Maybe I Didn’t Want to Believe As Much as I’d Originally Thought

journeysteveperry.jpgSomehow I’d gotten the idea that the new X-Files movie was about werewolves. I think maybe I mis-heard “Wendigo” when someone was saying, “When did it go horribly wrong?” So if you go see the movie expecting werewolves or yeti, you’re going to be disappointed.

Of course, if you go see the movie at all, you’re going to be disappointed. It’s really not very good. But at least it’s educational. I learned:

  • Much of West Virginia is covered by icy tundra and snowdrifts several feet high.
  • Except for the skyscraper-filled cities.
  • You don’t have to be any kind of specialist to perform neurosurgery, you just have to know how to google for “stem cell research.”
  • Experimental stem cell procedures are surprisingly easy to get green-lit in a Catholic hospital.
  • And the stem cell samples are so easy to get, you can be on the operating table the same day you come up with the idea.
  • Same-sex marriage inevitably leads to mad science.
  • When performing transplant surgery, it’s important to get the correct blood type, so the patient doesn’t reject the donor head.
  • People with rare blood types wear MedicAlert bracelets to advertise that fact, even when their blood type is the universal receiver.
  • In West Virginia, public pools are segregated by blood type.
  • You can shave off a thick beard without trimming it first, as long as you avoid the spirit gum.
  • People’s arms can give off psychic vibrations even after their head has been severed.
  • Dana Scully is steamin’ mad at pedophiles, and she’s also amazingly good at reading mailbox addresses at night during one of West Virginia’s frequent blizzards.
  • “Reaper” must be filmed in Canada, since one of the guys from that show has a small part in the movie. I already knew Leoben as our gay Russian villain was Canadian, and I was expecting the Kids in the Hall and Alanis Morisette to show up any minute.
  • “The X-Files” only worked when it didn’t take itself seriously.

Considering how the movie completely falls apart if you think about it for even a second, it’s surprising that the biggest complaint isn’t that it’s ludicrous, but that it’s so dull. But that’s really how “The X-Files” always worked — the production values and performances were always high enough to make you believe it was smarter than it really was. And Mark Snow’s ever-present keyboard would lull you into a false sense of significance.

That, combined with the brilliance of the occasional Darin Morgan episode, would distract you from the fact that an awful lot of the series was just Mulder and Scully standing around having exasperatingly pointless conversations that are meant to sound meaningful. But at least back then, there was genuine appeal to the characters; in I Want to Believe, they’ve had all the charisma drained out of them as if they’d been exsanguinated.

As an added bonus, here’s what I learned from the trailers: