It's been six long years since Fox Mulder and Dana Scully closed their last X-file, but neither of them appears much worse for wear in their second movie outing, The X-Files: I Want to Believe. Show creator Chris Carter, who directed and co-wrote the script, has decided to strip things down this time around - no alien abductions, no Cigarette Smoking Man, no conspiracies involving everybody from J. Edgar Hoover to E.T., just man in all his depravity and the greatest extraterrestrial of them all, God. Luckily, having at least one foot on the ground turns out to be a good thing. If you want to get truly lost, you'll just have to watch Lost.
When the movie opens, Mulder (David Duchovny) himself is lost - AWOL, underground, hiding out. But Scully (Gillian Anderson), now a pediatrician, convinces him to work on one more case, if only to get him out of the house. That's right, they're living together! No more of those meaningful glances over a pool of green goo. And what Carter's done is zero in on their relationship - Mulder's need to believe, Scully's need not to and the resulting compatibility issues. Love, it turns out, is yet another unexplained phenomenon.
But so, at first, is the disappearance of several young women, including an FBI agent. And the reason Mulder's brought back in is because a defrocked priest (well played by Billy Connolly) is having visions of their whereabouts. Psychic connection or fraud? What do you think? Either way, the explanation is suitably sordid, and the movie really sinks its teeth into issues like guilt and redemption, forgiveness and belief. "Seeing is believing," Scully would say, but sometimes you have to believe to see. And although I was never that big a fan of the show and thought the first movie was only okay, this one made a believer out of me.