“One man alone cannot fight the future.”
Have you ever gotten close to something and by the end of it all…it’s gone? That can be quite frustrating at times. Losing out on things that you’ve worked so hard for only to walk away with nothing to show for it – that’s the statement of The X-Files, a popular show that debuted on Fox on September 10, 1993 and told the story of two F.B.I agents who spent their time investigating the unexplained while combating a large-scale government conspiracy to conceal the truth of extraterrestrial life. “The Truth is Out There,” and Mulder and Scully are on the tireless quest to find the answers.
As a fan of the show, I was already impressed with alien angle, but the conspiracy of hiding that truth is what kept my interest even more. Those creature features were also my favorites, I should mention. Fans were dedicated to the show, but series creator Chris Carter originally planned to end the show after its fifth season in favor of continuing in a series of films. The studio saw differently and wanted the show to continue. The first movie, The X-Files, took place between the ending of season five and the start of season six. The movie featured the tagline, “Fight the Future,” but is commonly mistaken as part of the title.
The movie picks up where the X-Files has been closed by the F.B.I. and Mulder and Scully are busy investigating a bomb threat at the Federal Building in Dallas. David Duchovny and Gillian Anderson return to their respective characters and have such great chemistry that they feel like real partners as we watch them. Mulder still has his ways of making jokes and Scully still puts science before belief. They are complete opposites but it makes them great partners. In real life, it’s actually the reverse of their characters: Duchovny believes in science while Anderson believes in the existence of aliens!
Mulder accidently stumbles upon the bomb in the vending machine and only has minutes to act. People are evacuated and the building is deemed clear, but attempts to defuse the bomb are unsuccessful, leaving a devastating trail of destruction lying at the feet of the F.B.I. I say this with great respect, but the Federal Building in Dallas looks eerily similar to the real-life Oklahoma City bombing that occurred in 1995. One thing the show is popular for is conspiracy theories and something spooky is happening in the hands of a higher power; that higher power being people in control of things.
I don’t want to divulge too much, but here’s a brief. If you haven’t seen an episode of The X-Files, you might want to familiarize yourself prior to watching the movie. I’m not saying the film will confuse you, but it wouldn’t hurt to watch the show. The bombing was part of a cover-up to hide the truth of extraterrestrials being on Earth. Four bodies were discovered in the building following the explosion even though it was said that the building was “clear.”
The plot involves a virus in the form of an extraterrestrial that was unleashed on Earth long before we know. The film actually starts during the last ice age where cavemen encounter such a being. The virus is deadly, quick and has serious consequences if were ever unleashed worldwide. The show talks about this in great length which may confuse some people unfamiliar with the show; however, the movie expands all the talk and shows us everything that is happening behind closed doors.
Later, Mulder meets a man by the name of Kurtzweil (the late Martin Landau) who has information that only he cares to share with Mulder. He knew his father and has been following Mulder’s career from the beginning. He informs him of FEMA (The Federal Emergency Management Agency) and what their power really is. This leads Mulder and Scully on an investigation that takes them to Texas where something has been hidden for years. What is it, where did it go, and who is handling all of this are just a few questions that the agents are asking themselves.
The plot is big but doesn’t feature any action sequences because the film hardly needs them. Even the show didn’t rely on gunplay or car chases to excite its audience. The script was what kept people interested and this movie does exactly the same. There is one great moment where Mulder urinates on a poster of Independence Day after a night of drinking. Co-writer Chris Carter loathed that film and wanted Mulder to do that action to signify his distaste for it. Myself, I’m not of fan of that movie either because I felt it lacked something crucial to make it cool – creativity.
It was a welcome surprise to see the release of the second movie ten years later, The X-Files: I Want to Believe. Although it didn’t follow the show after it concluded, it was still a good mystery that was slow at the start, but exciting by the end of it. With the series being brought back, fans have waited a long time to see what happens next, and not to forget that season eleven debuted earlier this year. It would be nice to see another film, but the future is still uncertain.
The X-Files examined the possibility of exploring the realms of the unknown. Monsters that weren’t possible in the nature of science, the idea of aliens on Earth and even a couple of surprise episodes that are clear references to movies. I love science fiction movies if they are working with a clever idea. Alien is one of my favorites simply because the alien itself isn’t imagined in an advanced state, it’s more like an animal defending itself from danger.
As time has progressed, so has the technology in movies. I’m not a fan of what I like to call, “CGI overload,” i.e. movies filled with colorful images, but lacking in that creative part that goes back to its story. The X-Files worked not only as a show, but as a movie and brings back a neat idea of aliens and government conspiracy. I’m tired of films like Independence Day with aliens wanting to destroy the world. There are better ideas out there. The Day the Earth Stood Still is another great classic that was different in its execution. I love movies that make me think and find myself bored watching fancy CGI and whimsical set pieces. Those do nothing for me.
Mulder and Scully investigated strange and odd occurrences that kept people wondering what was going to happen next. The show did that and so do the two films. It falls perfectly in the genre of sci-fi in ways that make it stand out from Stars Wars, Avatar and Independence Day. The X-Files is built on memorable characters, great writing, and more thought than spectacle – something that I think will keep the genre going.
So, if you find a chance, watch The X-Files. It’s a wonderful show that details interesting themes, delves into the world of the paranormal and science fiction and of course, featuring those little green men walking around. The movies aren’t bad either, the first one being the best one, in my opinion. If you like conspiracies, weird things, monsters lurking around the corner, then The X-Files should be right up your alley.