What’s it about: The X-Files hits the big screen…
Moment to Watch Out For: In a moment that pays off the audiences patience, Mulder and Scully finally work up to that kiss we have been longing for. Not before he admits that she has kept him honest and that he owes her so much for her loyalty to him. Without her he probably would have given up long ago. Never mind the implausibility of the bee surviving until this long in Scully’s hair, the sting that cuts between their moment of intimacy is a real blow for the audience. I can remember the cinema erupting as soon the moment was broken.
Orchestra: Note perfect, Mark Snow deserved the crack at the movie score and merely extends what he already achieves with the TV show. His work has always erred towards the cinematic so he is right at home writing the music for the film. As Mulder and Scully go driving through the desert, Snow provides an ambitious and sweeping re-imagining of the series’ theme tune. Listen as he bashed out his frustrations on a piano as Mulder and Scully are pursued through the corn field. I feel sad for him that he never got to score an actual alien invasion of Earth because I have a feeling he would have done an amazing job.
Result: Visually stunning, dynamic and full of memorable set pieces this might be, but Fight the Future for all it’s cinematic bluster is merely an extended TV episode with an increased budget. That’s fine, if you’re a fan of the show then what you want to see is more of the same but with (marginally) better production values. What a newcomer would make of this film defeats me as very few concessions are made for the fact that this takes place in the heart of a tangled and garbled arc story with a list of ingredients as long as my arm. The film doesn’t so much have a linear narrative but is instead constructed out of set pieces bolted together by elements of the shows mythology. It isn’t really a piece of storytelling because there is no clear progression of plot, which renders a conclusion moot. It’s not a film with a beginning, a middle and an end because it takes place near the conclusion of a convoluted story arc – it’s a movie with a middle, a middle and a middle. The beginning is the first five seasons of the X-Files and the end is the two part mythology story in the middle of the next season. When I saw Fight the Future in the cinema I was pissed as a fart so much of the story washed over me whilst I was whooping with joy at the more spectacular action pieces. What Carter has done here is actually pretty devious, he has managed to produce a film script with apparent revelations about the planned invasion of the Earth by using all the information that we have already gleamed from the five seasons that precede it. Looking at the bigger picture we learn nothing new about the conspiracy arc that we didn’t already know, it’s just that it is packaged in such a comprehensive way it is made to appear as if we are getting all the answers that we have sought since the show began. Whilst they had the money and time this was the perfect time to stage the apocalypse and it would have given Carter the chance to tie up the conspiracy plot and kick start a whole new era for the show with the sixth season. As a result the movie feels like it is on the cusp of something fantastic but is too afraid to deliver it. I don’t want to give you the impression that I didn’t enjoy Fight the Future because any five minute segment is gorgeously shot and acted and hugely entertaining to watch. I just feel that it was something of a missed opportunity, when the conspiracy arc was going to be concluded in the next season anyway why not use this opportunity to go out with a bang. I personally feel that Two Fathers/One Son outshines Fight the Future in practically every way, not least because it does have an ending. Other pluses include some fine Mulder and Scully interaction, a dramatic send off for John Neville’s character, some genuinely spine tingling moments featuring the scariest alien the franchise has ever presented and the breathtaking sequences on an alien ship that conclude the movie which are unlike anything we have ever seen before. Containing all the elements you would want from an X-File film and yet not everything it could have been, Fight the Future is sporadically brilliant and disappointing and as such serves as a good example of the two extremes of the TV series. Flawed but fun: 6/10