The X Files (1998) starring David Duchovny, Gillian Anderson, John Neville, William B. Davis, Martin Landau, Mitch Pileggi, Blythe Danner directed by Rob Bowman Movie Review

The X Files (1998)   4/54/54/54/54/5

David Duchovny and Gillian Anderson in The X Files

Spooky Goings On

"The X Files" the first movie to have spawned out from the popular TV series, and superior to the much later "I Want to Believe", delivers everything which made the TV series such great entertainment. From multi layered storylines, conspiracies, twists, men in suits, the continuing belief of Mulder in little green men and much more. It is 2 hours of great entertainment, delivering thrills, suspension, tension, humour all which keeps you glued to what is happening. You don't really need to have watched the TV series to enjoy it although with character histories carrying over into the movie it certainly helps.

With the X Files being closed down FBI Special Agents Fox Mulder (David Duchovny - Return to Me) and Dana Scully (Gillian Anderson) are assigned more normal duties which find them in the thick of it when a bomb destroys a building in Dallas. With the prompting of the mysterious Alvin Kurtzweil (Martin Landau), Mulder and Scully find themselves thrown into a new government conspiracy as they try to unravel what is really going on leading them from Texas to Antarctica and pitting themselves against a clandestine group of men in suits determined to stop them before they find the truth.

The X Files (1998) starring David Duchovny, Gillian Anderson, John Neville, William B. Davis, Martin Landau, Mitch Pileggi, Blythe Danner directed by Rob Bowman Movie Review

The storyline is a gloriously multi-layered affair which leads you into a deepening journey of government conspiracy as Mulder and Scully become entwined in a plot to cover up some affairs. It's masterfully done with the initial bomb explosion scene and the mysterious Alvin Kurtzweil paving way for Mulder to probe into what is really going on, dragging Scully with him. It has to be said on one level all of this does seem like far fetched conspiratorial nonsense, but it is all the conspiracy which makes the movie work. It's clever because one thing leads to another, and whilst some links are more outrageous than others, it delivers a sense of believability. Even the occasional plot hole or forced assumption becomes minor because the way it draws everything together.

But it is all the sense of thrill and action which makes "The X Files" such an entertaining movie. With men in suits working together to cover up certain things, there is a great sense of mystery about things and like a jigsaw it slowly pieces everything together delivering a great amount of intrigue. It delivers atmosphere in the bucket load, especially when Mulder and Scully become so entwined in all the mysterious conspiracy that their lives becomes threatened. Even when it feels like becoming far fetched it still delivers the tension to make you get passed what seems like complete nonsense.

What really helps is that you can appreciate and enjoy "The X Files" without having an in-depth knowledge of the TV series. For the most it works as a standalone movie and it is still entertaining without any prior knowledge of the characters. But then on the other hand if you do have some prior knowledge it does make it an even better film as when the smoking man, skinner or The Lone Gunmen appear you not only know their significance but their appearance makes it all the more an X Files production.

As for the performance well they are excatly what we have come to expect David Duchovny provides both drama and a bit of quirky humour as Fox Mulder and Gillian Anderson is as dramatic as ever as Dana Scully, with the pairing transferring the chemistry from the TV series to the big screen perfectly. William B. Davis is ominous as ever as The Smoking Man and Mitch Pileggi is great as Assistant Director Walter Skinner. Adding to the atmosphere is Martin Landau as the slightly mysterious Alvin Kurtzweil.

What is pretty special about "The X Files" is that it is one of those rare occasions when a popular TV series has managed to venture on to the big screen without losing anything which made it so popular on the small screen.

What this all boils down to is that "The X Files" is a movie which will definitely appeal to those who were fans of the TV series but still has enough about it for those who have never seen it. It may at times feel a little far fetched but then but it is also so well crafted that it leads you deeper into a world of intrigue and mystery that it's very easy to loose focus on the nonsense and occasional plot hole, instead getting wrapped up in the atmosphere and tension.