Logline: FBI Special Agents Fox Mulder and Dana Scully investigate a global conspiracy to colonize the Earth with extraterrestrial life.
In 1993, Chris Carter’s science fiction series The X-Files premiered on the Fox network and became a cultural phenomenon. The series included a mix of stand-alone episodes involving a wide variety of paranormal phenomena and mythology episodes that focused on an ongoing storyline involving extraterrestrial life and a government conspiracy. This plot thread served as the basis for the first X-Files film, The X-Files: Fight the Future.
Released in the summer of 1998, Fight the Future was written by series creator Chris Carter and directed by Rob Bowman, who had directed many episodes of the television series. Fight the Future was designed to appeal to both fans and new comers alike and for the most part, it succeeds. While I feel Mulder and Scully’s adventures are best suited for the small screen, I do appreciate Fight the Future in all of its widescreen glory.
Originally, Chris Carter planned to end The X-Files after five seasons and continue with a series of films. However, because the series was so profitable, the show continued for four additional seasons, not to mention a second film and a six-episode Event Series, which premiered in January of 2016. Fight the Future was released between the fifth and sixth seasons, to a positive reception.
Carter takes full advantage of the bigger budget and the film is epic in scope. The visuals are stellar and hold up to this day. The alien colonization plot is nothing more than a vehicle to explore the central relationship between Mulder and Scully. Their love for one another is strictly platonic at this point but the emotional bond between these two is undeniable.
Ultimately, Fight the Future is a movie for the shippers. It teases fans with the ever-growing sexual tension between the agents. The ultimate tease occurs during a scene in which Mulder and Scully nearly kiss before Dana collapses to the floor. David Duchovny and Gillian Anderson are wonderful and have such incredible chemistry onscreen that much of the joy lies in simply watching them interact. My only wish is that Anderson had more to do. She spends a lot of the film incapacitated.
Fight the Future adds little to the overall mythology of the series. However, it is an entertaining “popcorn movie” that reminds fans why they fell in love with Mulder and Scully in the first place.
Rating (out of ****): ***