It's a tough thing to come back after 6 years. Skepticism and expectation are your greatest opponents. Chris Carter took full responsibility by writing and directing the second feature length movie. Stars David Duchovny and Gillian Anderson have matured considerabley, but still show much of the chemistry they had in the series.
In this installment, Fox Mulder(Duchovny), is an outlaw, living in a far out cabin with his once F.B.I. partner, Dana Scully(Anderson). They are now life long partners six years after the events of the series. Scully passes along an offer made by the F.B.I. to forgive all chrages of the past if he will come in and work a case where the only lead to a missing Agent is a psychic, Father Joseph Crissman. The two agents in charge, Dakota Whitney(Amanda Peet) and Mosley Drummy(Xzibit), are skeptical because Crissman also happens to be a pedophile living in a dorm for those who have committed and served time for Sex-Crimes.
Mulder approaches with skepticism himself, but Scully verbally attacks Crissman, having had a child in the past and carrying scorn for people of faith who may try to use it to try and gain some sort of salvation. She is scornful and loses all tact. Mulder is drawn into the plot when Crissman leads the F.B.I. to body parts belonging to different people and then cries tears of blood. Scully believes that Crissman is an accomplice and wants nothing to do with working the case, even if Mulder is devoted to it. This time, she isn't biting on Mulder's quest like she's done so many times in the past. She has trouble of her own. She's a Medical Doctor and a child is awaiting his fate, based on what she does next.
When a tie between the suspects and Crissman is found, Mulder on his own. Pitted against a group of people who are stealing human organs for some gruesome purpose, Mulder is finally led to the end by following his own instincts.
Chris Carter has created a mythology around the X-Files, but his attempt here is not to dive into that mythology. Instead, he wants to rekindle an old passion that started back in 1993 with the introduction of a series that many believed wouldn't last more than a single season, but one that instead lived on to see 9 years and a feature film. While the series ended on a heavily complex note, Carter seems convinced to bring this episode back to a time when it was simple. Mulder and Scully solve X-Files. These are cases in which the suspects and/or witnesses possess some odd and unexplainable power or ability. It's what the essence of X-Files is and anyone who watched the show's first 5 seasons would recognize it.
That being said, Carter may have cut off a large part of the audience he was trying to reel in. The mythology of the show ran events for the four years following the first feature film and now he's cut it out for this movie. One would argue that it was necessary to do this because we haven't seen Mulder and Scully in 6 years. Another would argue that it doesn't matter because it isn't a reimaging of the project, it's a continuation. So, should we move forward?
As a fan of the series, I would say I was expecting to see a combination of both. It didn't happen here. I was happy to see Mulder and Scully on the screen again. They truly belong there and so does the X-Files. Even Mitch Pileggi came back and played his part again. It was an eerie story and it definitely held my attention. I walked away pretty darned happy, but wondering if there should have been signs of Robert Patrick and Annabeth Gish, who basically took over the series in the final two seasons.
This isn't new ground here, but rather like watching an upgraded version of a Season One episode, where Mulder and Scully try to lead lives without the horror of studying cases that give them nightmares. The story is about them for sure. It's not an action movie. X-Files never was about action. The X-Files was about mystery and drama. It was eerie and it was dark and although it isn't quite as effective as before, that is what this film captures.
I look forward to The X-Files 3