The Daily Stream: Time To Fight The Future With The X-Files Movie

(Welcome to The Daily Stream, an ongoing series in which the /Film team shares what they've been watching, why it's worth checking out, and where you can stream it.)

The Movie: "The X-Files" (AKA "The X-Files: Fight the Future") 

Where You Can Stream It: Hulu

The Pitch: Agents Mulder and Scully make the leap from the small to the big screen as they investigate government cover-ups, mysterious goo, weaponized bees, aliens, and of course, their innate horniness for each other. The truth is out there, but remember: trust no one.

Why It's Essential Viewing

Do young folks these days know what a huge deal "The X-Files" was? I don't know. It's not like the show has become obscure, fading from all our memories. There was even a somewhat recent (and kind of bad) revival. Still, it's worth repeating that back in the 1990s, "The X-Files" was a cultural powerhouse; the type of buzzworthy oddity that had fans from all walks of life. Week after week, we would turn in to watch FBI Agents Mulder (David Duchovny) and Scully (Gillian Anderson) investigate the supernatural. Mulder was the believer – or, more accurately, he wanted to believe. Scully, in contrast, was the skeptic; a woman of science who didn't put much stock into aliens, or monsters, or flukemen. They were polar opposites, and that's what made them such great partners. It also helped that Duchovny and Anderson had crazy chemistry with each other; we wanted to watch them solve mysteries, and we wanted to watch them bone. 

With "The X-Files" popularity ever-increasing for a time, a movie was inevitable. Series creator Chris Carter had hoped to end the show after season 5 and continue the story with a series of movies. Fox didn't like that idea – they wanted more seasons. So Carter and company had to craft a movie that was a bridge between seasons 5 and 6, but also a movie that was accessible enough for audiences who didn't watch the show. That's no easy feat, but the end result – a film that's called "The X-Files" in its opening credits, but is also sometimes called "The X-Files: Fight the Future" – does the job nicely. There's enough in the movie for super-fans of the show, and at the same time, if you had only a basic knowledge of the series – "FBI agents chase after the unexplained!" – you could easily watch the film without a problem. 

"The X-Files" movie starts out with Mulder and Scully already fired from the FBI's X-Files, something that happened at the end of season 5. They're still working for the feds, though, and they end up investigating an office building bombing. Mulder, being Mulder, starts to suspect there's more to the bombing than meets the eye. And he's right! The blast was meant to cover up info pertaining to a vast conspiracy involving aliens colonizing earth. 

These days, conspiracy theories have seeped their way into the mainstream, making them dangerous. Back in the "X-Files" era, though, they were fringe ideas that we could all laugh at. I miss those days. But I digress. After the bombing, Mulder and Scully are thrown head-first into an adventure that takes them all around the country as they try to get to the truth. They're constantly in danger, and, more importantly, they're constantly on the verge of smooching. And that was a very big deal. At the time the show was on, everyone had one question: "When will Mulder and Scully kiss?" The film addresses this question in a cheeky way, having the agents almost lock lips before a weaponized bee (yes, really) stings Scully and messes the whole thing up. Thanks for nothing, weaponized bee. 

"The X-Files" movie isn't readily available these days. You can buy a crappy-looking DVD on Amazon for about $14, or you can spend a whopping $45 for the Blu-ray. Or, you can now watch it now on Hulu.