Saturday, November 10, 2007

Movie Review: Serenity

I was flitting around on Netflix looking for a film to watch as a family when I stumbled upon "Serenity", a 2005 PG-13 science-fiction movie that I totally missed on its theatrical release. Since the reviews for it were uniformly positive I got it for our family movie night and I'm very glad I did. It's a thoroughly enjoyable, adventurous, brisk and action-packed movie with good special effects and crisp dialogue.

The movie is a cinematic adaptation of a short-lived television series called "Firefly". It throws in all kinds of space movie conventions such as a Hans Solo-like ship captain and his crew of characters who get caught up in a galactic fight between good and evil, a pretty girl with psychic powers and "Kill Bill" martial arts prowess that is being chased around the universe, hordes of flesh-eating mutants who look as if they missed the casting call for Orcs in "Lord of The Rings", holographic images that twist notions of reality, and even a sexy robot straight out of "Blade Runner". It treats the audience with a certain intelligence, not stopping the action or plot set-up to explain everything.

The movie has the good-natured adventurous pacing of "Indiana Jones", and I found it a lot more enjoyable than any of the last three "Star Wars" movies. Although there are some scenes of violence, the majority of it takes place just off-camera. I don't remember any particularly offensive language; instead, the characters use made-up but believable curses-of-the-future like "gorram!" Eight-year old Casey got a little freaked out at some of the intense action and "what's-gonna-happen-next" suspense, but pre-teen Lincoln was totally on board.

Apparently, the movie didn't do very well at the box-office. I bet the title "Serenity" (the name of the ship) threw some people off-guard, because the movie is anything but serene. It's a whiz-bang movie with an appealing cast that offers a surprisingly rollicking good time for anybody willing to strap in and hang on for the ride.

1 comment:

TL said...

Serenity is a FANTASTIC movie and was a sci-fi cult classic before it was even released. There is a long history behind the TV series Firefly, which was abruptly canceled in the middle of its first season leaving fans clamoring for more. Eventually the funds came in to create Serenity.

The briefest and highest level vantage point is that the series creator, Joss Whedon (also the creator of Buffy the Vampire Slayer and Angel) wanted to do something that combined his two favorite themes: Science Fiction and Wild West Cowboys. Viola, Serenity.

If you have only seen it once, you havent seen it enough. I recommend watching the entire Firefly box set twice and then Serenity three times. seriously, it rules.