Stephanie Zacharek’s X Files 2 review for Salon about sums up my feelings on the movie.
I was impressed at how understated it was, feeling much more like a familiar small screen affair than the explosion filled blockbuster attempt of Fight the Future. Obviously there’s a much smaller budget (and audience) for the X Files in 2008, but Carter and Spotnitz play it to their advantage, creating a dark, intimate world for their main characters to explore. I also appreciate that these characters haven’t been frozen on a shelf since the series finale– they have changed, and we aren’t privy to what has occurred in that gap. It becomes another mystery for the audience to unravel.
Unfortunately, I doubt this is the type of film that will be a box office (or critical) success. The multitude of in-jokes and weighty history might not detract from the plot for the uninitiated, but without them, Mulder and Scully’s motivations could appear impenetrable. The quiet, snowy dread (welcome back Vancouver) has nothing on the billion dollar visual spectacle of The Dark Night. Ultimately, The X Files 2 begs for an outlet that doesn’t have to compete for theater goers with FX-laden billion dollar blockbusters, or require watering down to capture a weekly television audience of new viewers. Perhaps Chris Carter should take a page from Joss Whedon’s book.