I had high hopes for the reunion of my two favorite scifi FBI agents in X-Files: I Want To Believe. Unfortunately the conspiracy-busters are too bogged down in tedious relationship drama to make time for much actual investigating. Too often, overwrought dialog waters down those great, make-you-want-to-whistle-the-theme-song moments. And it doesn't even develop Mulder and Scully in an interesting way: the only information we share is how big the top secret file in Mulder's pants is, and what our super agents are "feeling." Click through for the entire review, including spoilers. It's been many years since Fox Mulder (David Duchovny) and Dana Scully (Gillian Anderson) worked together. Both have left the bureau and are pursuing their own personal work. Scully is pushing for advanced research on a cute little patient that's marked for death, while Mulder spends his time clipping articles in his crazy room and growing a fantastic beard. Mulder has all but been forgotten by the FBI and is now regarded as a alien nut (hence the beard). Conveniently located about a few miles from where both Scully and Mulder are living in West Virgina, a young FBI agent has gone missing and the only lead the government has is a psychic priest who also happens to be a raging pedophile Father Joe (Billy Connolly). Father Joe leads the FBI team manned by Dakota Whitney (Amanda Peet) and Drummy (Xzibit) to a severed arm in the snow but still he can't find the girl and knows not why they're linked. Whitney believes in Mulder, but not his tag-along girlfriend Scully, and she asks him to leave his life of recluse and help the team find their FBI agent.
Back in the swing of things, Scully and Mulder team up again to go all bad cop good cop on Father Joe. Scully just can't seem to let go of the fact that Joe molested 37 altar boys in church. The actual digging and investigating that both Scully and Mulder do is by far the best part of the movie. It's been a long time since the audience has seen the pair in action, and immediately it reminds you why everyone loved these two. Scully and Mulder pushed each other and dealt with these supernatural and paranormal happenings by breaking down each others psyches and flaws. It made it more interesting to watch Scully battle her disbelief and Mulder try to rein himself in from blindly believing any psychic. It's why the two worked. But when you focus that sort of tension on a relationship, it just sounds like a pair of bickering babies. Especially when you give them lines like, "Your stubborness is why I love you, but it's also why we can't be together." The fleeting moments where the two succeed are bludgeoned to death with the will-they-won't-they arguing. Once back investigating the "dark side," Scully freaks out and can't handle it. She hates losing Mulder to his scifi passions - which is symbolically represented by the shaving of his beard, sigh. While they are more entertaining to watch on the case, battling the big bad seems to rip the two apart as Scully lays down an ultimatum: her or the X-Files. But not before the incredibly uncomfortable moment where Scully makes penis jokes about Mulder's junk being bigger than "a little something" in bed. Too much information, Mr. Carter. Meanwhile, the FBI team has discovered that the disappearance of the FBI agent is actually linked to multiple disappearances across the community. Father Joe leads the team to a frozen lake full of limbs and extremities. The FBI decides that all these body parts point to a black market organ-harvesting operation. After googling Stem Cell Research a few times, Scully stumbles upon some old research where Russians try to amputate and reattach dog heads. Seeing these pictures makes her believe that this isn't a black market operation but a Dr. Frankenstein lab. She pieces this together from google? Isn't she a doctor? Wouldn't she know a little more about stem cell research? How did amputated dog heads pop up in that google search? And why is that where she goes with this discovery, erroneous. Anyways here's a video similar to the things she printed out from google.
Meanwhile the black market henchman (Callum Keith Rennie) is running all over town picking up more body parts for his monster boyfriend and pushing over anyone in his way. Callum's character is simply a menace. There is an attempt at a big reveal when they show his connection to Father Joe, but his character showed so few emotions besides rage that you can't really be bothered to care what happens to him. Either way, the gang catches up to the Frankenstein lab just in the nick of time to catch a few monstrous creations. True to X-Files form one of the agents is put in peril and the other has to save them. You know they're never going to kill off Mulder or Scully because then they couldn't make more movies. So it's really a moot point when either of them (or their relationship) is in danger. But the fairly exciting lab scene ending makes way for one amazing cameo that brought cheers from the crowd (which I won't spoil cause it's the only exciting thing that happens in the movie). The film spends too many moments arguing about emotions, and not enough time on monsters or aliens. I'm distressed that they decided not to follow a mythology and add to the spook factor. There are no aliens, black oil, super soldiers and not one cancer man to speak of. Any reference to the shows past was made in an extraordinarily superficial manner: for example they way Mulder off-handedly remarks about their child that passed away in one sentence, or a pan in on sunflower seeds. It's almost crass how carelessly they throw away the characters' past. And moments for exciting character development were tossed aside. For example nothing was done with the obvious flirting the lady FBI Agent Whitney was attempting with Mulder. Why not throw in a little jealousy and mix it up? Instead the movie just uses her for a cheap thrill when nameless henchman throws her down an elevator shaft. Mulder isn't even upset when she dies. Overall this movie could have been so much more exciting. They were experimenting with severed heads here, people! But the actual science fiction took a back seat to Scully and Mulder's relationship, which made no real process at all. So go if you're a fan looking to see what these two look like now, but don't expect any sort of validation for the years you dedicated to this show's mythology. It's just a lot of bickering and a few cheap thrills.