Saturday, December 27, 2014

A Ghoul Versus X-Files: I Want To Believe (Part 2)

Click here for Part 1!

Amanda and Xzibit go to search their office, Mulder going with them and leaving Scully behind. This is the part of the movie where I realized I was utterly bored. I just can't believe the team that made the X-Files was behind this, it was always one of the slickest and most engrossing shows on all of television. You could say the same thing about the, first movie, but this one... it's torture. And the worst part is there's still have an hour to go.  AN HOUR.

Xzibit and his men search the office while Amanda and Mulder wait outside. Leoben, carrying an organ transplant bag, sees the FBI agents are quietly sneaks out. However he is spotted by Amanda and Mulder outside, dropping his bag and running off. They chase him in a VERY long sequence that unfortunately doesn't go through the back of busy restaurant, but instead winds up at a construction site.

Leoben manages to lose Mulder and gets the drop on Amanda, pushing her down an empty elevator shaft to her death. I sure am glad they gave her significant screen time for ABSOLUTELY NO REASON! Back at the offices, Xzibit opens the medical bag that Leoben dropped and finds the missing agent's head inside. Mulder meets with Scully at the hospital, where she tells him Joe has advanced lung cancer. They go to visit Joe, who has had a vision of Leoben. Scully shows him a picture of Baldie, whom Joe recognizes as one of his victims. He thinks that was his connection to the FBI agent, God sent him visions to save her. Scully asks Joe if the FBI agent is still alive, he replies yes. She looks knowingly at Mulder.

Leoben returns to the Russian lab, yelling at everyone. The entire scene is in Russian and not translated, so I have no idea what he's saying. The camera shows us Baldie now has a woman's arm where his severed arm was. Wait, what? Mulder tries to follow up on the animal tranqs by checking the local feed store. He sees Leoben's plow pulling up, realizing that must be the kidnapper as Joe mentioned a plow in his visions. Mulder follows him in his car rather obviously, but I guess he's been out of the FBI for years so I'll forgive him for being so stupid. If I were to stop and point out every single lapse of logic Mulder displays in this film, this would end up being twenty pages.

Leoben somehow notices the car that's RIGHT BEHIND HIM and ends up pushing it off the road with his plow. The car rolls down a small hill that I guess is too far for Leoben to go make sure he's dead so he just leaves him. Chris Carter sneaks into Scully's office and plants a file that'll get this ponderous plot moving because he can't think of any other way to do it. That's not a joke, he's literally sitting outside of her office. He wrote himself into a corner and had to get personally involved to try to fix this hot mess. The file shows Russians doing experiments on dogs that involve cutting the head off one and placing it on the body of another to keep it alive. Chris Carter then sends Scully a fax with some pictures, including one of a two headed dog. Scully calls Mulder but only gets his voice mail, so leaves him a message detailing this. She concludes by saying “Mulder, the FBI agent's alive.”.

Um, huh? NO SHE'S NOT! Xzibit has her severed head, something you damn well know! This line makes no sense at all, I had to watch the entire movie again to make sure I didn't miss something, something I did NOT appreciate. Was this a scene they shot and then rewrote the script and just didn't catch it in editing? Maybe Cheryl was secretly an FBI agent and they just didn't tell us, because the FBI agent in the beginning is damn sure dead. What the hell Chris Carter?!? Scully then calls Xzibit for a scene that is SO hilarious I had to transcribe it.

“I've been trying to find you for hours. I can't reach Mulder!”
“Is this Dr. Scully?”
“Yes, it's Dr. Scully.”
“Well, where is he?”
“If I knew that, I wouldn't be calling.”
“Dr. Scully, I'm gonna suggest you call the police. This is not an FBI matter.”
“Listen to me! I need your help!”
“I'm sorry, I can't help you.”

I was laughing out loud at this part. I can just see Chris Carter sitting in his office writing this and then getting distracted by a squirrel outside or something. Hell, maybe a squirrel wrote this. Mulder climbs out of the wreckage of his car (actually on my second viewing I saw it was Scully's car, wonder if her insurance covers her fugitive boyfriend getting pushed off the road by a guy who's kidnapping women to chop up to keep his husband alive?) and starts walking down the road. Further up, Leoben's plow gets stuck in the snow or dies or runs out of gas, I don't know. All that matters is he abandons it and goes on foot. Mulder finds it and takes a wrench out of the back, so at least he has a melee weapon until he can find a gun.

Leoben talks to his husband, as we see his head has been sewn onto a woman's body. So wait, I'm lost. I'd say it's safe to assume his head is now on the body of the OH SO DEAD FBI agent, so what was with cutting his arm off earlier? It was clearly a male arm that was cut off, and that scene earlier showed he now had a female arm like it was supposed to mean something. But now that seems to say he didn't just have a female arm but had an entire female body.

