‘Serenity’ Movie Review (2005)

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Serenity Movie ReviewThe snap you just heard was Serenity kicking your ass. It’s better than the latest Star Wars offering and on par with the first Matrix. It’s innovative, compelling, and fully entertaining. If you don’t like this flick you may be dead, which is fine so long as you don’t haunt my dreams. Damn zombies.

Serenity is about a gang of space cowboys (none named Maurice) who are providing shelter to a psychic gal and her brother from the evil ruling government of the world known as “The Alliance.” What the outlaws don’t realize is this lovely lady has some deep and terrible secrets about “The Alliance,” whom her brother helped her escape from. The secrets of the past are revealed one by one as the outlaws become embroiled in a conflict they didn’t want or need.

Joss Whedon has officially won me over here. I never saw “Firefly,” but I’ve got the TiVo set after seeing Serenity. If there is a problem with this movie it may be that it is too damn funny, I couldn’t always hear the dialogue over the laughter! In the grand scope of things there are far worse problems for a movie to have, eh?

Serenity is a little bit country and a little bit rock and roll (I’m legally obligated to come up with some type of catch phrase). “Country” as in most of the main characters in Serenity speak in cowboy accents. It seems strange at first but as the film progresses you find yourself enjoying the nuance in this style and laughing at some of the joke deliveries. One example would be learning what “twixt my nethers” means, a highlight to say the least. The dialogue makes the whole movie feel like a western, a western with spaceships. The “rock and roll” portion includes the righteous fight sequences. Summer Glau is delicious in her fight scenes and the wide camera angles help us realize she actually knows the moves. It’s your standard, garden variety comedic sci-fi martial arts western. Wow, Whedon, you’ve captured my heart and my movie going dollar.

The film also has some nice twists and turns. There is definitely an Alien feel to some of the scenes. I can safely say this film has something for most people who like movies. It’s flat out entertaining, extremely funny, and though the resolution is a few minutes too long it goes out on a nice note overall.

As far as specific acting work Nathan Fillion, Summer Glau and Chiwetal Ejiofor carry the picture. Ejifor in particular strikes the perfect balance as a villain who simply has a different opinion and moral compass than the “good guys.” He’s highly refreshing because it’s no hard feelings; he just has to kill you, okay? Summer is wonderful as the psychotic psychic in distress. She hits all the notes in this performance and comes off as a hotter, younger, crazier Christina Ricci. Nathan Fillion plays an extremely nuanced character that is fully fleshed out. He comes off as an actual leader who makes tough choices; he’s funny as hell but also razor sharp when the shit hits the fan.

Serenity should be the biggest box office success of the year if there is any justice in the world. It’s that good. I’d like some sequels too, let’s get these actors on long term contracts. I highly recommend Serenity and nominate it for the crown of best action movie, best futuristic western, and best martial arts alien fighting film for 2005. When a flick starts conjuring up comparisons to archetype films such as The Matrix or Star Wars it is time to start looking for ticket times. Serenity is a “leaf on the wind.” Watch how it soars.

GRADE: A