The X-Files: Fight of the Future

Bomb Rating: 

The ostensibly sheer scale and cruel efficiency of this global conspiracy belies the fact that it seems utterly incapable of crushing two powerless, fleshy agents like Scully and Mulder.

Thank goodness for the "X-Files," or else millions of ex-Trekkies (oh, sorry, "Trekkerds" ) would be left wandering the streets in ill-fitting corduroy pants, bereft of the companionship of their latest imaginary friends, FBI special agents Dana Scully and Fox Mulder. As those of us who have actual sex lives to discuss on Monday mornings are painfully aware, the "X-Files" represents the next level of television geekdom: the preferred weekly program of the upwardly mobile social misfit who's finally made the big transition from his old room upstairs to the more spacious, adult confines of his parents' basement.

"The X-Files" makes the transition to the big screen about as elegantly. You can clearly see the point in the film where director Rob ("Television") Bowman began to panic because he couldn't cut to commercial. The result is a movie with about an hour of action, and about an hour of filler where the "SciCon '98" commercials would usually reside. This translates to a pace which runs as smoothly as a Yugo lurching up Mt. Everest on one spark plug. However, you can't lay all the blame for this fiasco on Bowman's limited experience with films -- he's obviously watched at least two of them: "Lethal Weapon" and "Alien."

We join Scully and Mulder doing what they do best: combating a vast global conspiracy which seems to involve everyone on the planet but Scully and Mulder themselves. All are complicit: the government, the military, industry barons, killer bees, hantavirus, the British (we could've guessed that one), the Federal Emergency Management Agency, the Los Angeles Clippers, Big Gay Al, you name it. The ostensibly sheer scale and cruel efficiency of this global conspiracy belies the fact that it seems utterly incapable of crushing two powerless, fleshy agents like Scully and Mulder. The reason for this? It's a conspiracy of idiots. Who else would establish a secret conspiratorial lab in the middle of the desert, and then forget to install locks on the doors?

Scully and Mulder, however, seem well-matched to their adversaries. Mulder's supposedly the intuitive one, evidenced by his insight as he flees an explosives-laden building that "something's wrong." Similarly, Scully, the smart one, sees a patch of emerald-green grass in the middle of the desert and is quick to conclude that "something's unusual." Stir in two hours of the X-F's notorious "is that an anal probe in your pants or are you just happy to see me?" sexual tension, and you'll be wishing for the little green men to show up and end it all.

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