What is the point of all this? They say some of those body parts are years old, so this has being going on for quite some time. This better have a very logical answ- hahah, I couldn't even say that with a straight face. As the Russians prep Cheryl for surgery, Mulder enters the area and is attacked by a two headed dog. The barking alerts Leoben, who goes to investigate. He finds the dog beat up and footprints leading towards the building. Back down the road, we see Scully has called in her old FBI boss Skinner for help and they soon find the wreckage of her car. Mulder bursts into the lab as the baddies are about to cut off Cheryl's head, already having removed Baldie's and put it on ice.

Mulder waves his wrench around, ordering them to stop. But since he's not very competent in this movie, one of the doctors injects him with the animal tranq. Scully and Skinner drive down the road when Scully has him stop at some mailboxes. She see looks at the boxes, seeing one of them is numbered 25-2. GASP, JUST LIKE JOE SAID EARLIER! Damn Scully is lucky that'd she'd happen to notice almost impossible to read numbers on a mailbox in the dark of the night.

Back at the Russian lab, Leoben has dragged Mulder into an area where they chop up the bodies. ...for some reason. What do they do with the parts of the body they don't throw into the ice? Leoben realizes Scully is running late, so he decides to chop up his husband's ex-female body (never thought I'd ever say that) instead of killing Mulder. Because, yeah, THAT makes sense.

He cuts her up, turning his attention to Mulder. Fortunately he timed it out perfectly so Scully is able to arrive in time to smash him in the face with a piece of firewood to save her man. Meanwhile Skinner enters the lab, and the scientists respect his gun way more than Mulder's wrench. Skinner locks them in a kennel as Scully arrives, horrified at what she sees. She gets to work saving Cheryl. We jump to Scully's house, where Mulder is back in his Room Full of Crazy and adding new articles to the wall. She tells him Joe has succumbed to his cancer. Chris Carter, suddenly realizing this wasn't an X-Files story at all, throws in some quick dialogue about how Baldie had lung cancer too and they died at the exact same time, but too little too late there Chris.

They yammer on and on about Joe's words to “not give up” and how it applies to their lives. There are some good lines in here, but they get weighed down by all the other hammy bad ones. They kiss, as Scully leaves to go do the procedure on Christian because she still has her faith dammit! Goodnight Fox and Dana. Please don't make a third movie.  Cue the credits, which are definitely the best part of this movie not because it means this nightmare is finally, finally over but they're full of production photos that are pretty fun. Plus they're set to UNKLE's awesome song “Broken”.

Oh we're not done though, as we get one of the most nonsensical stingers in stinger history. We see Mulder and Scully in a rowboat rowing towards a lovely tropical island. O... kay? Maybe it's the island from Lost where they can find a paranormal mystery to solve cos they sure as hell didn't find one in this movie.

What a difference a decade makes. Fight the Future was an indecipherable but wonderfully thrilling story with killer acting all around. I Want to Believe is a bland, boring, and VERY non X-Files story with mostly terrible acting all around. It's pretty obvious Duchovy and Anderson have moved on from these characters and phoned pretty much everything in, although to be fair you do see the sparks they once had from time to time.

The story is more a police thriller than paranormal, and the scraps of paranormal stuff we do get is completely recycled from old episodes. Scully thinks a psychic with a dark past is a fraud but then maybe starts believing him? Seen it already! Hell, they even reference the episode in the movie like reminding us of better times will somehow make this movie good.

I can't count the number of times we've seen young women kidnapped by an evil man who keeps her alive while he plans to do something horrible to her. The whole reveal was so stupid, and quite confusing as I still don't understand parts of it. Or actually any of it. Baldie was dying of cancer so they kept transplanting his head to different bodies, this process only works for a few weeks before they have to transfer it to another one.

They've been doing this for years, and I guess they're just going to keep doing it forever? You think at some point someone would notice dozens of people are missing. We also learn this process only works with a rare blood type, what do they do when they can't find anyone? It's also weird they use women, do you think Leoben and his husband have sex when he's a woman?

Did it bother anyone else that a pedophile who molested 37 boys was portrayed as almost a sympathetic hero in this story? Scully was rightfully disgusted by him, but everyone else was like “eh, whatever”. Why did he have to be just a vile character? What did that add to the story, besides that he molested one of the bad guys? They try to justify it with a throwaway line about God giving him a chance to make it right, but since it's just speculation it's meaningless.

Which brings us to the whole Christian subplot. It was there to test Scully's faith and have her come out stronger for the experience, and was told in the most blunt and obvious manner possible. Let's see, in the first seven seasons I think they did that at least thirty times. I think we've gotten the message already Chris, faith is important. It's just amazing how much of the movie they devoted to this padding on such a rail thin plot.

I can't even think of a single positive this movie had besides the inventive closing credits. This even looked terrible, it was shot so bland and dark. And I do mean dark, this could go toe-to-toe with Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince for worst lit movie of all time. I give this a STRONG avoid at all costs, even the most hardcore X-Files fan stuck in the 90s couldn't find anything of value here.