After the F.B.I shuts down the “X-Files”, a department of investigation devoted to uncovering the truth behind unexplained, paranormal phenomena, the division’s two re-assigned agents, Fox Muleder (David Duchovny) and Dana Scully (Gillian Anderson), find themselves investigating a “hoax” terrorist bombing which inconclusively bears ties to a covert, government-facilitated, project involving the future colonization of earth by extraterrestrial entities through direct injection of an unknown alien virus. As the agents near closer and closer towards revealing the well-concealed truth, the government continues to supervise an outwardly species’ global population of the planet by creating sects of alien/human hybrids, breeding the extraterrestrial creatures through able, human bodies and allowing them to instinctively adapt in shape and form.
When The X-Files series made its television debut in 1993, it almost instantly certified itself as a globally beloved pop-culture-viewing phenomenon. Filling the early 90s void that seemed to expand in banality with the introduction of one exhausted “dysfunctional family” sitcom after the other, The X-Files suddenly exploded on scene, almost under the radar, managing to rekindle the unique and creatively weird, ambiguously offbeat charm that had previously been pioneered by such goose bump-inducing, cult-mystery shows like Twin Peaks.
Nevertheless, The X-Files’ arch, in terms of its structure and tone, doesn’t care to bog itself down within an alienating “Lynchian” style of lyrical pacing and mundane eccentrics. On the contrary, the series refreshingly blanketed itself within a cross-culturally appreciated filmic mode of representation; The X-Files simply pushed the boundaries of television by cleverly capitalizing on the early 90s’ worldwide fears of the unfamiliar. Each episode reflects a recognizably diverse genre of cinematic exploitation while the series’ erratic formula ultimately diminishes in absurdity as the show’s writers ingeniously steeped each element of irrationality within a believable, contrasting realm of scientific study.
Rotating back and forth between stand-alone “monster of the week” horror episodes and extraterrestrial related conspiracy –theory, thriller mythologies, the series seemed to genuinely offer up something fresh with each and every new episode that was released. Brilliantly propelled forward by the delectably plutonic, yet teasingly intimate, chemistry shared by the show’s male and female agent leads, The X-Files, would deservingly go on to be innovatively worshiped and adored by the mainstream television masses as its overall run would only cease-halt after an invigoratively lengthened nine seasons. Add to the fact that each episode possessed the high-level production quality of an expertly crafted, condensed film; the series became destined to generate the type of raving fandom typically associated with the Star Wars and Star Trek ethos.
Released in the summer of 1997, The X-Files: Fight the Future marked the show’s first foray into the realm of big screen cinema. While the film successfully established itself as a worldwide hit, it was released during the show’s peak of accomplishment after the finale of its fifth season, many critics, and fans alike, still seemed hell-bent on denouncing the film’s merits as a worthy cinematic incarnation of what had come to be known as an innovatively written, groundbreaking “high concept” television series. Nevertheless, for my money anyway, The X-Files: Fight the Future accounts for an amazing sci-fi conspiracy thriller that truly affirms itself to that “old school” genre of “Who done it?” paranoia. Combined with expertly staged action scenes embedded within grotesque, exploitive horror-lore, the film brilliantly builds on the classic “aliens invade earth” science fiction mythology while developing that very plot through a substance fueled, more subdued type of hyper-noir form of filmic execution.
The X-Files: fight the Future vividly took everything that made the series such an inventive success and fiercely heightened its allure to meet the silver screen standards of a proficiently crafted movie. Featuring one of the most stunning “building explosion” scenes ever put on film, the opening sequence involving a terrorist bombing of a high-rise infrastructure is right up there with the destruction of Nacatomi Plaza, The X-Files movie makes no apologies for its increased and clearly improved upon massive budget. Creating a stand alone, conspiracy induced type of new age sci-fi thriller universe, the filmmakers skillfully achieved the difficult task of allowing their film to both connect and disassociate itself from its previously established syndicated run on television. Essentially, The X-Files virgins do not need to brush up on five consecutive seasons of glazed eyelids, you can definitely plunge right into the film and learn everything you need to know about the show’s mythos.
The X-Files: Fight the Future is truly a unique and underrated film. It’s Aliens meets The Manchurian Candidate and in an age where CGI has ruined virtually all shreds of believability, within today’s contemporary action thrillers, it is unquestionably refreshing to sit through a film that feels wholeheartedly real and unhampered with. While so many skeptics seem to laugh off the suggestion that The X-Files film actually accounts for something worthwhile, I honestly believe that they just don’t make movies like this anymore … and that’s the truth.