Many times when a TV show makes the transition to the silver screen it brings with it an overblown plot that loses sight of its characters
and many other things that made the show so likeable in the first place.

Let it be known that “The X-Files: I Want to Believe” does not fall into this category.

That’s because the second feature film based on the 90s paranormal thriller series feels less like a film and more like a bloated and
mediocre episode of the show.

Make no doubt about it; it’s great to Mulder and Scully back in action.  David Duchovny and Gillian Anderson are as good as ever and story
respects their characters and gives them as satisfying an ending as we can expect from a show that existed in perpetual ambiguity.

Unfortunately the plot is a far cry from what we’ve seen before from this series and disappointing as a standalone story.

The main mystery revolves around the disappearance of an FBI agent and a former priest who claims he can see her through psychic
visions.

Ok, right?  It sounds like The X-Files.  But it goes nowhere.

“I Want to Believe” is a film that is fairly entertaining throughout, but when the story fails to come together in a satisfying way by the end
credits, it degrades everything that came before it.

There is a side story regarding Scully fighting for the life of a dying young boy, but when it ties into the main plot, it seems very forced and
unconvincing.

In fact, forced and unconvincing could very much describe how the story resolves itself.  The mystery of why all this is happening is never
well-explained.  And while that may seem like par for the course in The X-Files universe, it doesn’t work well on film, especially knowing that
this is likely the last we’ll ever see of Mulder and Scully.

The film does receive pretty good supporting performances from Billy Connelly and Amanda Peet and writer/director Chris Carter’s
direction is nothing to scoff at.

And for many people, just seeing their favorite FBI duo back in action, in a story that does develop their characters well, is enough.

To me this is a far cry from the 1998 film which manages to tell a thrilling (and feature film scaled) story in addition to giving us our beloved
character moments.

I’m as happy to see Mulder and Scully (and maybe another familiar face…) back in action as anyone, but the material here is second rate and
they deserve better.

As much as I wanted to believe, I just couldn’t get behind this film.

* *
(out of four)
THE X-FILES:
I WANT TO BELIEVE

Directed by: Chris Carter

Written by: Frank Spotnitz and Chris Carter

Starring: David Duchovny, Gillian Anderson, Amanda
Peet, Billy Connolly, Xzibit, Mitch Pileggi

Cinematography by: Bill Roe

Music by: Mark Snow

Released: July 25, 2008; 104 Minutes