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Firefly - ’Serenity’ Movie - Aintitcool.com Review (spoilers)

By SuperMedz

Friday 29 April 2005, by Webmaster

Looky! Another SERENITY review, but this one’s not so positive! Ahoy, squirts! Quint here with another, less positive review of SERENITY. This is the one I was afraid of, actually. This one is from someone who didn’t even know what FIREFLY was (like me... I knew it was on TV, but I couldn’t tell you one damn thing about it other than there were spaceships in it) and says that the film played great to fans of the show, but left everyone else cold. That’s exactly what I don’t want to hear. I hope I disagree. I want to see good Sci-Fi flicks, not bad Sci-Fi Channel flicks, you know what I mean?

I saw Serenity tonight at Janns Marketplace in Thousand Oaks California in case you need to confirm this. Joss Whedon was there allegedly... i have no clue what he looks like so dont hold me to this, but everyone was buzzing about that. Call me SuperMedz, because that’s who this is.

I had never been to a test screening until tonight so the other day when I was offered passes by my local gym for a "top secret science fiction movie" I lept at the opportunity to be a part of the process. I was told it would be in the vein of "I Robot" and "The Day After Tomorrow" so I went into the AICN chatroom and got a tip that the screening would be for Michael Bay’s supposedly brainy new movie, The Island. This was not to be. It was for Joss Whedon’s Serenity.

I have maybe seen one full episode of Buffy the Vampire Slayer and uh, Alien:Resurrection. That is the full extent of my experience with Joss Whedon. I didn’t even know that this movie was based on the show Firefly (which I had only heard of) until I overheard someone whisper that fact in the audience. So this review should give you an interesting perspective of someone who is not familiar with the show at all. I think that my lack of contact with the source material definitely hurt my experience with the film. The overall reception that the movie got from the audience was cheers from the fans of the show and a little boredom from those who were not familiar with it.

For those of you, like me, who are not familiar. Serenity is about River Tam (Summer Glau), a psychic girl who is held captive by a government operative. In probably the coolest part of the movie, the opening scene, we see her freed by her brother, Simon (Sean Maher). Apparently the doctor that was holding her captive, exposed her to the parliament so she knows all of their secrets, since she is captive. For some reason, the villain known only as The Operative played obnoxiously over the top by Chiwetal Ejiofor, is not cool with this, and uses the same move that Uma Thurman used to Kill Bill with on the doctor. Everyone in the future knows kung fu. All of this happens before the opening titles.

And there you have your typical sci-fi channel psychobabble. While I’m sure a lot of you will get a lot out of this, there are so many characters, so many planets, so many subplots, in this movie (I haven’t even mentioned these crazy rastafarian vampire looking dudes that torment both sides), that it’s so hard to give a shit about anyone or any story. It’s so hard to even keep track of what the story even is. My logic is that if you’re going to make a movie based on a tv show that lasted seven episodes, at least give me, the virginal viewer, something that I can care about. All I saw was an intriguing space western arch that unfortunately reeked... and I hate to use the cliche... SCI-FI CHANNEL EXCLUSIVE.

I’m being a little bit harsh, partially because I wanted to see The Island. There was some good. I see the appeal behind Joss Whedon after seeing this movie. The one-liners here are really witty, and if the story focused more on the brother and sister dynamics between River and Simon rather than the Firefly cast, I probably would have been way more interested. Also, it was really surprisingly violent, River goes apeshit with an axe and a sword on the rastafarian vampires, but you probably won’t see that in the final version I’m sure. As far as this movie being finished... most of the effects looked done... the score sounded awfully familiar to me... some of the shots were rough, but very few and far in between... it’s mostly finished as far as I could see, but I’m new at this.

It’s not that bad... 2 out of 4 stars??

- Yup, it’s SuperMedz