would thrill its viewers and give everyone involved big screen cache. And the production is high in Fight the Future. Lots and lots of money was spent on locations, sets, SFX and actors with gravitas. Watching it, it really does feel as if no expense was spared. The story fits the scope, too. Carter takes Mulder and Scully to the ends of the earth. Rob Bowman proves the perfect directorial fit, with the staggering amount of mounting action in each act, the movie screamed for someone who could even make emergency vehicles slamming on the scene very compelling. And he did. And he did it very adeptly -- there is loads of action porn in this movie.

This shot is soooo sexy.

When Carter and Bowman saw the dailies of this day, you just KNOW they were high-fiving the shit out of each other.

Two words: unmarked helicopters

Go home, Mulder... No, get dressed.

At the heart of this movie, smartly, is the spun gold that is Anderson and Duchovny. I'll never not cherish the moments Mulder and Scully have here that often can be distilled to downright flirting. But the kind of flirting you do with someone you already love. Of all of the dialogue in the film (which honestly is just adequate much of the time), I've always felt that theirs consistently worked the best because it not only highlights their repartee and intimate shorthand, it has real weight and substance to it, too. The scene when Mulder shows up at Scully's apartment at 3am conveys their relationship so smoothly with six words (spread evenly between the two of them), almost exclusively because she REALLY DOES GET DRESSED. Of course the hallway scene, which is so famous it's referred to in any circle of x-philes as just that, is nothing short of breathtaking. I owe you everything, Scully and you owe me nothing. And there's something so earnest and purely sweet about Mulder's (Duchovny's ad-libbed) reaction to her, "Ouch" over the bee sting because he mumbles "I'm sorry" as if to say aw shucks, I'm sorry I just took this there, I always screw everything up. It's so Mulder, I seriously just die over it every time I watch the scene. (I also just die over the whole scene, but you could guess that already!)

It's not even the fact that they almost kiss that makes the reality of their connection so poignant in the movie. It's the large scale crazy lengths that both are visually afforded to go for each other here. Act III in the spaceship is nothing short of awe-inspiring in its design, both volume and depth.

Simply said, there's not a bad angle of this scene.

So much for anticipating the unforeseen.

To mention or analyze the impact of the plot of the movie on what came before and after it in the tv series is somewhat futile. Frankly the constant closing and re-opening to the X-Files as an investigative unit has nothing, tension-wise, on the few moments after Mulder realizes the ambulance who has Scully inside of it is bogus. Yet, the movie divided much of the fandom and is still regarded as mostly flawed. I suspect that if you were not in it for the love, it was be hard to continue with any trust for the creatives re: logic, reason or coherence. My tendency is to carry the torch of creators and the writing staff, probably to a fault, but what resulted after the writing and production of Fight the Future was purely motivated by money with no emphasis on storytelling integrity. From a creative standpoint, the show really was supposed to finish with the film (with several more films to follow along the way) but FOX couldn't let it go. Therefore the mythology hole the writers had dug proved to be too difficult to conceive of a way out. It's a shame, really, since on its own merits, the movie is a two-hour marvel, yet put into the context of the series, it's the point of no return.

Other Thoughts

*The alien in 35,000 B.C. did not have the same survival instinct as it does today. It flees when first confronted by the two men in the cave. It, too, then has been a product of evolution over time.

*I could not swing a dead cat without hitting on a picture of Mulder and Scully almost making out when I did the screen caps.


*File this under savvy continuity -- the movie continues the tradition of admiring Steven Spielberg...

*And homages in general...

Other Thoughts -- The Action Lines Edition

(I read the script again for this review (it's an earlier draft but still golden in every way), the following are my favorite action lines.)

*“Scully, engrossed in her own argument, realizes she's been the only one speaking for the last short while. She stops walking.”

*…”with darkest irony” (this is a parenthetical for Mulder)

*”Radiating a kind of manic intensity.” (It's self-evident who this is describing, yes?!)

*”And putting his mouth down to hers (FINALLY!), breathing his life into her.”

*” Scully turns and moves to the door, without permission, no further adieu.” (It's funny because Scully actually peaces out of several scenes, including ones with Mulder.)


Scully: "Mulder, it's me."

