The X-Files: Fight the Future

"One man alone cannot fight the future."

Hey gang, welcome back, today on The Tagline I decided to take my Netflix fueled habit of watching X-Files reruns over and over, and translate it to the big screen. released in 1998, Fight the Future realized the dream that all TV shows aspired to, and brought The X-Files to the big screen. For those unfamiliar, The X-Files chronicles the work of FBI special agents Fox Mulder (played by David Duchovny who has starred in the series Californication for the past 6 years) and Dana Scully (Gillian Anderson, seen most recently on the television series Hannibal) as they investigate the eponymous unsolved "X-Files" of the FBI. The cases range from instances of bizarre natural phenomena and various crypto-zoological horrors, to an over-arching alien conspiracy, that may or may not be a figment of Mulder's imagination, or an elaborate lie set up by the government to keep people off the scent of what they are ACTUALLY doing. The film, Fight the Future deals with this alien conspiracy, which had been introduced earlier in the series. The movie itself takes place between seasons 5 and 6, during a time in which they have been taken OFF the X-Files, which have been formerly shut down for a time. So how does the movie measure up?

Mulder and Scully get the runaround from some skeptical
Texan children.
The most striking thing to me, going back to watch this movie, is how archetypically 90s action movie it is. To give you an idea, after the opening sequence involving cave men being mauled by aliens, some kids stumble across a hole with an alien pathogen inside. After one kid is infected, the cops show up, and then the mysterious government agency. A man talks into a phone saying "you know that scenario you never planned for? Well you better start coming up with a plan" *cue dramatic movie music* There are more than a few moments like this, especially earlier in the movie, that you just could NOT get away with anymore. Michael Bay is guilty of this, and people think (mostly) that his movies are ridiculous as a result. Fortunately Fight the Future goes light on such cliches after the earlier scenes, and more or less reverts back to its natural ground state. The movie is almost exactly two hours long, and it views very much like an exceptionally long episode of the show. Because the production values were already pretty high in the show, there isn't a hugely noticeable bump in the movie (honestly I didn't notice much at all, save that there are more frequent scene changes) but it is a little bit flashier than the regular series.

Soon they will be running from killer bees. Lots of them.
The movie exchanges the series normally demure soundtrack for a slightly more dramatic "big screen" sort of background music (though scored by the same person) and also forgoes some of the more mysterious alien episodes for straight up in your face extra-terrestrial conspiracy. Also a goodly volume of things explode in this movie. I guess in the late 90s that was just how you showed audiences that this was the box office and not syndicated TV. Compared to episodes from season 5 and 6, Fight the Future stacks up pretty well. It's well paced, full of action as well as drama, and taunts fans by making it look like Mulder and Scully will finally kiss (spoilers she gets stung by an alien plague bee instead).

Kiss? Nope deadly alien virus bee sting. TAKE THAT
The biggest problem with Fight the Future is that, if you are not familiar with the over-arching plots in the X-Files, as well as the major players in the story, you will have very little idea as to what the hell is going on. Scratch that, you will have a decent idea of what is happening in the main plot, but roughly 25% of everything that happens in the movie will be utterly wasted upon you. While I would describe this film as a must see for anyone who is a fan of The X-Files, it is no entry point for someone being newly introduced to the series. It takes place within the chronology of the show, and that's really where you want to watch it. After you finish season 5 and before you start season 6.

For those keeping score at home, the film grossed fantastically, pulling in just under 189 million against a budget of 66 million. Even factoring in its 25 million advertising budget, that still means that the movie totally killed. It was enough that years later, a sequel would be released (a sequel that people liked a lot less, because it was not nearly as good).

That's all for today! I'll see you next week, where I will hopefully review World War Z!

1 comment:

  1. It is so cool how we are all now referring to this movie as Fight The Future, even though that isn't it's real name LOL http://www.deepfocusfilmstudies.com/the-x-files.html


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