Serenity

Izzy says:

A lot of people who have seen Serenity have not seen Joss Whedon’s short-lived-but-brilliant show Firefly that aired on FOX and endedserenity.jpg before finishing the first season. Woah, that’s quite a mouthful. But the reason that I started this review with that sentence is that one cannot enjoy Serenity without being given some background. It would be like…watching the Full Metal Alchemist film without ever watching the anime. </dork> Or it would be like watching the fifth Harry Potter film without having seen any of the other movies or read the books. You’d be like “Jesus! Who is this kid? What the hell is going on? Where are they? I am so confused! Is that Ralph Fiennes?” and you’d probably turn it off, grab your coat and go see In Bruges. Basically, the point I’m trying to make is that Serenity does not stand on its own, and I’ll tell you why.

First of all…did you ever take a theatre class? Were you ever in a high school play? If so, do you remember the phrase “showing not telling”? Like instead of saying “I’m really angry about all of this!” in a play, you could just sit down in a chair in a corner glaring at everyone and furrowing your brows. Well, the beginning of Serenity is very much telling and not showing. In the first few minutes of the film, we’re told exactly who everyone is, because Mal, the captain, introduces everyone to us. There’s a problem with the ship in the beginning. The captain goes to Kaylee. Obviously, Kaylee is the mechanic. Might be a rocky landing. He goes and talks to Wash. Wash is the pilot. He walks past Jayne. Jayne is holding a bunch of weapons. This follows:

Mal: Jayne how many weapons you plan on taking? You only got two arms.

Jayne: I just get excitable as to the choice. Like to keep my options open.

Mal: I don’t plan on any shooting taking place during this job

Jayne: What you plan and what takes place ain’t ever exactly been similar.

Okay, so OBVIOUSLY Jayne is the hot-headed one, quick to act, very violent, and daring enough to challenge the captain. As if that isn’t enough, he refers to Simon as “doctor” just so we know FOR SURE what his profession is, and then Simon gets all protective about River so it’s obvious there’s something wrong with her. And, just so EVERYTHING is taken care of, when Zoe asks if they’re going to crash, Mal says “Talk to your husband”. OH! So Zoe and Wash are married! Now I know everything about the entire series in about 2 minutes!

This is just great. Only it sucks. It tries to introduce people who haven’t even heard of Firefly into that world very very quickly and itserenity2.jpg comes out looking sloppy. You don’t get a chance to really understand the characters and what their personalities are like. You don’t start caring for them like you would if you had seen the show. If you had seen Firefly and then watched Serenity, you would’ve been surprised to see that there is no development in the relationship between the captain and Inara. Sure, you can tell that they argued in the past, but you don’t really see the sort of hidden feelings they have for each other that developed throughout the entire 3/4 of a season. This is kind of annoying, because you take characters from a show that not many people watched and turned it into a movie that did “okay”. I mean, it wasn’t a flop film but it wasn’t a box office smash either. I think the only reason the movie didn’t flop was because the graphics were really good and it’s SCIENCE FICTION! It’s a science fiction western! And who doesn’t love Space Cowboys? Everybody loves Space Cowboys! On the other hand, Mal isn’t played by Brad Pitt, Zoe isn’t played by Halle Berry, Wash isn’t played by Will Ferrell (haha! Wouldn’t it be funny if Wash were Will Ferrell? I mean, okay, Wash IS the funny one, but if Will Ferrell were Wash it would be very ridiculous. And the thought of Halle Berry and Will Ferrell in bed together makes me giggle and vurp simultaneously), Kaylee isn’t played by Ariel from the Little Mermaid, etc. etc. No famous actors. Although Summer Glau (River Tam) is now in that Sarah Connor Chronicles TV series, but that wouldn’t have helped when Serenity came out anyway.

You know what I think is funny? How the first episode of Firefly is called Serenity, and it’s about an hour and a half long…the same length as the movie Serenity. They should’ve just turned the first episode into a movie. But eh, maybe not. I have my own beef with the first episode myself. But…I just thought that was funny. I don’t know, I’m weird.

I liked Serenity because I love Firefly. If I hadn’t seen Firefly, Serenity wouldn’t have had a profound effect on me. I mean, my cat is named River, okay? Firefly is an amazing show, and the fact that they made a movie about it is very, very cool. It’s also cool because the movie picks up where the show left off…sort of, in a way. I was hoping Serenity would tie up more loose ends than it did, but at least we get to figure out what the hell is up with River and the Reavers. I sincerely hope that the people that saw Serenity and liked it went out and rented or bought the Firefly series. I mean, come on. Someone’s gotta fill Joss Whedon’s pockets these days.

Grade: 73

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