“The X-Files: I Want To Believe” – Susan Granger reviews

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There are no alien abductions, no space invaders, no conspiracy theories, nothing spooky or supernatural – just Mulder (David Duchovny) and Scully (Gillian Anderson) at odds over whether a pedophile priest really has the psychic ability to solve a string of grisly murders.

A female FBI agent has gone missing in snowy West Virginia and the only ‘lead’ investigating Agent Dakota Whitney (Amanda Peet) has revolves around Father Joe (Billy Connolly), a convicted, excommunicated pedophile priest who leads them to a severed arm that’s buried in an icy field. Glowering Agent Mosley Drummy (rapper Alvin ‘Xzibit’ Joiner) is sure the allegedly clairvoyant priest is a phony but he does seem to have an inexplicable psychic connection to what’s happening, especially when another local woman vanishes without a trace. So Dr. Dana Scully is summoned from her full-time hospital practice–she’s desperately trying to save the life of a young boy who is dying of a rare brain disease–to find her erstwhile partner, Fox Mulder, now an isolated, bitter recluse, distrustful of the Bureau where he and Scully worked for so many years.

Mulder believes in parapsychology; Scully is skeptical. So what else is new?

Writer/director Chris Carter, who created the original “X-Files” series, and his co-writer Frank Spotnitz toss in religious issues, faith, psychotic Russian entrepreneurs, even experimental stem cell research. Yet it’s basically a routine crime drama–think “C.S.I.: West Virginia– that’s only heightened by the undeniable on-screen chemistry between David Duchovny and Gillian Anderson, neither of whom have been able to successfully parlay their TV fame into individual screen careers. On the Granger Movie Gauge of 1 to 10, “The X-Files: I Want To Believe” is an all-too-familiar 5. Some things never change.

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Susan Granger

Susan Granger is a product of Hollywood. Her natural father, S. Sylvan Simon, was a director and producer at R.K.O., M.G.M. and Columbia Pictures; her adoptive father, Armand Deutsch, produced movies at M.G.M. As a child, Susan appeared in movies with Abbott & Costello, Red Skelton, Lucille Ball, Margaret O'Brien and Lassie. She attended Mills College in California, studying journalism with Pierre Salinger, and graduated from the University of Pennsylvania with highest honors in journalism. During her adult life, Susan has been on radio and television as an anchorwoman and movie/drama critic. Her newspaper reviews have been syndicated around the world, and she has appeared on American Movie Classics cable television. In addition, her celebrity interviews and articles have been published in REDBOOK, PLAYBOY, FAMILY CIRCLE, COSMOPOLITAN, WORKING WOMAN and THE NEW YORK TIMES, as well as in PARIS MATCH, ELLE, HELLO, CARIBBEAN WORLD, ISLAND LIFE, MACO DESTINATIONS, NEWS LIMITED NEWSPAPERS (Australia), UK DAILY MAIL, UK SUNDAY MIRROR, DS (France), LA REPUBBLICA (Italy), BUNTE (Germany), VIP TRAVELLER (Krisworld) and many other international publications through SSG Syndicate. Susan also lectures on the "Magic and Mythology of Hollywood" and "Don't Take It Personally: Conquering Criticism and other Survival Skills," originally published on tape by Dove Audio.