October 4, 2005 by Ryan Livingston
Travel back in time to 2002: A bold new show premiered on FOX. After only 13 out-of-order episodes (the pilot show last), the plug was pulled. The show was Firefly.
Three years later â€“ redemption. Universal bought the rights after record DVD preorder numbers and gave the showâ€™s creator, Joss Whedon, the greenlight to make a Firefly movie. And here we are â€“ Serenity.
In the distant future, the human race spread to a new solar system. The Alliance (boo hiss) waged war to control it all. They won and the Browncoats (independence fighters) were crushed.
Enter Captain Mal Reynolds, a former Browncoat (only in the sense that the browncoats dispanded), and leader of a band of space pirates. All they want to do is live their livesâ€¦ at the expense of the Alliance, of course.
Enter Simon Tam, and his dingy sister River, fugitives from the Alliance who get mixed up with Reynoldâ€™s dealings. Heâ€™s a doctor, sheâ€™s a weapon with a secret.
Fans of Firefly already know that this is an awesome movie, even before any filming took place. Why? Because Firely was awesome, both in writing and concept. However, weâ€™ll get to a Browcoats review later.
Let me speak to the uninitiated for a momentâ€¦
Thereâ€™s ample exposition for anyone to get into this movie. The characters one by one are developed in such a way that this can be considered a stand alone movie. The plot too becomes apparent early on (or so youâ€™d think). The twist comes later on.
Now, this is Whedonâ€™s movie directing debut, but you wouldnâ€™t think it. Serenity is spectacularly shot and choreographed. Action/sci-fi fans will be dazzled by Riverâ€™s â€œBallet-Fuâ€ and the ultra-realistic ship battles. Cerebral/sci-fi fans will love the always present witty and natural banter between the characters; as well as the twisty-turny storyline.
Non sci-fi fans will take to all that above, because even though it is a Space Opera â€“ itâ€™s not full of technobabble geared at comiccon regulars.
Now to any Browncoats who didnâ€™t see it by now (all one of you): it is indeed awesome; a lot of questions are answered; bring tissuesâ€¦ thatâ€™s all Iâ€™m saying.
Serenity is a very real movie for being an escapist flick. Joss Whedon is a prodigy that Hollywood is beginning to ebrace, and thatâ€™s a good thing. I recommend Serenity to all. I give it 6 out of 6 engine compressor coils.
But donâ€™t take my word on it, check out the NY Times:
Scene for scene, “Serenity” is more engaging and certainly better written and acted than any of Mr. Lucas’s recent screen entertainments. Mr. Whedon isn’t aiming to conquer the pop-culture universe with a branded mythology; he just wants us to hitch a ride to a galaxy far, far away and have a good time.
- MANOHLA DARGIS