The X-Files may have been off-air for 11 years but the fanbase for the show is still strong. After originally debuting in the US in 1993, the show went on to become one of the biggest science-fiction shows of all-time following the adventures of FBI Agents Fox Mulder (David Duchovny) and Dana Scully (Gillian Anderson). The show last for 9 seasons and produced two spin-off movies with its last outing in 2008. Amazingly the show has never been released on Blu-ray and up until the past few weeks only one of the movies had been.
For the show’s 20th Anniversary, 20th Century Fox have finally released 1998 movie Fight the Future and re-released 2008 sequel I Want To Believe. The two movies can be purchased individually but it’s the limited edition steelbook that is likely to get fans in a lather. Before we dig into the actual films themselves, let’s talk a little bit about the packaging for the release. The steelbook is beautifully presented with a minimal design on the front and back featuring images of Mulder and Scully. The front has a border which looks pretty cool and makes the steelbook look pretty chunky. Inside, the case is backed with a still featuring the two FBI agents which is a nice little touch.
The two movies that were spun-off from the show are wildly different stories. Fight the Future, which was the more successful of the two, acted as a standlone movie between seasons 5 and 6 of the TV show. Long-time fans of the show obviously get more out of the movie as there are plenty of nods to the complex mythology of the series but the movie didn’t alienate first-time viewers either. The plot finds Mulder and Scully caught up in a government cover-up related to the mysterious black-oil that was seen several time throughout the series. After a building explodes killing several people, the agents secretly come together to prove that the explosion was part of a cover-up and try to save their jobs.
2008 movie I Want To Believe came some years after the end of the TV show. Instead of returning to the mythology of the show, the film was a standalone thriller with Mulder and Scully returning to help the FBI after a fellow agent is kidnapped. With the help of a convicted child molester (Billy Connolly) who claims to have psychic visions, the agents are drawn into a dark and gruesome mystery. I Want To Believe was met with mixed reactions from critics and fans upon its theatrical release. Whilst it wasn’t as good as the first movie, we still really enjoyed it and it was a real joy to see Mulder and Scully on the big screen again after all these years.
The key to The X-Files has always been the dynamic between lead actors David Duchovny and Gillian Anderson. In both of the movies the two actors give superb performances giving fans the chemistry they loved in the show. Of course Fight the Future was down between seasons but the chemistry is still there in I Want To Believe with Duchovny and Anderson sparking together on-screen. Fans revisiting Fight the Future will find a lot of joy in revisiting some of the series’ shadier characters who pop up throughout including the Well-Manicured Man (John Neville) and of course the Cigarette Smoking Man (William B. Davis).
Extras for the release are extended versions of each movie, a variety of audio commentaries and lots of behind-the-scenes footage spread over several featurettes. There’s a lot of additional content for fans to watch which is a great bonus.
This limited edition steelbook release is a must-have for fans of The X-Files. Whilst the two movies may vary in quality, we love both of them and like that they each try to do something different. Hopefully this release will finally pave the way for the full series to be granted a Blu-ray release, which is something we’ve been waiting on for years. There’s talk at the moment of a third X-Files movie with Gillian Anderson recently appealing to fans to campaign for it. Show creator Chris Carter has promised a new movie would return to the extra-terrestrial mythology and we have our fingers crossed it will happen.