I have to tell you: Serenity could be the new Star Wars. Not since that film have I felt such exhiliration watching a movie. All the same elements are there - epic space battles, morally ambiguous heroes (Mal Reynolds=Han Solo: Solo means alone, Mal means bad), rebels fighting a universal alliance, and rich humor - dry, and not possible to fully get it all from one viewing, and sure to spawn regular quoting amongst friends. I haven't been so engaged with a film in a long time. I was completely drawn in - the time flew by. The story was intense. It had just enough mystery to keep you interested but also an astute viewer could track with the plans and enjoy the payoff. The characters are fascinating - rich, full human beings (although I may have more feeling for them because I watched the TV show on which the film is based: Fox's short-lived "Firefly") who have to make tough choices. The morality is there - love for fellow human beings is definitely there - but the film also acknowledges the complexity of life, particularly political situations.
Go see this film. I think you will enjoy yourself. It is a space opera, to be sure, but is somehow weighted with reality while providing fantastical entertainment. It's a western set in space, complete with gunfights and cowboy talk. It's also an action movie, where, in true Joss Whedon fashion, a little girl kicks ass (he created Buffy the Vampire Slayer). And of course there's the humor. It's smart and funny. It fits the situations. It's not obvious. Remember, Joss wrote Toy Story. The man knows how to write memorable characters and snappy dialogue.
There are gut-wrenching moments of shock, which I cannot reveal. There is also a lot of violence - not really gory, and always serving the story, but it's there.
Go, go see this movie. Watch the DVDs if you want (of Firefly), but it's not necessary, I don't think. The person in our party who hadn't watched them still loved it.
And I have to give kudos to the 9:55 audience at the arclight cinemas. The entire auditorium sat through all of the credits. I have never seen that happen. This was a thoroughly engaged and entertained crowd. We laughed, cried, cheered, all that cliche stuff.
Just see it. Unless you are the kind of person who thinks Star Wars is dumb. Then you won't like it. But if you like Star Wars even a little bit - or even love it - then I think you'll really enjoy this movie. Sci-fi fans know who they are, and this is for them.
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Serenity blew me right away.
I expected to love it; I'm a fan of Firefly, so I went in already invested in the characters and their universe. But the movie exceeded my expectations. I laughed, I tensed up, I exulted, I wept.
Can't stop the signal! :-)
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