The actual case ends up being rather standard fare when it comes to the X-Files, and runs a bit like a procedural cop show. That in itself is one of the main reasons so many critics have been bashing the film, prompting one reviewer to say “After ten years this is the best Chris Carter could come up with?” Of course, you can find out all you need to know about that reviewer by his mention of the incorrect time-gap since the show ended. Say what you will about the storyline, long-time fans of the show know that more often than not, it isn’t about the case. Usually the particular case the agents are investigating is used as a secondary plot to advance the relationship between Mulder and Scully. Because when it’s all said and done, that’s what the “X-Files” is about, two very different people who started working together in 1993 and forged a unique bond due to the experiences and trials they faced together. This new film is no different. Sure, the case may be a bit under whelming and might not break new ground, but it allows us to watch the Mulder-Scully dynamic continually evolve: Mulder still stubborn and desperate to believe in anything remotely outside the box, and Scully steadfastly searching for a normal life away from the darkness she was forced to look into while working on the X-Files.
It may seem like I’m just trying to justify my reasons for liking a bad movie, but that’s not the case at all. I honestly believe that to many people who haven’t seen the show, the greatness of the film, what makes it work, will be lost on them because of their lack of time with the imaginative series. Even though Carter said the movie can be enjoyed by anyone, whether or not they’ve seen the show, those who have will appreciate and understand the little touches, whether it’s the mention of Scully and Mulder’s son William (who Scully was forced to give up for adoption in the ninth season of the series) or the handful of pencils stuck in the ceiling in Mulder’s office. Fans of the other recurring characters on the show will be a bit disappointed, Assistant Director Walter Skinner (played by Mitch Pileggi) is the only series regular to make an appearance. Gone are John Doggett (Robert Patrick) and Monica Reyes (Annabeth Gish), two agents who became an integral part of the show in its final two seasons.