The Home of Steven Barnes
Author, Teacher, Screenwriter

Tuesday, October 04, 2005

Serenity (2005)

Saw Joss Whedon's "Serenity" last night, and the news is mostly good.  Based on the cult fan favorite "Firefly" (which I never saw) this big-screen version does contain some tasty elements: nice interaction between the characters, some niftily choreographed hand-to-hand fight scenes, a couple of spectacular space battles, and a damned fine idea for a conspiracy.  On the negative side, it does bear a bit of that "blown up from TV level" look and feel, like a 16mm film blown up to project on a 70mm screen.  A little grainy, if you catch my drift.  The basic plot deals with the crew of the Serenity, a rag-tag bunch of thieves and smugglers living on the edge of a galactic Alliance and making their living any way they can.  Their Captain, "Mal" Reynolds (a fine Nathan Fillion) has accidentally taken on board a telepath with a deadly secret, River Tam (Summer Glau) who is herself a walking weapon.  She and Reynold's nemesis Chiwetel Ejiofor damned near stole the show, but I'm sure that for fans of the original series, a chance to see their favorite characters back in saddle overshadowed all else.  Look.  I'm not a fan, and there were definitely moments I was shifting in my seat, looking at my watch.  But it start well, ends well, and has a lot of fun in-between.  Probably the best "Space Opera" I've seen in a decade, really, with its own quirky sense of humor, and an off-centered style that kept me guessing.  That, some decent action sequences, a plot dealing with the need to keep "The Alliance" away from lethal little River, and some truly mischievous dialogue made me, ultimately, like this a lot.  Give it an A- for Space Opera fans, a B for moviegoers in general.  And I'd guess for "Firefly" fans--you hit the jackpot.

1 comment:

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