Film / The X-Files: Fight the Future

The X-Files (unofficially, and later officially, known as The X-Files: Fight the Future after its tagline) is a 1998 Science Fiction film based on the popular TV series of the same name. Set between the fifth and sixth seasons of the series, it follows the adventures of Fox Mulder and Dana Scully, a pair of FBI agents infamous among their peers for their investigation of cases that defy a rational or scientific explanation. After failing to stop what seems to be a terrorist bombing in Dallas, Texas, the agents are flung into another government conspiracy regarding the colonization of Earth by alien life forms. Mulder and Scully follow the usual labyrinth of paranormal clues and obtrusive bureaucracies, eventually reaching the Antarctic, where the biggest secret of all lies in store.

A second film, The X-Files: I Want to Believe (though a stand-alone story unconnected to the series' Myth Arc), came out in 2008.

The X-Files: Fight the Future provides examples of:

  • Fairy Tale Motifs: There's a subtle Sleeping Beauty/Snow White thing going on here — a woman in an enchanted sleep, locked in a glass coffin in a fortress guarded by monsters at the end of the world, awakened with mouth to mouth...
  • Government Conspiracy: Naturally.
  • Held Gaze: Before the Almost Kiss.
  • Holding Hands: Scully to Mulder at the end.
  • Human Popsicle: Happens to Scully, in the alien spacecraft at the south pole.
  • Informed Self-Diagnosis: It's simultaneously horrifying and hilarious listening to Scully describe her symptoms in precise medical terms as she goes into anaphylactic shock.
  • Kiss of Life: Apparently Chris Carter's intent was that Mulder reviving Scully with CPR counted as a symbolic completion of the Almost Kiss earlier in the movie. Very few people saw it that way before the DVD commentary explained it.
  • Meaningful Echo: "If I quit now, they win."
  • Moment Killer: That damn bee!
  • Mysterious Antarctica: It's home to a massive underground spaceship full of extraterrestrial tech and live humans being used to gestate alien monsters.
  • Ominous Floating Spaceship
  • Outrun the Fireball: Well, outdrive it.
  • Percussive Maintenance: Mulder can't get his drink out of a vending machine, so he tries hitting and shaking it. Turns out the machine is unplugged — because there's a bomb hidden inside it.
  • Plot Hole: How did Mulder and Scully get back from Antarctica? This was pointed out by enough fans that it was later lampshaded and left deliberately unexplained in the series proper.
  • Race Against the Clock: Mulder has 96 hours to reach specific coordinates in Antarctica, find Scully and administer her with a vaccine against The Virus. Go, Mulder!
  • Reality Is Unrealistic: CGI is used to depict a swarm of bees because a real swarm of bees looked tame and unconvincing on camera.
  • Reassigned to Antarctica: The FBI want to split Mulder and Scully up. They transfer Scully to the Salt Lake City field office, prompting her resignation from the FBI.
  • Say My Name: Both Scully & Mulder yelling for each other in the cornfield.
  • Shout-Out: See the sub-page listing Shout Outs from the whole franchise.
  • Take a Third Option: Will Mulder drive to the left or to the right? He will drive straight ahead through an unpaved road.
  • Take That!: There's a very unsubtle one aimed at Independence Day.
  • Television Geography:
    • The Texas portions of the movie are not exactly accurate.
    • Downtown Dallas looks nothing at all like downtown Los Angeles, where the Dallas portions of the movie were filmed.
    • A suburban neighborhood within view of Dallas has a desert environment — but the Dallas sprawl spreads out so far that the city is too distant to see from any rural area, and North Texas, especially near Dallas, is nearly all grassland, not desert.
    • As Mulder and Scully drive away from Dallas following a mysterious train, the sun sets behind them. It makes a cool lighting effect, but if you drive east from Dallas you end up in Arkansas or Louisiana, not in West Texas or New Mexico as later scenes suggest.
  • 'Tis Only a Bullet in the Brain: Mulder gets shot in the head at point blank range. Apparently it only grazed his skull, because he's off to Antarctica to carry his partner out of a massive alien spacecraft on foot as soon as he wakes up.
  • Title Drop: "One man alone cannot fight the future." Good thing he's got a partner, then.
  • The Infiltration: Mulder's intimidation and smugness tactic worked great on the wet-behind-the-ears recruit guarding the facility Mulder and Scully had to get into to investigate those dead, slimy bodies.
  • The Triple: Mulder's joke when he asks what to buy for drink.
    Scully: You're buying.
    Mulder: What? Coke, Pepsi, saline IV?
  • Turn in Your Badge: The FBI tries to do this to Mulder and Scully, making them scapegoats for a situation where they were actually the heroes.
  • Vengeful Vending Machine: Mulder goes to buy something to drink. He puts money in the machine, pushes a button, then next one, then all of them. He whacks the machine and then jiggles it angrily. He notices that the machine is not plugged and finds out that there is a bomb inside of it. The very bomb the FBI is looking for in another building.
  • The Virus: The Black Oil.
  • Wire Dilemma: Set up when a bomb is discovered in a government building and an FBI agent remains behind to try to disarm it. However, we find out that he actually makes no attempt to disarm the bomb and intentionally lets it explode to preserve a government cover-up.