Thoughts: Serenity, Joss Whedon's first theatrically released movie and the film continuation of his Firefly TV series. Serenity takes place sometime after the series tying up a few plot threads that the series left hanging. After a scene introducing Serenity's villain, it switched over to one continuous shot of the crew and gave fans the sense that yes, Firefly is back and you are home again. Does Serenity disappoint compared to Firefly? Nope, it is entirely awesome and everything a fan could ever want and then some. While it is possible to see the film without watching the series, it is imperative that you watch the series first. Unlike something like Star Trek, where there are literally hundreds of episodes to watch, Firefly only had 14, all of which are amazing and a must see. Watching the series adds so much emotional payoff that would otherwise be lost. On the subject of TV to film, Serenity actually warrants the big-screen adaptation because it does not have the episodic feel that TV to film often have. Even though it continues the story with all the characters you love, it answers questions and gives fans the big action scenes that only a film (or absurdly over-budget TV) could possibly deliver. To make the film, Whedon had to work with a smaller budget than most sci-fi action films, and with the exception of one dodgy CGI element, he made it work brilliantly.
There were only two minor things that I wish Serenity had, that Firefly did so well. One being the warm and comfortable feel of the ship and surrounding. Since it is a film, it looked more shiny and Hollywood like. The other thing is that the theme song was never used! Not even in the closing credits was the Ballad of Serenity used, that song is amazing, why wasn't used? Despite these minor things, they do not negatively impact the rating.
Directed by: Joss Whedon
Genre: Sci-Fi, Action, Western, Action Adventure,
Release Date: September 30, 2005
Running Time: 119 minutes
MMPA rating: PG-13
The Good: Everything, Legitimately movie quality, Loveable characters, Awesome action scenes, Heart wrenching moments, Everything great about the TV show, Shocking moments, Answers questions, Fantastic soundtrack, Great villain, Top notch performances, More Firefly!, Joss Whedon's awesome direction and script, Endlessly quotable, Shiny,
Plot Summary: Since it would spoil the series, I will not post a plot summary or a trailer, just watch the gorram show and movie.
Plot: 10/10- Perfect and flawless plot, there is nothing I would change. It answered questions and gave closure to the story, yet left it open enough for sequels, which seem unlikely at this time. I would have maybe given Kaylee and Book slightly more screen-time, but that is very minor compliant because the main plot is more important. There were moments in Serenity that utterly shocked me, which I will talk about in the spoiler section at the bottom. The dialogue is impeccable, no one writes and directs better dialogue than Joss Whedon; his script is perfect. Also the opening scene uses some impressive camera work since it had to be film in one or two continuous takes going throughout the ship.
Action: 9.6/10- There were some seriously awesome fight scenes in Serenity. The stunt work is fantastic, especially considering that the actors did most of their own stunts. A few of the scenes could have been edited ever so slightly better, but only an action critic like myself would actually notice that anything was lacking. Even with the smaller budget, the space battle was awesome, one of the better ones put to film.
Acting: 10/10- Just like the series, the actors captured their characters. Among Serenity's crew, they were not acting, they were the actual crew. Their performances were entirely believable. For more opinions on the cast and crew the links for Part 1 and Part 2 of my character analysis. Chiwetel Ejiofor as the antagonist "The Operative," was excellent in his role and his character had some unique character traits that I have not seen all that often.
Special effects: 8.3/10- Due to the film's tight budget, some of the CGI was a little lacking in one scene. Despite this, later in the film, the CGI was excellent, especially in the epic space battle. As for the sets, they were fantastic, very believable just like the series.
Soundtrack: 9.8/10- While it lacked the "Ballard of Serenity" song and a few of the western themes that made the TV series' soundtrack so great, it had a score entirely its own. There were many oriental influences mixed with some classic western and sci-fi. Very unique and original, something hard to find in most films.
Comedy: 9.9/10- Even though Serenity does not quite have the warm feeling of the series, due to the more serious tone of film, it was still hilarious! So many quotable lines of humorous, perfectly delivered dialogue. The wit in the film's humor is spot on every time.
Would I Watch This Again: Already watched it twice in one week, it is that awesome.
Overall: 9.9/10- Basically perfection for fans of Firefly! Serenity is almost everything, except for a continuation of series, that fans could ask for, one of my new favorite films and one of the best I have ever seen.
Closing comments: Watch Firefly, watch Serenity, simple as that, now go do it. Like, right now!
Recommended for: Everyone who has seen Firefly,
*Major Spoilers Ahead Skip to the bottom and comment if you have not seen the film*
Last warning..... OK, why did Wash and Book have to die! Two of the most shocking and painful deaths to watch ever. Joss Whedon is one sick man killing off characters that everyone loves. Some say that Wash's death was unnecessary, and while I almost wish it never happened because he needs to be on the show if it is ever revived, it was entirely worth it for the emotional shock value. When a film kills off a character that you connect with and like, it is so hard to watch.
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