tek's rating: ¼

The X-Files: Fight the Future (PG-13)
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This came out in 1998, and it's set between the fifth and sixth seasons of The X-Files. I don't think I saw it in a theater, but I must have at least seen it on TV or something, at some point. It's possible I saw it before the sixth season, but I think it's more likely I didn't see it until later, maybe even up to a few years later. But I'm watching it again in 2013 on DVD, and nothing in the movie seems familiar. I definitely enjoyed it, but probably not quite as much as I would have if I rewatched the first five seasons of the show, first. (Nor as much as I would if this was still the 90s.) Incidentally, I'm putting this review under "science fiction" instead of "supernatural & paranormal," which is where my review of the TV series is. That's because, whereas the series has SF elements, it also has elements that aren't really SF, depending on the episode... but this movie definitely is SF. Of course, it still doesn't feel like typical sci-fi movies, because it's mostly about a big shadowy conspiracy, as is the show. (In fact, it almost has a kind of film noir vibe, I'd say.)

Anyway, at the end of the fifth season, the X-Files division of the FBI was closed. So of course, the movie starts out... in 35,000 B.C., when a couple of cave men or whatever are investigating an icy cave. One of them gets attacked by an alien, and the other guy fights back against it. And um... it bleeds what I immediately recognized as "black oil" from the series, though I didn't remember precisely what that was about. (Just as I remember any number of things about the show only vaguely.) But then the movie flashes forward to the present, when some kids in Texas discover the same cave, and one of them falls into it. A bit later, a bunch of people show up and the kid gets taken out of the cave, but not before a few firefighters get hurt trying to help him.

Meanwhile, Fox Mulder and Dana Scully are searching for a bomb in a building in Dallas. Since the X-Files have been closed, they have more normal FBI duties, now. However, they're searching the building across the street from the one where a bomb threat had been called in. Mulder has some justification for searching the building, but it seems like it's really just an excuse to avoid real work. But then he actually finds the bomb, and the building is evacuated. Another FBI guy (played by Terry O'Quinn) stays to defuse the bomb, but actually does nothing. So the bomb blows up. Later, the bodies of the boy who'd fallen in the cave, and the firefighters, are found in a FEMA facility in the wreckage of the building. Back in Washington, D.C., Mulder and Scully face an inquiry by the OPR (Office of Professional Review), concerning the events in Dallas. Skinner and a few others are there, but the one asking all the questions is a woman named Jana Cassidy, who doesn't believe all that Mulder and Scully have to say. And after Scully testifies, she tells Mulder that, depending on the outcome of the hearing, she will likely be quitting the FBI.

So, Mulder goes out and gets drunk. Then he's approached by a man named Alvin Kurtzweil (Martin Landau), who writes conspiracy books I guess, which no one takes seriously except Kurtzweil himself. But he tells Mulder he was a friend of his father, and also says the bodies that were found in the building were dead before the explosion. So the bomb was really set to cover up how they actually died. Mulder doesn't believe this at first, but before long he drags Scully into an investigation. It turns out these people had died of an infection unlike anything Scully had ever seen. And... I don't want to reveal too much more of the plot, but it involves the Syndicate, and the plans for eventual alien colonization of Earth. (Trust me, that's not revealing too much of the plot.) We see Cigarette-Smoking Man, of course, and other members of the Syndicate, but most important is Well-Manicured Man, who actually gives Mulder some surprisingly clear-cut answers as to what's going on. (Seriously, in one scene, we probably learn more, at least definitively, than we did in nine seasons of the show.) And at the very end of the movie, even though no one believes anything Mulder and Scully say about all they've been through (which was a lot of harrowing stuff I haven't mentioned), they decide to remain in the FBI. And the X-Files get reopened, so... there'll be a sixth season, and beyond. Yay.

See also The X-Files: I Want to Believe

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