… but, sadly, I cannot, no matter how many tricks with fast-forward and reverse I try to pull in my basement office. Spoiler alert.
I should say that X-Files: I Want to Believe, which opened Friday, was not nearly as wretched as I feared it would be; in fact, it was far better than I thought even remotely possible, because, frankly, I was lying in my earlier post when I said I Wanted to Believe it wouldn’t suck. In fact, I didn’t really give a shit; Chris Carter has shown himself repeatedly to be completely out of gas as a creator, and in my opinion he was always a pretty crappy director. The previous X-Files movie, 1998’s X-Files: Fight the Future, which I quite liked, had the same writing team as Believe but was directed by Rob Bowman, which made all the difference.
Ultimately, I wasn’t expecting much because the last half of the “X-Files” series had so little to offer; it needed to take a hard left after the first movie, to shake up the formula and re-invent the cosmology to keep us guessing. It didn’t — it just kept serving up the same underwarmed recitation of “as you know, Bob” cheesecloth-filtered entries from “The Small Dull Child’s Encyclopedia of Cryptozoology and Unexplained Yet Still Fantastically Boring Phenomena,” shaken not stirred with weepy philosophical angst that makes a 13-year-old’s bad emo poetry sound like god damned fucking Schopenhauer. Such angst had seemed kind of engaging for a few seasons in the mid ’90s, had slowly broken my will, and ultimately left me twitching on the floor begging never to hear anyone ask anyone why they can’t accept the remote possibility of paranorm– AHHHHH!!! STOPSS IT!!! IT BURNSSSS USSSS!!!! — or suggest that the truth is, you know, a big deal and it would probably, like, really freak you out IF I WOULD FUCKING BOTHER TO TELL IT TO YOU, but I’d rather just wander off into the dark while you’re looking the other direction.
This is more of the same. Carter and company have put together one of their blander Monster of the Week episodes, stretched it to a couple hours, and utterly wasted the talents of Amanda Peet and Billy Connolly. Even the 11th-hour arrival of Assistant Director Skinner to save the flashlight-illuminated night while Mulder is passed out on a slab can’t get me worked up, and I think even the die-hard X-files slashheads are going to be disappointed.
Incidentally, when you search “I Want to Believe” in IMDB, the first non-X-files hit you get is “I Can’t Believe I Took the Whole Thing 10,” a porn movie from 2006 directed by a guy named “Brother Love.” I think that’s what I’ll watch next time instead.