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 – redemption. Universal bought the rights after record DVD preorder numbers and gave the show’s creator, Joss Whedon, the greenlight to make a Firefly movie. And here we are… 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 lives – 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 Reynold’s dealings. He’s a doctor, she’s a living 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, we’ll get to a Browcoats review later.
Let me speak to the uninitiated for a moment…
There’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 all too becomes apparent early on (or so you’d think). The twist comes later on.
Now, this is Whedon’s movie directing debut, but you wouldn’t think it. Serenity is spectacularly shot and choreographed. Action/sci-fi fans will be dazzled by River’s “Ballet-Fu” 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, it’s not full of technobabble geared at Comiccon regulars.
Now to any Browncoats who didn’t see it by now (all one of you): it is indeed awesome; a lot of questions are answered; bring tissues – that’s all I’m saying.
Serenity is a very real movie for being an escapist flick. Joss Whedon is a prodigy that Hollywood is beginning to embrace, and that’s a good thing. I recommend Serenity to all. I give it 6 out of 6 engine compressor coils.
But don’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
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