Serenity Movie Review

    This is a solidly written, directed, and acted science fiction action adventure. You won't be disappointed if you do enjoy science fiction. For those moviegoers who are neutral the movie, plot, character development, and action should be satisfying. For moviegoers and critics that hate science fiction, then this and every other science fiction movie will be negative reviews.

    As you've probably heard Serenity is written, produced, and directed by Josh Whedon the creative mind behind Buffy the Vampire Slayer and Angel. Based on a single season 2002 television series called 'Firefly', also written by Josh Whedon, the plot revolves around the fortunes of nine humans, the crew and passengers of a spaceship in a future where the Earth has been used up and humanity has reestablished itself in a new solar system with multiple inhabitable planets.

    It is not necessary to have watched the series enjoy this movie, the writer and actors do a good job of establishing the personalities of each character in a short period of time. Watching even a few of the TV episodes, however, may enhance the attachment the viewer may develop for certain characters as their fortunes and survival are questionable in the face of rapidly escalating predicaments.

    Malcolm Reynolds, the captain of the Serenity, a Firefly class general purpose spaceship that looks vaguely like its model designation is played by Nathan Fillion who also played Malcolm, Mal for short, on the Firefly series. Already saddled with a psychologically damaged teen-aged girl, River Tam (played by Summer Glau) and her hyper-protective brother, Simon Tam (played by Sean Maher), Mal is besieged by the controlling human government called the Alliance' who are trying to get their hands on River at all costs.

    Although full of the Whedon/Buffy/Angel witty dialogue (often sprung at the tensest but most satisfying moments) this film is darker and more violent than the television series. I was particularly disturbed by Mal's actions involving the Reavers, humanoid cannibals that insist on eating their victims alive.

    To avoid spoiling the humor in this film, I highly recommend that you do not see any of the movie trailers prior to seeing the movie.

    I give it 8.5 out of 10. I would like to give it higher but some of the absolutely brutal and threatening reactions that Mal has to his crew, who he has had more than enough character-challenging past adventures, seems grossly out of character. And even though I thoroughly enjoyed the intense and suspenseful movie I also was looking for a more 'starwarish', lighter film.

A. Smith


marginalized by a future,