The X-Files: Fight the Future (1998) Halloween Advent

Rating 15
Length 2h02
Release 21.8.1998
Director Rob Bowman
About Two FBI agents set out to unravel a government conspiracy related to the alien colonisation of Earth and attempt to rescue the people on the planet.
Moon: Full moon at 33 minutes in
Where to Watch: Disney Plus
Trailer:

Trick

  • There’s not enough Mitch Pileggi. There is literally never enough Mitch Pileggi, but it’s still very true here. He sort of bookends the film and then pops up one or two more times. It’s weird to see him in a role where he’s not the one in charge.
  • The Lone Gunmen are used poorly. They’re nothing more than lip service and its a real injustice. While I’m sure the actors were happy to appear on the big screen, they could have played a bigger, better, part.
  • Due to this being a film, set between series, there’s an element of setting the scene for none fans. It’s why there’s two segments before getting to Mulder and Scully. For the tv show, a cold opening works. It doesn’t here and, even as a fan of the show, I’m restless until our protagonists appear.

Treat

  • This movie really does give the fans some epic pay offs for five years of mythology content. Cigarette Smoking Man has a B-plot thread and the Well-Manicured Man shows his true-ish colours. The whole thing not only gives us answers, but it adds gravitas to the mythology.
  • There’s something more to this than it being an episode story with extra time. The budget is bigger, so the plot is able to take us beyond what we’d ever see in even a multi-episode arc. The set pieces are bigger, better and serve the plot well.
  • David Duchovny and Gillian Anderson prove that they are made for the big screen; their chemistry, their character portrayal and story arcs are still able to shine through despite the grander scale; not many actors would be able to do the same.
  • The horror comes from the rather oddest part in this movie. It’s not the extra-terrestrial or the plot that comes with their existence, but the actions of the group that both the Cigarette-smoking Man and The Well Manicured Man belong to. The lengths that they’ll go to cover things up is truly terrifying.

Final Thoughts

The only shame is that Fox Studios wouldn’t allow Chris Carter to follow through with his plan of a number of movies following this one. Its a good watch for this time of year and it works well to watch outside of viewing the series.

The Craft. Legacy (2020)

Rating: PG
Length: 1h 41
Release: 19.8.1994
Dir: Chuck Russell
About: An eclectic foursome of aspiring teenage witches get more than they bargained for as they lean into their newfound powers.


The Good

  • The cast was spot on, especially the four corners of the new Coven. While we perhaps didn’t get as much background on all of the individual players as I would have liked, its a testament to the actresses that I wanted to know more about each one.
  • David Duchovny was an excellent choice as the ‘spooky’ new man in Lily and her mum’s life. He’s again a character I would have loved to have seen a little more of.
  • The character of Timmy, while at the outset seems like a stereotype, becomes this relatable and refreshing look at the antidote to toxic masculinity.
  • In the same week that Lily Allen attempts to break the taboo on female self love, The Craft Legacy presents us with a casual masturbation scene. Something I would not expect from an American film and again is something that is powerful, empowering and handled so very well.

The Bad

  • The trio of brothers are not developed enough and lack any development. There’s something lacking that gives them purpose. In fact, I would go so far to say that the biggest flaw of this film is its character development. When it comes to the brother’s; they disappear by the time we get to the final act. Which is no bad thing because I couldn’t really tell them apart. They all had that moody Edward Cullen thing and I can’t even recall if any of the three spoke in full sentences.
  • It is not necessarily the casting I have an issue with, but I do feel like MM’s character should have been one of the original coven. I almost feel, by the time the credits roll, the character was originally written with one of the original actress’ in mind, but they chose to pass. I mean, just take a look at the actress playing Lily and tell me she doesn’t look like the offspring of Sarah’s Robin Tooney.
  • With David Duchovny, I do feel like they were going for a Lost Boys sort of approach, but there was a lack of commitment to really make it work or have it impact the plot in any way.

The Ugly

  • One of the defining, or iconic, aspects of the 1996 original was that epic soundtrack. At one point, I had thought the soundtrack that everyone listened to was a thing of the past, but then Guardians of the Galaxy came along and reminded us all of what we were missing. Maybe its a sign that this film is for a younger audience, but as the target demographic of the original; we’re watching it too and this music flatlined.
  • Sequel, soft reboot, cash-in reboot? Well, the creators have given their word that it’s a sequel and, if you’ve seen the trailer, that seems to be confirmed. My issue being the nods to the original are too heavy handed to be considered ‘Easter eggs’ and the diversions from the original story lack any sort of quality to elevate it from being a pale imitation.
  • It’s not long enough for what was trying to be achieved. It’s way too long, too bloated and lacks any connection to the characters. I feel as if this idea would have been executed in a better way in a mini series of 10 or more episodes. Basically the Locke & Key treatment. Make the brothers more involved and give the audience more of a reason for these girls to be the outcasts. Give me more Timmy and give his story a resolution.

Final Thoughts

It was a fair watch and relatively painless. Unfortunately, I do feel like this is suffering from a similar fate to Prometheus in the sense that the decision to make it a sequel came way to late in production and those like-minded will feel a little cheated out of that ‘legacy’ aspect.