Believe It… Or Not

[NB: There are no spoilers in this post!]

I found myself in a terrible dilemma on Wednesday night.

At 6pm I was standing in a scorching hot Leicester Square, about to meet my friend Matt to attend the press screening of a film called Tropic Thunder, and I had to decide whether to join him… or whether to stand exactly where I was and watch David Duchovny and Gillian Anderson arrive for the UK premiere of The X-Files: I Want To Believe.

In 1994 there would have been no question. I was as committed an X-Files fan as the world had ever seen, eating, sleeping, drinking, breathing Agents Mulder and Scully because I’d never known anything like their spooky-freaky-thinky show. Back then, I was an avid collector of the X-Files trading cards, comics, videos, books, keyrings and magazines (including SFX, long before I ever knew anybody there or was even thinking about becoming a journalist). I watched the show and I loved the show and it took me a long time to admit that it was getting worse with every year that passed, until it eventually breathed its last in 2002 and I found that I barely even cared any more.

I ended up working for the magazine that once put David Duchovny’s face on its cover and made me squeak with joy in the middle of a supermarket when I saw it. Somehow I even ended up in the end credits of a programme the BBC made about The X-Files, listed as “Creative Consultant” or something similar (I don’t even have a copy of it now to check). I bought the DVD box sets up to season seven, rewatched them all last year and fell back in love before realising I couldn’t bring myself to watch season eight and lose the glow again.

So I went to see The X-Files: I Want To Believe on Monday night feeling a little trepidatious, knowing that I once loved those two iconic FBI Agents but our relationship had soured. Could this new movie be the thing to make me believe again? Could it rise to the heights of “Squeeze” or “Clyde Bruckman’s ‘Final Repose'” or “Anasazi”? Could it rekindle in me a burning passion for all things Mulder and Scully?

Could it hell. What a pile of pants. After half an hour I suddenly realised, to my horror (the only horror anywhere to be found around that film, by the way, as it’s as scary as a kitten sniffing a geranium), that I was bored. As time wore on, as eons passed and galaxies formed and died and still nothing much was happening on screen, I realised that the movie was actually embarrassing: a cut-price (boy, does it look cheap) X-Files episode in which Mulder and Scully spend far too much time talking about their relationship and not enough time is spent with the villain of the piece – who was, quite frankly, a big fat nothing. Even the inclusion of one of my favourite actors in the world (Callum Keith Rennie), a few amusing one-liners and a scene at the end involving someone cradling Mulder (no spoilers here!) couldn’t prevent me from breathing a huge sigh of relief when the credits rolled.

And this is why I was faced with such a terrible choice as I stood in the bright sunlight of Leicester Square, staring at the red carpet and all the fans and X-Files posters as I tried to decide whether to stay or whether to meet up with Matt and see Tropic Thunder.

If I hadn’t watched the new movie the night before, I would still have had some respect for creator Chris Carter. I wouldn’t have been cringing at the very thought of The X-Files: I Want To Believe and its uninteresting plot and feeble premise. I’d have stood by the barrier and yelled with all my might as David Duchovny had walked past me, grinning like a maniac at the thought of sharing the same air as Spooky Mulder. I wouldn’t have had to make a choice at all. In the end, however, I did.

Tropic Thunder is really funny. Go see it when it opens.


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8 responses to “Believe It… Or Not

  1. I was a X-File fan but not a Duchovny fan. I used to be but then came along Robert Patrick as Agent Doggett. Give me Doggett anyday over Mulder. The later just…just…bleah!
    I am in no hurry to see the film. I had a bad voodoo feeling about it even before the trailers started and your review just confirms my fears.
    The only thing this gal believes in, is that the Devil has bigger what’s-it’s than God!

  2. Jenni

    Agent Doggett was superb and I liked the partnership with Reyus (apoloiges if that’s spelt wrong!) Even though all the reviews are all bad, I’m still gonna have to see it. Not that I don’t believe you and the rest of the reviews but I’m just nostalgic for more! It was my fave Sci Fi series apart from Star Trek. I’m assuming we don’t see Mulder in his speedos….. I will be going to see Tropic Thunder though – looks fab!

  3. Lerxst

    Easy choice for me, regardless of the X-files film (which I may yet see but all the reviews I’ve heard from friends agree with you). Put it this way: see film I can see any night or go get weak-kneed over Gillian Anderson… Ooooo tough one 🙂

  4. Biddy

    Squeaking in supermarkets huh? That would have been me in Sainburys yesterday, finding that delicious photo of Jeffrey Dean Morgan on the cover of Empire… *sigh*

  5. ….hmmmm, FHM-The Motion Picture, starring Gillian Anderson and Louise Nurding…..
    Saw Dark Knight last night. It was indeed as brilliant as you said….

  6. Lizwc

    I loved Dark Knight too.. (even tho I think getting there killed my car)
    Thanks to your review I won’t worry about getting to X-Files…

  7. Lerxst

    FHM? Never bought it. Epecially didn’t buy the one with Gill in her skimpies or the catsuit.. 🙂

    But damn.. as a result of all this talk of squeaking I’ve got Frank Zappa’s Jewish Princess going round my head….

  8. WEll, obviously I only bought FHM for the interviews and articles. I did switch to a magazine called SEX later, but it turned out it wasn’t called SEX. Some “funny” artdirector only obscured the bottom half of the letter in the middle.
    They had good articles and interviews though, so I still read it….

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