Serenity

Ok, to more pleasant reviews. Starting here I will definitely review the acting and such for you (except for animated films, I don’t review acting or directing in those).

Plot: 6/5
A passenger with a deadly secret. Six rebels on the run. An assassin in pursuit. When the renegade crew of Serenity agrees to hide a fugitive on their ship, they find themselves in an action-packed battle between the relentless military might of a totalitarian regime that will destroy anything- or anyone- to get the girl back and the bloodthirsty creatures who roam the uncharted areas of space. But the greatest danger of all may be on their ship.

That is actually not a bad description for a movie. I’ve read some pretty bad ones in my time, and this one is pretty good, but it doesn’t really tell you exactly how the movie works.

Fans of the TV series “Firefly” will be familiar with the story. I wasn’t, which is good since the movie does a review for you, but either way you’ll be fine. The story follows 7 (not 6) individuals who are part of the crew of the spaceship Serenity: Mal is the captain of this vessel. He is a former soldier who fought on the loosing side of a rebellion to bring an end to the totalitarian government known as the Alliance. Zoe, his first mate, served under him in the war and is willing to follow her captain to the ends of the earth. Wash is the genius pilot of Serenity, and Zoe’s husband. He is wise cracking and is often at odds with the captain, though they get along despite this. Kaylee, the ships mechanic, is the mascot of the group who keeps everyone happy with her infectiously upbeat mood. Jane is a boy, despite his girlish name, and is in charge of weapons and fighting. He is trigger happy and loves to curse. Inara, who comes back to Serenity¬† a little ways into the movie, is a companion (A high-class Gesha-like woman who also has sex with clients, so she is kind of a prostitute as well) who began on Serenity by renting a shuttle, but became the “class” of the ship and a voice of reason. Simon is one of the newcomers as the doctor of the crew. He is a proper rich boy who only joined the Serenity group to hide from the Alliance, who is after his sister River, the main character of this movie.

River was extremely intelligent from an early age. The Alliance came to believe she was a Reader, a psychic who can see the truth of anything. The Alliance had her brought to a facility under the guise of a private and elite school. There they experimented on her, planning to use her as a weapon and spy. Simon broke her out of the facility and they have been on the run for 8 months (Serenity picks up immediately where Firefly ended).

The Alliance comes to suspect River knows a secret that could bring their control and power to an end, and so they send an assassin after her. He himself is ruthless and knows no details of the issue, just that he must kill her. There is no way to tell if River knows the secret herself, as the experiments from the Alliance as well as the overwhelming horror of this secret made her a paranoid schizophrenic.

Another player in this affair are the Reavers, a group of mad humans who are thought to have been explorers who reached the end of the universe and were driven insane. These beasts abduct, torture, rape, skin, and eventually eat their victims (Zoe points out at one point that they only follow this order if you are very lucky).

The movie follows the crew of the Serenity as they seek to stay a step ahead of the assassin and discover the horrible secret which is keeping River a prisoner in her own mind.

L-R: River, Sheppard Book (minor role in the film, though major in the show), Zoe, Jane, Kaylee, Mal, Wash, Simon, and Inara

Acting: 9/5
I can’t praise this movie highly enough. It is by far my favorite science fiction film and I’ve seen it so many times I can’t keep track. All of the lead actors are perfect, and Summer Glau (River) deserved award upon award for her work.

Directing: 9/5
Again, this film is perfect. The directing is nothing particularly fancy, but it fits the mood of the movie so well that it just feels natural. I have no complaints with anything in this movie.

Other Things
Really this is just a brilliant film you all should have seen by now. It’s story based, not action based, and there is a lot of content for such a short film. It does not feel rushed at all, which is true credit to the writer (Joss Whedon).

This is an action film, but also a comedy. The jokes aren’t slapstick at all (like American comedy) and are not as intellectual as British humor tends towards. It is, I think, a good example of what I call Canadian humor- a mixture of the two styles. The humor is in the dialogue and expression, and everyone will get a kick out of this film.

If you haven’t seen it please close my website, go to Netflix (or YouTube, they might have it) and get this movie to watch. If you can’t find it online then buy it. In fact, even if you can watch it online you should buy it, just to have around. This is such an excellent film I really can’t recommend it enough.

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