Better than I feared, but not as good as I hoped.
It felt like CC took some half-formed idea for an episode and then added nine million scenes of Mulder and Scully looking sad and contemplative to make it movie-length. I wish they had cut out some of the boring "We aren't FBI anymore! But we must save the girls! But the DARKNESS is CONSUMING us! WAHHH!" scenes and spent more time on the actual X-File, which would have been pretty interesting if they had spent more than 20 minutes of the movie on it.
From what I can tell, Callum Keith Rennie (who, this movie wants you to know, is SUPER RUSSIAN, like, they should have just named him Russian Guyovich and been done with it) was killing people and selling their organs on the black market. And was helping some crazy doctor do stem cell tests, so his husband could get a new body that didn't have lung cancer. And some psychic, who had molested the husband as a child, was having visions of the kidnappings. Possibly some cloning happened, too, but I cannot be sure!
The best five minutes were the five minutes that Skinner was on screen. His powerful awesomeness caused even the twenty-something frat guy sitting in front of me to "WOO!" at the screen when we first saw his face.
Because I am nothing if not lazy, here is a bulleted list of thoughts:
- Why was Russian Guyovich kidnapping WOMEN so he could attach his dying HUSBAND'S head to their bodies? (PS: The first thing I thought when we saw the guy's detached head with the tubes in it was "'Doesn't he need lungs?' 'No, he's got neck juice!'" Thank you, MST3k!)
- What was up with the SEVERED ARM?
- Were the Russians just trying to attach one person's head to another's body, or was there some cloning stuff going on there? Why would Scully think the FBI agent was still alive if the head in the cooler WASN'T cloned?
- Mulder's beard: who thought that was a good idea?
- The picture of Bush and the theme song: too meta.
- Scully needed a hot oil treatment like woah. Also, I just didn't like her hair in general. It was not very Scully-ish to me.
- Not a SINGLE MENTION of the alien apocalypse that's going to go down in four years? I find it hard to believe that the Mulder and Scully we knew from the series would just be like "Whatever, let's go live in the middle of nowhere and do nothing!" with that information.
- I was unaware that the FBI could just "forgive" federal murder charges, but what do I know?
- I was so afraid that the boy from the hospital was going to turn out to be William.
- When did Scully become a brain surgeon?
- Thank God Mulder was knocked unconscious; Mulder maintaining his senses for any length of time would have been totally OOC!
- Again, not cool that Mulder and Scully just decide to paddle out to the middle of the ocean for a vacation when there is an alien invasion looming. Maybe if they had done some throwaway line like, "Hey, Krycek and Marita are handling the resistance by themselves for a couple weeks, let's get out of here!" but, alas, NO. NOT OKAY, GUYS. I get that CC was trying to make the movie accessible to people who didn't watch the series religiously, but I doubt a few lines showing that they remember that we're all going to die in a few years is going to alienate people, especially when they're throwing out mentions of William and Mulder's murder charges without explanation, which are plot points a casual audience is WAY less likely to know about than the fact that there are aliens.
All in all, it was basically a really long sort of mediocre episode. It wasn't BAD, but it suffered from being not that great in a way that mostly just made me nostalgic for the REAL Mulder and Scully of seasons 1-6, who would totally not whine as much as the Mulder and Scully of IWTB.
PS: Clone Wars looks lame, you guys.