October 1, 2011 Leave a comment
Serenity, for those of you who don’t know, is the movie follow up to one of the most beloved cult TV shows of all time, Firefly. The film attempts to give fans of the short lived series a bit of closure as it ties up many of the story lines left unexplained at the sudden cancelation. It’s hard to talk about this one without 1) getting into some spoilers and 2) not assuming the reader has seen the movie; so I’m going to do both those things and, if you have yet to see it, go watch it right now and then you can come back and see if you agree with me or not.
The cast, as a fan of the show would expect, is excellent. Nathan Fillion is exceptional as Captain Malcolm Reynolds and might even be better in the movie than he was in the TV show. That’s saying something considering the huge cult fanbase he built up while starring as the captain. The rest of the cast is just as good; Alan Tudyk (who plays Wash) and Adam Baldwin (Jayne Cobb) are two of my favorite lesser known actors and their performances are right up there with Fillion in this. Jewel Saite, who I’ve had a crush on since watching my first episode of Firefly, can do no wrong as Kaylee. I was a little sad that Ron Glass didn’t have a bigger part in the movie because his character, Shepard Book, was one of my favorites during the series. The other actors all do well, but these five gave the best performances in the movie and during the TV show in my book.
As I said, the movie attempts to tie up some of the major plot elements introduced during the series, namely what exactly the government was doing to River Tam during her time in their possession. What they give you is somewhat satisfying for fans of the show, but really just left me wishing this was something that could’ve played out in much longer format (read: another season or four). It definitely felt a little rushed, but at least we got to see Captain Reynolds go after the government one last time.
One of the things I could’ve done without was the death of Wash. By that point they’d already killed off Shepard Book and it just felt like the writers were trying to pull at my heart strings, but it only made me mad that they would kill him off for basically no reason. I understand that they wanted the audience to think it was a desperate last mission where anyone could die, but they could’ve found a better way for him to go down than just being speared after a ship wreck.
All in all, this is a great movie for fans and non-fans of the show alike. Obviously you’ll appreciate it more if you’ve seen the series, but I don’t think you necessarily have to watch it. The whole movie’s worth it just to see Jayne take out that guy in the first part of the movie. I easily re-watched that ten times before moving on. Please, do you’re a favor and go see this movie. It’s a cinematic masterpiece and will make you want to watch the whole thing and figure out what this whole Firefly thing is all about.