Scully: “There's really no reason left for me to stay anymore. Maybe you should ask yourself if your heart's still in it, too.” (Interestingly, at this point, her heart isn’t even in fully forming the words at the end of this sentence, either.)

Mulder: “Five years together -- how many times have I been wrong.”

Well-Manicured Man: “Trust no one, Mr. Mulder.”

Scully: “I don't believe the FBI currently has an investigation unit qualified to pursue the evidence in hand.”

Final Analysis: The shippers win The X-Files with this movie. And the victory is not at all a hollow one. If there's any doubt, please refer back to the line that act I&II turns on (when the Syndicate is planning how they will control Mulder): "Then you must take away away what he holds most valuable. That which he can't live without."

I think it's safe to say that they were both wishing it would rain sleeping bags.


Billie Doux said...

Loved your review, Heather. The best way to approach this movie is as a fan who loves the show, and that's what you did.

Heather said...

That's such a wonderful thing to say, thank you. :)

ChrisB said...

What a great review! I've always suspected that this movie holds a special place for me because I'm such a fan of the show and I am such a huge shipper. I'd love to hear what someone who had never seen the show thought of it.

As you say, the mythology of the series at this point was shot to hell. No matter. It is the Mulder/Scully moments that kept me coming back for more.

josemadieci8 said...

douxreviews' community.

I've been watching TXF first time ever since november on Netflix. I'm 20 years old, so the series started before I was born and ended before I could really care about a conspiracy.

I've been carefully avoiding spoilers and watching the episodes in chronological order, and I must say I don't consider myself a 'shipper', I'm a fool for aliens and conspiracies, imagine a conspiracy about aliens!

I appreciate the Mulder x Scully relationship (sometimes I hate Scully, to be honest... don't hate me please, haha), and really consider they are the perfect partners for each other.

But... I'm really here for the mythology arc. I've read all of the reviewers constantly complaining about the mythology's debacle, but as of now, when I'm ready to watch S6-EP1, I'm more engaged than ever. I've also read that in sith season is where it start falling apart, but I'm a capitan ready to sink with the ship.

As of the writers, i've enjoyed reading all of the reviews except some of Juliette', but that is because she doesn't enjoy the mythology and she's in for the shipping, so I just get annoyed when she criticize the episodes that I love because, well... I'm a fool for aliens and conspiracies.

Q: What did Mr. X wrote with his own blood in the entrance of Mulder's apt? I never catched it.

As of the movie, I swear my permanent thought while watching it was "WHERE THE HELL IS KRYCEK?". He became such a marvelous villain/bastard and he just doesn't show his face through the whole movie, it just disappointed me.

My goal is to watch all of the series (plus the 2008's movie) before the new miniseries. I'm gonna keep religiously reading the reviews of each episode I finish watching here, of course. Thanks a lot for so many fun readings, I love reading opinions.

Greetings from Venezuela (yup, born, raised and still living there!),
José Manuel.

P.S. my favorite episode gotta be 'Jose Chung's From Outer Space", and the first one I've ever watched years ago was Humbug (became one of my favorites, too). My fav mythology episodes are the Anasazi+The Blessing Way. My favorites moments are the first time we hear Mulder's hipnosis tape, more specifically when he says "I want to believe", and the other one is the V.O. of the letter CSM sent to Spender Twin war gods come to their father, seeking magic and weapons to eliminate the monsters of the world. My hope is the same for you AMAZING!

Heather said...

What a great comment! Thanks for introducing yourself.
And what a great fan you are. I admire your commitment to get through the seasons before the January premiere! Good luck.
Mr. X writes 'SRSG' which translates to 'Special Representative to the Secretary General' aka Mulder's next "friend in the FBI", Marita Covarrubias.
I missed Krycek, too, in FtF. If I remember correctly, it was purely a scheduling problem with Nicholas Lea, the actor who plays him.
There are some divine quotes and standout episodes from this series, you highlighted some of my favorites, too. Take care!

josemadieci8 said...

My first guess what that Lea and production couldn't see eye to eye about the paycheck or that it was because of a scheduling issue, glad to know I wasn't too wrong.

Thanks a lot for the good wishes and for answearing my question!

Any scene of CSM lighting/smoking a cigarrette is right up there with my all time favorites moments in tv or cinema. Any idea of why the creator chose to add the cigarrette smoking part to the character?

As Mick Foley would say,
have a nice day!