Serenity (2005)

Action, Adventure, Sci-Fi, Thriller
Nathan Fillion, Gina Torres, Chiwetel Ejiofor, Alan Tudyk
The crew of the ship Serenity tries to evade an assassin sent to recapture one of their number who is telepathic.
Snappy dialogue and goofy characters make this Wild Wild West soap opera in space fun and adventurous.
  • Universal Pictures Company:
  • PG-13 Rated:
  • IMDB link IMDB:
  • 30 Sep 2005 Released:
  • 20 Dec 2005 DVD Release:
  • $25.3M Box office:

All subtitles:



Trailer:

Not exactly like the TV show; judge it on its own merit.9/10
***NO SPOILERS*** I saw the movie at a sneak preview in Houston, TX on 6/23/05. I was just happy that we were getting more of these characters and this setting.

Visually, it was stunning. The extra budget for effects was well spent. The characters and their relationships were recognizable, but there had been changes from the show. I think this was necessary within the movie, and part of an evolution from the TV show to the big screen (the movie takes place 6 months after the last episode, "Objects in Space"). Things have changed.

There is a higher action and violence level in this (duh, it's a movie, not on TV), and we get some major revelations about the world (which some who saw it with me already don't like). There are some MAJOR events that affect the characters, and I wasn't totally happy with them - shocked is the word. But this is Joss's world, and his characters, and he tells the stories he wants to tell. He doesn't get bound up in hurting our feelings; he just tells it like it is. I believe he did say that this was the hardest thing he'd ever had to write.

At least one person at our screening was a "Firefly virgin," and he said that he liked it. I hope people who have no exposure to the show will be able to see this and enjoy it. Our big damn heroes come across well, and I hope this will get them some well-deserved exposure. This is a no-holds barred, big-time action/adventure sci-fi story, bold and raw, and set in a world unlike anything portrayed in SF before (well, except for "Firefly"). And I hope it does really, really well, and we get to see the sequels.
Joss Whedon works his magic and succeeds wonderfully!10/10
Before you start reading this, you have to know where I'm coming from. I'm a huge fan of Joss Whedon's work, was a loyal follower of 'Buffy the Vampire Slayer' and 'Angel' and really got into 'Firefly' (on which this movie is based) and the whole browncoat phenomenon as well. So I was, you might just say, pretty much predestined to like this movie. But, not so. Whedon-fans are a pretty critical bunch, most of the time, and no one went into this thing with higher expectations than us. And to have those expectations be met in such a way as Serenity does, is very special indeed.

The movie itself has all the elements that make Joss Whedon's work so very unique. The sense of humor, the wonderfully realized characters and their strong interpersonal bonds, masterful dialogue and emotional pain, everything is present. I laughed, I cried, I pretty much went through the entire emotional spectrum watching this movie, and that's not something you might expect from 'just another sci-fi movie'.

While I'm writing this, the release of Serenity is still a few weeks ahead, but I got to see the finished version of the movie with a selected group of Dutch Firefly fans in an exclusive pre-screening. Afterwards, the atmosphere was strange, subdued. It was almost as if everyone had survived some kind of big disaster together and we were too stunned to really say much. And I say that in the kindest possible way. Honestly.

If you're not into Whedon's work, or even if you're not into sci-fi in general, this is gonna be a movie worth watching. Ignore the whole 'geekmovie' hype that'll undoubtedly surround the release. Ignore the hype created by Whedon-fans such as myself. Simply go see it with an open mind and be prepared to be blown away. Because when Whedon works his magic, everyone has to pay attention.

This movie is truly a leaf on the wind. Watch it soar!
Oustanding adaptation10/10
Instead of going into a long, drawn out review, let me sum up "Serenity" by saying that 1) no fans of "Firefly" will be disappointed, and 2) Whedon does a good enough job laying out the backstory that newbies to the Firefly universe will have no trouble figuring things out and enjoying the heck out of the movie.

The film is split more into halves than the standard three acts, which works just fine in this instance. The plot may be confusing at first, but when the second half of the film starts there are no lingering questions and a pantload of great action bits and one-liners. Frankly, the last 45 minutes are absolutely outstanding. The first half takes a bit to really pick up, but it's the second half of the movie that will leave old fans and new yearning for a sequel.

There are some sad moments, some gut busting lines, and some rousing actions sequences that make "Serenity" a wonderful film that really, really deserves a sequel and, perhaps if we're lucky, a second chance on Sci-Fi.
Intense10/10
From start to finish there are no wasted moments. All your emotions will be engaged. You'll laugh, you'll cry, you'll gasp in shock. What you won't be is bored. Don't plan on being able to take a bathroom break or get more soda and popcorn. You won't want to miss a second of this one.

There's plenty here for everybody: Good writing, humor, excellent acting, plot, action (that actually makes sense in terms of the plot), excellent cgi, eye candy. And it's a movie that needs the big screen for the full effect. Watch it in theater; don't just wait for the DVD.

If you saw Star Wars (the original) in the theater way back when, then this movie will evoke a similar feeling of awe. Once you see this movie, your perceptions of the movie-going experience will be changed. No other movie I've ever seen has hit me with the intensity of this one.
Extraordinary10/10
The others do a good job gushing about the movie. Sure we're fans and bound to like the movie more than the usual fare, but those looking for an original and thrilling movie experience, this will shock and amaze. The Firefly world introduced a fantasy home for many of us, with characters we truly cared about and dilemmas we could get behind. The best way to describe it is to take the best aspects of the Han Solo elements of the original Star Wars, and build a world around that. There's no grand theme or clear cut good and evil. There's just a band of fugitives trying to make their way in a dangerous sky. It's something folks can relate to, although most of us won't be in a space battle or fighting psychotic creatures anytime soon. The point of the name Serenity is the name of the ship, though in a deeper sense that's what our characters are in search of. Finding freedom and a home, and that's what the ship represents to them, and to the fans. So you understand why so many are so excited about this dinky little scifi flick.

The movie captures that beautiful feeling but takes us on a ride that there's no turning back from. In my opinion, the one thing that makes for a truly GREAT movie is if you walk out of the theater a different person than when you walked in. This movie takes you on such a journey I didn't know if I would leave the theater at all. Sure the visual effects are stunning, but even the unfinished effects I saw meant nothing to me because it was the characters I cared about (and note that the digitally created ship itself is one of them, and I cared just as much for that than any of them). The humor is probably better than anything in the theaters this year, and the action is even greater. My screening actually came a week after Episode 3 was released, and I immediately washed my hands of Mr Lucas, and months later when I saw Fantastic 4... well let's not even talk about that one.

This movie really does have something for everyone, and even in the core of the geek fandom, the range of people is total - men and women split it at least 50/50, uber-geeks and "cool" types, and a surprising amount of attractive people of all ages. Seriously though, don't trust the rants of the fans. Check out the movie for yourself. Give it an honest chance and I promise you will be taken on a journey that will turn you into a fan as well.