The X-Files: I Want to Believe
is the second feature film based on The X-Files
, released in 2008 (a full ten years after the first
It features series protagonists Fox Mulder and Dana Scully long after they abandoned the FBI and the X-Files; Scully is a doctor at a Catholic hospital concerned about the treatment options offered to a dying boy, and Mulder, still on the lam, lives as a hermit under Scully's protection, doing little more than collecting paper clippings. They are offered a chance at redemption, however, when the FBI requests their help in finding an old comrade, who has herself gone missing while investigating a series of mysterious disappearances. They are aided by an ex-priest and convicted pedophile
named Father Joe, who claims to receive psychic visions of the victims directly from God
, and about whom the agents have conflicting feelings.
The film is a stand-alone work in the tradition of the show's Monster of the Week
episodes, and does not revisit the series' famous — and still unresolved — Myth Arc
. At the box office, it was met with a thundering "meh" and received generally mediocre scores
from film critics. Franchise creator Chris Carter
had stated his intent to wrap up all dangling plotlines in a third film (to coincide with the supposed end of the world in 2012), but since I Want to Believe
went out with a whimper, the series' future is uncertain.
The X-Files: I Want to Believe provides examples of the following tropes: