August 6, 2007


Serenity Movie Poster (German)I watched the first few episodes of Firefly when it was airing on television, and never really got into it. Sure, it was a decent cowboy space opera, but it didn't seem to be going anywhere in particular. I was never interested in Cowboy Bebop either though. Anyway, there was a ton of hype and excitement about Serenity, especially among the hard-core Firefly fans. And it looked like the kind of movie I would enjoy, so Luna and I watched it last night. I think the movie can be summed up as a really good episode of Firefly with some answers revealed and larger risks exercised. But just like the show, you're still sort of in the same place you started.

If you liked Firefly, I'm sure you'll like Serenity a lot. The movie is very well done, and the only criticism I have is the one I mentioned above where it feels like one episode of an ongoing storyline, only you know the storyline isn't going to reach any real conclusion. The special effects and combat choreography are top notch and blend seamlessly into the overall weave so you never feel like something is there just to show off. Sometimes those things are either focused on too long, or the only thing to look at, which makes the movie suffer. But not here. There also aren't any cheap camera tricks or scene cuts to try and up the excitement artificially.

I should also briefly comment on the sound. The score and sound effects are also very well done, but there isn't anything really memorable here. Some movies will leave you with a theme song or chorus melody that is unforgettable, while others will really impress upon you a aural feeling that will make you remember the movie's audio, even if you can't really explain why. Serenity's sound blends into the movie perfectly as a mood enhancer, but it doesn't do anything else.

Joss Whedon is known for the quality of his screenwriting, and Serenity is no exception. The story is interesting, moves at a good pace, with little twists here and there but also a healthy amount of things being obvious or expected to the viewer, so the casual viewer won't feel like you he doesn't know what's going on. There are two different science-fiction themes running through the movie. The first is the centralized government versus the outer-rim colonies. The second has to do with conspiracy and cover-up of a scientific accident, which is already giving away more than I should but the movie's been out for a while now. These are decent additions to the story, but I would have liked more exploration of them than they could fit into the two hours.

Posted by josuah at August 6, 2007 4:12 PM UTC+00:00

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