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.