1990's, Armin Mueller-Stahl, Blythe Danner, David Duchovny, Gillian Anderson, John Neville, Martin Landau, Mitch Pileggi, Rob Bowman, Science Fiction, The X-Files: Fight the Future, Thriller, William B. Davis
The X-Files: Fight the Future
- David Duchovny as Fox Mulder
- Gillian Anderson as Dana Scully
- Martin Landau as Dr. Alvin Kurtzweil
- William B. Davis as Cigarette Smoking Man
- John Neville as Well-Manicured Man
- Mitch Pileggi as Walter Skinner
- Armin Mueller-Stahl as Strughold
- Blythe Danner as Jana Cassidy
A cinematic outing for the hit television show, The X-Files: Fight the Future is a very successful transfer to the big screen filled with action, unusual moments and credible atmosphere, with a larger scope and budget than television can provide It proves that not all television transfers to the cinema screen are unsuccessful.
Mulder and Scully have both been reassigned since the closure of The X-Files at the end of Season 5. They are now working on a case involving a bomb threat to a federal building in Dallas. Although they manage to locate the explosive, it still goes off due to a mysterious insider. The duo is then used as scapegoats for the explosion, as it is revealed that at least five people perished. With the agency breathing down their necks and the possibility of the two being separated from working together, Mulder and Scully are in a real quandary of what to do. Meanwhile, a mysterious doctor named Kurtzweil, who claims to have known Mulder’s father gives him information that the dead bodies that were found in the explosion where in fact dead before the event. The bodies, as Mulder and Scully discover belong to a young boy and a number of firemen who encountered the Black Oil deep in Texas, which completely takes over the body and will eventually become known. Kurtzweil explains that The Syndicate covered up these deaths by staging the explosion that would make Mulder and Scully accountable. Although they aren’t supposed to be investigating, Mulder drags Scully onto this mission and what they uncover is massive. As the conspiracy builds, all the evidence begins to fall into place as the colonization plan of the nefarious Syndicate, containing the Cigarette Smoking Man, that has been unfolding becomes subtly known and more dangerously deadly than both Mulder and Scully imagined it ever would. It is something that could in essence bring about a new Armageddon. With the duo getting ever closer, the clock is ticking to discover the full extent of the conspiracy as they travel from the heat of Texas to the snowy depths of Antarctica.
There was always going to be a worry that a show as successful as The X-Files wouldn’t make the transition to the silver screen. But Rob Bowman, who has directed a number of episodes on the show, makes Fight the Future a tense, action-packed spectacle that alleviates any worries about whether the show could do it. The answer is a resounding yes as Bowman’s direction rewards the fans with some answers but makes it still a thrilling movie that non-fans can appreciate. Given a larger scope and canvas, the results are astounding and blend what is so successful about the show and gives them a healthy dose of action with the cinematic treatment. Visually, Fight the Future is a sheer winner, with production design and cinematography capturing the sense of danger, mystique and grandeur that the film requires. From an attack of infected killer bees swarming to Mulder and Scully being chased through a crop field and a cool climax within the confines of an icy Antarctica lab, Fight the Future delivers all this in spades. Now I would say that a bit of prior knowledge may be useful when watching the film as the plot is complex and convoluted. But it isn’t to an extent where people who haven’t seen the show can’t enjoy it, it can easily be seen as a well-constructed conspiracy thriller. Thanks to creator Chris Carter’s script that is filled with trademark banter between the agents, unusual events, grotesque horror and a deep sense of tangible danger, Fight the Future never loses you for a second. Composer Mark Snow contributes an eerie score, complete with the signature theme tune played in various parts in different ways that compliments the strange atmosphere of the film and gives it immense tension to burn.
As the two main characters that everyone has come to love as a team, David Duchovny and Gillian Anderson are brilliant as ever. David Duchovny strikes the right balance between Mulder’s wonderment and his charm, that isn’t afraid to go far beyond what he thinks he can do. Gillian Anderson fares just as well as Scully, the cool-headed but conflicted partner who tries to be rational but can’t always explain what she encounters. The chemistry is still very palpable and probably more so on the big screen as it adds yet more depth and care to the bond that they share with each other, that is under threat but as strong as ever. They are truly one of the best teams on television and now movies. Martin Landau is excellently cast as the paranoid informant Kurtzweil who puts Mulder and Scully on the tail of the conspiracy with his twitchy knowledge and mysterious appearance. Reprising his role from the show and onto the big screen is the creepy and villainous presence of William B. Davis as Cigarette Smoking Man. Just like on the show, he is a shady character who you will just love to hate. Also returning is John Neville as the now weary Well-Manicured Man, who has had a crisis of conscience at his part in the scheme and attempts to put a stop to it and make amends via Mulder. Mitch Pileggi is back as Skinner, who is trying his best to keep his agents confident in what is a dire situation for all involved. In small but memorable roles as both a questioning government official and a sinister member of The Syndicate, Blythe Danner and Armin Mueller-Stahl are well-suited to the parts.
A well-constructed cinematic venture for Mulder and Scully, The X-Files: Fight the Future is an excellent film that keeps the winning essence of the show and gives it plentiful doses of cinematic magic and spectacle.