The X-Files | Chicago Reader

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Only two scenes in this spin-off are worth the time of followers of the TV series about FBI agents Fox Mulder (David Duchovny) and Dana Scully (Gillian Anderson), who investigate inexplicable phenomena, most of which seem to point to the same far-reaching conspiracy. I can't imagine what nonfans will get out of this grandiose story, which mainly crystallizes the idea that the show is a romance about two people in love with their jobs. What's most enthralling about the TV show—the remarkable shifts from childlike earnestness to triple-edged irony—is almost entirely absent, which is surprising because director Rob Bowman is also responsible for more than two dozen episodes of the series, whose creator, Chris Carter, wrote the screenplay. These guys seem strangely unaware that the movie's full of SF cliches and hits the same plot points as the series without expanding on the themes; they even use a method of presenting some back story to nonfans that misfires because its cleverness is something only fans are likely to appreciate. Still, the two good scenes are too good for fans to miss (1998).

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