X: Files I Want to Believe is based on the blockbuster television series, which ran from 1993 to 2002. The series, about two FBI agents Fox Mulder and Dana Scully who explore paranormal phenomenon, was a superb blend of mystery, weird happenings and things that go bump in the night. Mulder's faith was offset by Scully's skepticism and viewers stayed firmly locked in a Twilight Zone, never sure what they should believe.
I want to believe in the second movie spin-off from the series and for a while at least, we all want to believe. Director and co-writer Chris Carter begins on a somber and suspenseful note - an FBI agent is abducted, a hacked-off arm is found buried in snow and the only one who seems to have any clue about what is going on is a convicted pedophile priest who has visions of the crime and the victim.
Mulder and Scully who are no longer with the FBI, are called into help. What follows is a search that leads to nasty trigger-happy Russians, more body parts and barking dogs. For the first hour of the film Carter keeps the pace tight and the mood sufficiently creepy.
It's a thrill to watch David Duchovny and Gillian Anderson reprise their career-defining roles. Both seem weary and wise as they struggle with their faiths and each other. But slowly both the mystery and the film unravel. The pace drags and the big climactic revelation is so B-grade horror, that it is unintentionally funny.
Eventually then X: Files I want to believe is mildly diverting entertainment. See it for the nostalgic value and because there really isn't much else at the theaters this weekend.