Sunday, June 15, 2014

Sundays with the X Files - Fight the Future Movie

I actually own this bad boy on video cassette!  Not to spoil the review jump the gun but I really love this movie and feel like it works well as a cinematic event.  It was mostly filmed before season 5 started shooting but it was released after season 5 which had some pretty big implications for that season many of which I didn't like.  But in the end it was probably worth it to get this awesome film.


Shortly after the devastating end of season 5 is when the movie begins.  The X Files have been shut down and in fact destroyed by the CSM.  Mulder and Scully are at a crossroads, professionally and personally when they stumble across some unusual circumstances during the bombing of a federal building in Texas.  They end up investigating. Unofficially.  There they find a whole lotta government obfuscation and conspiracy.  Its epicenter is a cave where a little boy and a handful of firefighters have been infected by the alien blood which we saw at the start of the film, infect some neanderthals in this same cave 10,000 years ago when the alien was a living creature.  Mulder has been told by a former colleague of his father's, Kurzweil, that the government conspiracy is about orchestrating a controlled colonization by an alien race.  

Meanwhile, Scully is questioning whether this is still the life she wants to be leading but she becomes engaged again briefly when she discovers that the alien protein poses a serious health threat.  But when she is transferred to Salt Lake City, even that discovery can't stop her from quitting and Mulder tries to convince her not to leave by smooching her face off. Well almost. Instead she gets stung by a bee and kidnapped while Mulder is shot.  Well-manicured man shows up and fills in the blanks for Mulder.  The virus was the original life form on the planet and the syndicate has been working to offset an alien colonization.  He indicates that Mulder's father chose Samantha for the program  - to become an alien-human hybrid -  so she would survive.  He also offers him Scully's location and a vaccine to save her life. 

And we're off to the Arctic!  I LOVE when they go to the arctic.  Good thing cold temps slows down the alien virus - as our heroes frequently end up there!  Mulder does a number of truly alarming things that would have given me major panic attacks but he stays calm and ends up in a massive underground bunker(a huge and alien looking place) with lots of people on ice, including Scully.  This is literally like the most daring rescue EVER.  They get out just in time for a big ass mother spaceship to rise out of the ice and fly over their heads.  Scully sees none of it of course. 

Scully convinces the panel who's been conducting the investigation into the federal building bombing to re-open the X-files.  Scully's committed again and pumps Mulder back up.  For the third time in the movie, Mulder looks like he'd like to smooch her face off.  It ends with the CSM in the Tunis desert -"He's but one man. One man alone cannot fight the Future."  Maybe so, but the X Files are re-opened bitches!

Other Random Notes:
- The aliens here are really truly bad ass and frightening.  As one of the character says, "So much for little green men."  The black oil is their blood. Or not - it's worse than the black oil.
- Mulder is REALLY good at bluffing his way into things.  He's got swagger.


MULDER: "Whatever happened with playing a hunch Scully.   The element of surprise, random acts of unpredictability? If we fail to anticipate the unforeseen or expect the unexpected in a universe of infinite possibilities, we may find ourselves at the mercy of anyone or anything that cannot be programmed, categorized or easily referenced. (pause)  What are we doing up here, Scully it's hotter 'n hell."

When Scully tricks Mulder into thinking they are locked on the roof. I love when she exhibits her sense of humor:0) "I had you big time."

SCULLY: "Just pick up the phone and make it happen."

SKINNER:  "They want to know why she was in the wrong building?" MULDER: "She was with me."  Pretty much encapsulates Mulder and Scully's relationship. 

BARTENDER: So, what do you do?  MULDER: I'm the key figure in an ongoing government charade, the plot to conceal the truth about the existence of extraterrestrials. It's a global conspiracy, actually, with key players in the highest levels of power, that reaches down into the lives of every man, woman, and child on this planet, so, of course, no one believes me. I'm an annoyance to my superiors, a joke to my peers. They call me Spooky. Spooky Mulder, whose sister was abducted by aliens when he was just a kid and who now chases after little green men with a badge and a gun, shouting to the heavens or to anyone who will listen that the fix is in, that the sky is falling and when it hits it's gonna be the shit-storm of all time. (Shockingly the bartender cuts him off after this little speech)

KURZWEIL (to Mulder who is urinating): "I bet that's what the FBI is accusing you of.  Standing around holding your wank while bombs were exploding."

TUNIS GUY speaking of Mulder: "Then you must take away that which he holds most valuable.That with which he can't live without." Shift scene to focus on Scully:0). 

MULDER: "Five Years together when have I been wrong." Scully stays silent. MULDER: "Never. ...Not driving anyway."

SCULLY: "Any idea why anyone would be growing corn in the middle of the desert? MULDER (referring to the two lighted domes at the center of the field): "Those could be giant Jiffy pop poppers."

