Taking a cancelled television series of only after
nine episodes, Whedon has finally realized his dream of Serenity
by adapting the story to the big screen. What this means is that instead
of being a solid film in its own, Serenity is more of a grand sequel to
Firefly and all the fans, or should I say browncoats, who have felt stranded
by the show's sudden cancellation.
In the terms of the tagline 'can't stop the signal,' Whedon has unleashed
a full-budget sci-fi joy ride that should more than satisfy your average
moviegoer; let alone anyone who owns a copy of the Firefly DVD.
Serenity is an unrelentingly fun movie, with enough action sequences,
space combat, guns blazing, hand-to-hand fights and witty lines to carry
you through to the films end.
Serenity Movie Review
Serenity begins with Capt. Malcolm "Mal"
Reynolds (Nathan Fillion) as he pays his debt to an on-board doctor by helping
him rescue his mysterious sister River (Summer Glau). After a few brief
introductions we learn that Mal is the captain of a ship titled Serenity
loaded with a crew of misfits. Even though the ship and crew must do small
crimes against the 'alliance' in order to survive, we quickly learn that
they are typically good people with heart. The only two characters that
Whedon does leave in question is Mal and River.
We are told that River is telepathic, a sense that she showcases repeatedly throughout the film. However, upon command River becomes an uncontrollable weapon without the ability to tell friend from foe. She is also the one that The Alliance wants back so desperately, as the government feels that she may have picked up a secret or two during her stay at a special training facility.
Mal, on the other hand, is where the entire conscience
of Serenity lies. With a past that has led him through the losing
side of a galactic civil war and a massacred squad, Mal is a lost soul looking
for a cause worth fighting for. For the first half of the film we encounter
multiple actions from Mal that have the audience, and his crew, questioning
what type of person he is. Fortunately, Mal finds a reason to go on in River,
which results in him fighting for the betterment of all.
Fillion represents Serenity
with his character Captain Mal
One thing that a lot of sci-fi fans may miss in Serenity is that
it isn't about the technology. Though we encounter many spaceships, transportation
units, weapons and consoles, we are never given a lesson on what these items
are, what they do or even what they are called. Instead, Whedon chooses
to spend a majority of his time on understanding the characters, locations
and the story; which, for me, was a sigh of relief.
If you do not know the Serenity universe before entering the theatre,
have no worries. Whedon offers a brief five-minute introduction that explains
the birth of The Alliance and the current problems revolving in the galaxy.
The technique reminded me a lot of Lord of the Rings but much,
The only issue some may have with Serenity is that it does, at
times, hope that the people in the audience are followers of the television
series that the film is based upon. Having an entire crew means not enough
screen-time to get to know the characters, even when Whedon is trying his
best. Therefore, some may find it hard to have any type of bond with a good
majority of the crew, especially when they are in peril. There are also
a few inside lines and jokes that at least seem like they require some Firefly
history to understand.
Other than that, Serenity is a fun sci-fi adventure that features
enough action, and an impressive body count, that should impress most action
fans as well. Whedon has successfully concluded a series that wasn't given
a chance, and has now opened a wide enough door for a grand return to television
or even a sequel. Judging by the success of both, I say bring on the sequel.