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X-Files Fights the Future

With the proliferation of TV series being turned into major motion pictures, it was probably inevitable that the spooky adventures of FBI agents Fox Mulder and Dana Scully would make it to the big screen - and thereby back to the little screen again via home video.

And make it they did. 20th Century Fox put good production values into "X-Files, Fight the Future," an outing sure to please X-philes while also being accessible to non-fans and "X-phobes." Sure, the story's weird - how could it be a true X-Files episode if it weren't?

The movie opens 35,000 years ago, when Mulder and Scully were very, very young, with a close encounter between - well, we won't say lest we spoil the fun. Zip ahead to present day and you'll find Mulder and Scully on a bomb detail, but of course Mulder knows better than anyone where the bomb really is (and, of course, he's right!).

Unfortunately, the bomb goes boom, but the ever-suspicious Mulder discovers that it wasn't urban terrorists behind the blast - it was that pesky government again, trying to destroy evidence that would have played right into Mulder's X-Files.

On the whole, "Fight the Future" is a pretty good example of the series, though we can't figure out how Mulder and Scully got out of Antarctica at the end. That part seemed more than a bit contrived, but then again, this isn't supposed to be a reality-based show...

There's action and intrigue a-plenty, and some nice special effects sequences, especially the Antarctic surface giving away behind our heroes and the destruction of the office building. Some of the effects are also a bit contrived - for instance the alien ship/outpost bears more than a passing resemblance to the Krell labs from Forbidden Planet, with more than a little "Alien" alien mothership thrown in for good measure. Perhaps these were deliberate homages on the part of the filmmakers, 'cause we noticed the Tunisian setting at movie's end was a definite homage to the planet Tatooine of Star Wars fame.

Since the film has a larger budget production than the average TV episode, the producers had the opportunity to use a wider variety of locations (and better sets, etc.) than usual, and they've put the money to good use.

Most of the cast is familiar, and turn in their expected performances. Martin Landau shows up in a supporting role as a doctor with a penchant for conspiracy theories (boy, is he in the right movie!), and pulls off his part with his usual aplomb.

X-Files is a decent example of the DVD medium, too. The version we saw, a preproduction "screener" was only available in 2.35:1 widescreen, which is a shame, but it offered a nice documentary on the making of the film, complete with cast and crew interviews and behind the scenes stuff.

From the documentary, it looks like they had a lot of fun making this film...

You also get three (count 'em!) theatrical trailers.

A separate audio track gives you a running commentary by producer/creator/writer Chris Carter and director Rob Bowman (both of whom also perform the same function on the TV show), and the movie's English language soundtrack is available in Dolby Digital and Pro Logic. We have a feeling it's really just Pro Logic, though, because while the Dolby Digital light on our DVD player came on, the Pro Logic light on our receiver also came on.

The French soundtrack is only in Pro Logic.

Audio and video quality are excellent, as one would expect from a disc featuring THX digital mastering. There didn't seem to be a lot of signal coming from the surround tracks, but that's no reason to avoid seeing the film.

Since we had a "screener" with no packaging, we can't comment on the liner notes.

"X-Files, Fight the Future" probably won't go down in history as a classic, but it's an enjoyable thrill ride that accomplishes what it sets out to do: entertain.

"The X-FIles, Fight the Future" from 20th Century Fox Home Video
approximately 122 minutes, widescreen (2.35:1)
Starring David Duchovny, Gillian Anderson, Mitch Pileggi, Martin Landau
Written and produced by Chris Carter, Directed by Rob Bowman. Rated PG-13


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Updated May 13, 2006