If you have been following Eye of Polyphemus, you will know I have been reviewing The X-Files and episode a day. I am now up to the fifth season finale, which leads into the first feature film. Ergo, it is a good time to review 1998’s The X-Files: Fight the Future.
Fight the Future, more so than any Star Wars or Star Trek film, is made specifically for X-Philes. It is not a general interest film, and while I have a hunch it may have brought in some first time fans to the series, I doubt most anyone who was not either a fan or inclined to be cared much at all. For my review, I am going to have to cast my devoted X-Phile ways and take that into a ccount.
The film introduces the vicious aliens, beginning in north Texas during the first ice age when one attacks two cave men with Purity, aka the black oil. In the modern day, a young boy playing falls through the ground in the same spot to find the remains and the black oil, by which he is infected. The Syndicate opt o cover the discovery up by staging a terrorist bombing at a Dallas skyscraper in which the boy’s body and several firemen are being kept by FEMA. Mulder and Scully, now on general assignment after the destruction of the X-Files, are hinting the bomb. A Syndicate mole with the FBI intervenes, so the bomb explodes. The agents wind up facing a disciplinary and reassignment hearing because in the aftermath.
Scully feels rather bone weary over the hearings. She informs Mulder she is thinking about quitting the FBI to practice medicine rather than be assigned mundane work out some field office. Distraught, Mulder heads off for a drink and runs into Alvin Kurtzweil (Martin Landau) an old kook who claims to know the Dallas bombing was all a cover up.
He leads Mulder and Scully to the corpses, after which they find the plot to use bees to carry an alien virus after which Scully is stung by a bee before mulder can finally, after five long years, smooch her, upon which an infected scully is kidnapped, the lobe gun show up to help mulder escape the hospital to find her, but not before the Well manicured man shows up with the cure to the virus which he stole from Alex Krycek, who does not show up, oddly enough. Mulder makes it took Antarctica--your guess is as good as mine how--finds Scully stuck on a spaceship run by the Cigarette Smoking Man, gives her the vaccine, saves her, but she miraculously does not witness the space ship taking off. They return to Washington, where upon Scully pledges loyalty to mulder as the X-Files are reopened.
Got all that? If you have not watched the series religiously since at least the second season, the odds are you do not get all that without a Cliffs Notes. There are probably no worries about that. Anyone who would need a primer course in x-Files mythology would never come anywhere near the movie.
It is a two hour episode of the series, no doubt. Elements are thrown in from the show without rhyme or reason for the sole purpose of letting fans see them on the big screen. Why purpose did the Lone Gunmen serve other than that? There is no easing of the audience into the conspiracy of the alien colonization or who the syndicate are. Frankly, it must be bewildering for anyone who is not already an x-File.
As a standalone film for someone who is not already a fan, Fight the Future is a complete failure. It is like coming into the middle of a trilogy without being given any clue where to find the other two parts. For fans, it is a big budget, two part episode which ranks above average in terms of furthering the mythology. Whether that merit’s a big screen story is debatable, but it is still a must see for x-Philes.
Rating: *** (out of 5)