Digital Spy

Search Digital Spy
22

Movies Review

Serenity

By
Serenity
Director: Joss Whedon
Starring: Nathan Fillion, Summer Glau, Chiwetel Ejiofor, Gina Torres, Adam Baldwin, Sean Maher
Running time: 117 mins
Certificate: 15

In 2002, Joss Whedon (Buffy The Vampire Slayer; Angel) produced Firefly, a sci-fi / Western / drama telling the story of the crew of run-down spaceship Serenity. However, despite pleased noises from critics and a growing dedicated following, Fox thought it best to axe the show after just eleven of fourteen produced episodes had aired.

Convinced that his story was worth telling, Whedon tried his luck with other networks to no avail. Finally, following an extremely popular DVD release, he landed a $40m allowance from Universal Pictures to resurrect his Firefly universe for the cinema. Serenity, heaped in action, humour, emotion and an engaging plot, is the very pleasing result.

Set 500 years in the future, the storyline again follows the lawless motley crew of starship Serenity. Led by Captain Malcolm "Mal" Reynolds (Fillion), the loveable rogues live their lives pulling off small jobs to get by. However, their routine goes awry when they take doctor Simon Tam (Maher) and his troubled psychic sister River (Glau) on board. Soon they find themselves being chased by a mysterious operative sent by galactic superpower The Alliance which fears that River may know more than she should.

Whilst the movie is a follow-on from the TV series, thankfully for newcomers there is no need for prior knowledge of the characters or their backdrop. Via a voiced explanation the state of Whedon’s universe is made clear from the outset, which is then followed by an introduction to the ship’s crew and their reasons for being there. As well as thrilling fans, Serenity is easily accessible and just as enjoyable for those who have never seen Firefly.

Given its genre, it's natural that Whedon’s effort will be compared to the recent Star Wars movies, and frankly it stands up very well against them. Admittedly Lucas' efforts were longer than Serenity, but the latter really flies by with much better pacing and a compelling, unpredictable plot and more fun action scenes.

Anyone at all familiar with Whedon's other work will also recognise his distinctive witty dialogue, peppering the action and tension with some welcome humour. Along with the dialogue, the cast, although largely unknown in terms of cinema, do very well in making the audience emotionally attached to the characters, particularly as the director seems to have no qualms about making his leads meet a grisly end when he sees fit.

In short, Serenity is up there with the best sci-fi movies of the year, with a great injection of fun which certain others in the genre have sorely lacked. With its great script, performances and action, it is sure to keep fanboys happy whilst undoubtedly gaining some converts.

You May Like

More: Movies

Comments

Loading...