Mulder: What's wrong?
Scully: Salt Lake City, Utah. Transfer effective immediately.
[Mulder turns away, can't seem to believe this is happening.]
Scully: I already gave Skinner my letter of resignation.
Mulder: You can't quit now, Scully.
Scully: I can, Mulder. I debated whether or not even to tell you in person, but ...
Mulder: We are close to something here! (turns in his chair to look at her) We're on the verge!
Scully: You're on the verge, Mulder. Please don't do this to me.
Mulder: (gets out of his chair and walks over to her) After what you saw last night, after all you've seen, you can just walk away?
Scully: I have. I did. It's done.
Mulder: I need you on this, Scully.
Scully: You don't need me, Mulder. You never have. I've just held you back. (He looks hurt; she looks away and turns to leave) I gotta go.
Mulder: (follows her into the hallway) You wanna tell yourself that so you can quit with a clear conscience, you can, but you're wrong!
Scully: (stops, turns to face him) Why did they assign me to you in the first place, Mulder? To debunk your work, to rein you in, to shut you down...
Mulder: But you saved me! As difficult and as frustrating as it's been sometimes, your goddamned strict rationalism and science have saved me a thousand times over! You've kept me honest... you've made me a whole person. I owe you everything, Scully, and you owe me nothing. (Scully looks shocked at this admission; her eyes fill with tears) I don't know if I wanna do this alone... I don't even know if I can ... and if I quit now, they win.
[Scully begins crying silently; leans into Mulder; he wraps his arms around her. She closes her eyes and leans on his shoulder, crying. She pulls back and kisses him on the forehead; rests her own forehead against his, still crying. Mulder slowly pulls her face back so he can look at her, his hands resting on the back of her head. They look into each others' eyes; slowly begin to lean forward to kiss; their lips barely touch when Scully suddenly jerks and grabs the back of her neck.]
Scully: Ow!
Mulder: (seems to think he did something wrong) I'm sorry.
Scully: Something stung me.
Mulder: (grabs the bee from her collar and holds it between his fingers) Must've gotten in your shirt.
Scully: Mulder... something's wrong.
Mulder: What?
Scully: I'm having lacinating pain in-
Mulder: (in shock) What?
Scully: -my chest.
Mulder: Scully...
Scully: My motor functions are being affected.
Mulder: (her knees give out; he catches her) Scully... (he gently lays her on the floor)
Scully: My pulse is thready... a funny taste in the back of my throat...
Mulder: I think you're going into anaphylactic shock.
Scully: No... I have no allergy.
[Mulder runs into his apartment and dials 911.]
Mulder: (on phone) This is Special Agent Fox Mulder, I have an emergency! I have an agent down!
The whole of Scully's rescue particularly as Mulder is carrying her through the crumbling edifice and evil looking aliens are about to break out of the ice all around them. Mulder looks like he wants to try smooching her face off again.

When Scully places the bee on the table in front of the judging panel and says: "I don't believe the FBI currently has an investigative unit qualified to pursue the evidence in hand."


Mulder is just starting to believe again when the X Files are shut down.  He's bored to tears but driven to get back in the game.  Scully's hanging in there as long as she's still partnered with Mulder but when it looks like they are to be split up, she's done.  She is also feeling insecure, after seeing Mulder work with Diana Fowley and because I think she sees herself as the plodder next to Mulder's genius.   It's what drives her speech at his apartment, why she says she's just been holding him back.  She loves him and she really has no idea how he feels about her and she's not certain whether she is doing any of this for herself anymore. Her speech is what drives Mulder to finally FINALLY, express how important she is to him.  Yes, she's constantly second-guessing him and challenging him but that's what makes him work harder, find more and better proof.  Without Scully, he would have long ago been completely relegated to crackpot hood.  It's a great moment between them and not just because I'm a shipper but because it's also an important moment for them professionally.  It is the recognition of how essential they are to each other both professionally and personally.  Of course we have to wait another year before Mulder will try to kiss her again.  And this will not be the end of this conflict between them - Scully wanting out and Mulder reeling her back in.  It is in fact much of the premise of the second X Files movie which happens ten years down the road. They are opposites in so many ways that share intelligence and a curiosity about the world but the opposition while being their greatest strength also causes a lot of conflict.  As Scully says: "Please, don't do this to me." But he always will because he needs her.

Final Verdict

While you could argue that the movie is a little out of the stream and key elements of it are ignored moving forward in the series, many ideas are not forgotten.  It's one of the better mythology focused stories, there is LOTS of character and relationship development and it has some incredible effects which make it feel suitably cinematic.  I love the whole set in Antarctica and the jiffy pop poppers in the corn fields.  It's got a great payoff, motivating Mulder and Scully to put up with whatever crap they have to in order to be able to continue to pursue the truth.  "If I quit, they win."  I've seen the movie perhaps ten times or more and it still holds up as one of the better "episodes" of the X Files.

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