New on DVD: X-Files: I Want to Believe

New on DVD: X-Files: I Want to Believe

Six years after the series concluded, Fox Mulder and Dana Scully return to the big screen once again seeking the ultimate truth. No longer employed by the FBI, Mulder (David Duchovny) continues to track the strange and unusual through newspaper clippings while Scully (Gillian Anderson) utilizes her expertise by curing the sick at a Catholic […]

Six years after the series concluded, Fox Mulder and Dana Scully return to the big screen once again seeking the ultimate truth.

No longer employed by the FBI, Mulder (David Duchovny) continues to track the strange and unusual through newspaper clippings while Scully (Gillian Anderson) utilizes her expertise by curing the sick at a Catholic hospital. Although once ignored and forgotten, the duo is recalled to duty when a series of women disappear and a psychic (Billy Connolly) is the FBI’s only lead to their whereabouts. Mulder’s steadfast need to believe and Scully’s ever-present skepticism leads the unique investigation to a gruesome discovery that tests all of their faiths and threatens to devastate personal relationships.

In 1993, The X-Files ran its first episode, which produced a never-ending following by a highly devoted fan base. The basic premise was a paranormal investigator and believer is teamed with a scientific scholar and skeptic to examine “unexplained” phenomenon. After nine seasons, countless monsters, numerous conspiracies and plot surprises, the series ended in 2002.

In the second feature based on the series, the paranormal element so prevalent throughout the show takes a backseat to religious possibilities. Firstly, as mentioned earlier, Scully works at a Catholic hospital at which she combines her faith in God with her reliance in medical science. Secondly, the psychic is a pedophilic priest who believes his visions are a gift from the Almighty. And finally, the plot revolves around scientists playing God by overextending life and creating abominations.

The chemistry between Anderson and Duchovny does not appear to have waned at all despite their distance from each other and the characters. They play their contrasting but complimentary roles as well as ever. However, some may be disappointed that the only other original character to reprise his role is Assistant Director Walter Skinner (Mitch Pileggi). On the other hand, newcomers to the story Amanda Peet and Xzibit successfully mirror the believer/skeptic dynamic as they head up the FBI investigation. And Connolly is outstanding.

Prior to the theatrical release, the film’s plot was kept under tight wraps. Decoy photos and other propaganda were “leaked” to the Internet, while as few people as possible were permitted access to the complete script. Nonetheless, it is a standalone film that does not require prior knowledge of the show or characters. That said, it will resonate more with those who have seen the original series. This difference is most evident when comparing the domestic and international trailers.

The three-disc “Ultimate X-Phile Edition” has all the bonus features of the single-disc plus an additional documentary and digital copy. Disc one includes the theatrical and extended cut of the film, which differs by only four, undetectable minutes; dull audio commentary by director Chris Carter and co-writer Frank Spotnitz; a slightly enlightening special makeup effects featurette; Carter’s description of a working on a green production; three deleted scenes; a longer-than-expected gag reel; a slideshow set to Xzibit’s “Dying 2 Live;” the above-mentioned trailers; and four interesting still galleries, featuring collectibles, storyboards, concept art and unit photography. The second disc contains a three-part documentary about the production; each section is about 30-minutes in length. The interviews with various members of the cast and crew are insightful, funny and more revealing than any of the other features. It is particularly concerned with the secrecy that surrounded the script and set. It is also fascinating to hear how Anderson and Duchovny went about reprising their roles after so many years.