The Serenity Review
So I got invited to see an advanced screening of Universal Pictures Joss Whedon production "Serenity". Serenity is based on the cancelled "Firefly" series from the Fox network. I don't have to tell you the track record Fox has when it comes to cancelling quality television. I personally think the show didn't get the proper chance to develop an audience. But I digress. There are plenty of sites that will tell you the full Firefly story. This is about the movie.
Let me first tell you where I'm coming from. I am not a diehard Firefly fan. I am not a "Browncoat", as those who live and breathe the series are most often called. I have seen a total of 5 episodes from repeats on the SciFi channel. I can't exactly tell you why I didn't get into the show when it first aired on Fox. I don't remember. I can tell you that I am much impressed with the quality of writing that comes forth from the mind of Joss Whedon. The emotion that comes through his characters makes you feel for them. You really understand what they are going through, good or bad, and it makes for a better viewing experience.
The movie introduces most of the main characters immediately. For those familiar to the cast, that same humorous and understanding tone is still present. In fact, if this movie wasn't action, scifi fair, it would make a good lighthearted comedy. But the PG13 rating suggests otherwise. If you are new to this universe, it may take a few minutes to get into the swing of things. But not long. Like I said, I'm no Browncoat.
The film progresses at a steady pace, and never gets boring. There are the obvious lulls where dialogue takes place, but they are soon replaced by explosions, fights, or exciting spaceflight. The storyline is quite believable. Which is why I was praising Whedons writing talents. Although there is obviously not as much time to develop characters as there is in a tv show, Whedon does a good job quickly showing most of the characters strengths and weaknesses so that even a new viewer could appreciate them.
The interesting thing about Serenity, and Firefly itself, is that it combines the vision of science fiction, and the gritty, dusty world that only a western could lend itself to. If you like either genres, then you will definately enjoy Serenity. I definately did. I do plan on seeing it again, and I will be purchasing the TV series dvd set.
I know that this review is a bit minimalist, but I am trying to prevent myself from having to issue a spoiler alert. What you really need to know is that Universal did us all a favor by allowing Joss Whedon to continue his vision of this band of rag tag bandits for hire and their barely held together spaceship that they call home. Just expect great writing, a easily followable plot, explosions, gunfights, love, family, an evil villian, a healthy dose of humour, anger, despair, loss, and redemption. Both fan and non fan alike will get this. If you are a fan of the show, then be prepared to laugh, scream, hate, love, and cry. Even after watching only a few episodes of the series, I fell for the characters. So I do suggest watching the original series at some point. Pre or post movie. You'll thank me later.http://www.serenitymovie.com
Joss Whedon, the Oscar® - and Emmy - nominated writer/director responsible for the worldwide television phenomena of BUFFY THE VAMPIRE, ANGEL and FIREFLY, now applies his trademark compassion and wit to a small band of galactic outcasts 500 years in the future in his feature film directorial debut, Serenity. The film centers around Captain Malcolm Reynolds, a hardened veteran (on the losing side) of a galactic civil war, who now ekes out a living pulling off small crimes and transport-for-hire aboard his ship, Serenity. He leads a small, eclectic crew who are the closest thing he has left to family –squabbling, insubordinate and undyingly loyal.