Movie Reviews | Oct 7th, 2005

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Starring Nathan Fillion, Gina Torres, Chiwetel Ejiofor, Alan Tudyk, Morena Baccarin, Adam Baldwin, Jewel Staite, Sean Maher, Summer Glau, Ron Glass
Written By: Joss Whedon
Directed By: Joss Whedon

I’ve been waiting for this movie to come out since I finished watching FireFly DVD the first time, when it was originally released. Since then I’ve seen the show three times and get sad every time I watch it because the series isn’t on anymore. But now there is hope because the movie is now released in theaters and I saw it opening night. I loved the movie but in a nutshell, it’s pretty much a movie for the fans. Which I am, so I loved it!

Serenity takes places a few months after the last episode of Firefly. The crew of Serenity find themselves being chased by an assassin who is working with the Alliance, and trying to find River (Summer Glau), the telepathic nutjob who’s a trained killing machine. Plus Serenity also have to deal with the space cannibals known as Reavers. They eat people alive and do horrible things to their bodies afterwards. Well I guess the crazy people have to eat too…But River is getting worse and worse with her mental breakdowns, and needs to get serious help before she kills someone. Simon (Sean Maher) is River’s brother and starts to worry about Captain Malcolm Reynolds (Nathan Fillion) putting his sister in dangerous situations. Mal is risking his illegal business to help Simon and River hide from the alliance but Simon doesn’t want to be on the ship anymore. But that all changes when they have a run-in with the Assassin (Chiwetel Ejiofor). Along the way, they discover a secret that’s so big that they risk their lives to spread the information.

Serenity was a great movie for fans of Firefly, but ultimately I think non-fans will be a little lost at first. Joss Whedon briefly touches upon some back story in the beginning and then dives into the story. Which I think was Firefly’s downfall because some people were too damn lazy to go out and watch the DVDs before the movie. Which all I have to say is, fuck you then because you’ve had plenty of time to know the characters and the TV series. It’s like going into Return of the Jedi without seeing Empire. It’s just pointless. BUT I think Whedon should have explained some things better with the characters, perhaps even a 5 minutes flashback to the first episode so people can get an idea who everyone is. There’s so many main characters in the movie, I can see how some people would get confused on who’s who. But as a big Firefly fan, I just sat back and watched the movie for what it was. A great sequel to the TV series and it was a nice nod to fans, even though some things fans will be up in arms about. Which I won’t say because it will spoil the movie. I’m not really happy with the way some things turned out and don’t really see the reasoning behind it. But I guess that’s the way the ball bounces, and you have to deal with it.

I’ve always said that Firefly was like a Han Solo spin-off show. Just something about Nathan Fillion playing Malcolm Reynolds just screams Han Solo to me. I think Fillion is a great lead actor and I’m sure he will be getting more parts in the future based on his role as Mal. Actually, a lot of the actors and actresses should get more movie roles now because they are all good-looking and great actors. Especially the females, *growl* BUT Serenity isn’t your typical sci-fi movie because it mixes western with sci fi. Thankfully there aren’t any stupid mutant aliens. Everything is just humans, who happen to live in space, and i’m all for that. I don’t think I would like this show if it had aliens and creatures in it. The movie/series also has a lot of great dialogue and humor to it, which I enjoy a lot. Serenity’s strong point is by far the acting and dialogue. At times, people were laughing so hard at some lines that you missed the follow up jokes to them. But I guess I’ll have to figure out what they said when I go see the movie again. There’s certainly a fair balance between comedy and dark material. I think another strong aspect to the movie is the ensemble cast. That’s what I loved about the TV series, but in the movie it doesn’t work as well. There just isn’t enough time to go over each character and show who they are in the movie. Which is a shame because there are a lot of interesting and funny characters on the ship. Each member does throw out a good punchline or a stand out scene. The action in the film was exciting to watch, and I especially liked the ending with the space battle and the fight scenes at the end, involving the main characters. You can’t forget that bad ass scene with River in the bar too! She can kick some ass!

So, should non-fans see Serenity? Depends, if you know anything about the TV series or any of the characters would be helpful. There is enough in the movie to enjoy it and get the jest of it; but you’ll probably leave the theater scratching your head with unanswered questions. As a Firefly fan, I’m glad the movie is out and glad it was so good! I left the theater depressed but glad it turned out great. The film was dark, had great actions and lots of funny scenes in there too. I just hope people give the movie a chance and see it while it’s still in theaters, and buy the DVDs because I want sequels damnit! I think this series is strong enough story that people will like it, it just needs to build up it’s fan base besides those wacky “Browncoats.” So do yourself a favor, go out and watch Serenity, or if you have a lot of time on your hands, rent/buy the Firefly complete series DVD and check out both!

Favorite Scenes: The fight scene in the bar, Mal vs the Assassin fight, River vs the Reavers, the space battle/chase.
Rating: PG-13
Running Time: 119 minutes
Overall Rating:


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