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Serenity --- Joss Whedon brings Firefly to the big screen

Jan 10, 2006
Review by  
Rated a Very Helpful Review

Pros:acting, some great special effects, good story

Cons:not a satisfying ending

The Bottom Line: Serenity is a very good science fiction movie about a ship of rebels 500 years in the future.

Plot Details: This opinion reveals minor details about the movie's plot.

Most people started noticing Joss Whedon back when he worked on Buffy The Vampire Slayer. When he created the television show "Firefly" his following grew even more. But, his television series didn't end up lasting very long, and lost with it were the stories of the main characters. That was until Whedon was given the go-ahead to film a movie based on the series. That movie is Serenity, and it brought the story of a group of rebels in the future to a wider audience. The reason the film ended up being made, was that the DVD sales and cult-like following of Firefly even after it was cancelled was so great. People really wanted the show to come back, and the next best step was going to be a feature film depicting the same storyline. To view the movie though, you don't have to be a fan of the show, because it can stand up on its own.

Serenity opens with an escape attempt by a brother and sister who are being aided by a group of 6 rebels. The brother (Dr. Simon Tam) has been working on the ship in order to win their favor, and get close enough to rescue his sister (River Tam) from the Alliance. They plan to use her as a sort-of super weapon, and she will end up serving as a tool to help them with their militaristic goals. Trying to create a Universe of peace through force is what their intentions really are, but there are some people out there who still think their methods are wrong. 500 years in the future, Earth has run out of space, and people are spreading around to many planets. Inhabiting new worlds, and creating livable environments on each one of them is what the Alliance does, and soon they appear to be the most powerful force in the galaxy. You could almost think of them as The Empire in Star Wars, except this Alliance thinks they are creating a better life for everyone.

Of course caught in the middle of everything is a rag-tag crew of 6 that inhabit the ship Serenity. All 6 of the characters are interesting to watch, and they each have their own unique personality that adds something to the story. Leading the group is Captain Malcolm 'Mal' Reynolds, played by actor Nathan Fillion. He is really the type of guy that anyone hurtling through space would want in charge. He knows how to have a good time, has a great sense of humor, and is willing to put his life at risk for any one of his crew members. He does however put them all at risk when he takes on the two siblings. At first they really have no idea what they are carrying, and are unaware of exactly what this 19 year old girl is capable of. Through all of the tests the Alliance had put her through, they have pretty much groomed her into a killing machine that could snap at any moment. Now the trick for the crew is to get away, while at the same time protecting themselves from what this girl could do to them.

The film is a cat and mouse game, where the crew serves as mice being chased by one mean cat. Chiwetel Ejiofor plays The Operative sent by the Alliance to stop at nothing while tracking down River Tam. She has memories that could level the Alliance, and having her on the lose is not something they want. If you saw the film Four Brothers you saw Ejiofor as the lead bad-guy Victor Sweet. He is quite good in this film as someone who appears to not have a conscious, instead tracking with the sole intent to eliminate everything standing in his way. He works because he is told to, and knows nothing else. Through spectacular action sequences, and a lot of intense ship flying and fighting the chase is on through all of space.

Serenity is an exciting film, that actually shocked me at how well it was filmed when I first starting watching it at home. The scenes in space are so well done that you would assume they cost a fortune to make, but it only cost a total of $40 million to make the entire film. The attention to detail was very grand, and it is one of those films where when action is taking place between ships, you have to watch it twice just to get a handle on how much is taking place. That makes it so exciting to watch, and makes the movie well worth seeing a second or even third time. The story has a strong base, and you don't really have to be a fan of the show to take a chance on the film. The only draw-back that I ended up finding was that the ending wasn't as satisfying as I had hoped, but I assume that is leaving a lot open to have more films if this one had given a better showing at theaters. I still highly recommend giving this one a chance though, and it is one of the better Science Fiction films that have come out in a while.

Recommend this product? Yes

Viewing Format: DVD

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