Serenity is the 2005 follow up film to the doomed Fox television show, Firefly, by Joss Whedon. The year the movie came out I had not even heard of the show and watched it without any prior knowledge of plot or characters. That’s a hell of a way to start the series but I have absolutely no complaints. I wouldn’t trade a thing for my first, larger than life, introduction to the gun toting bandit that is Captain Malcolm Reynolds.
Captain of the spaceship, Serenity, Mal leads a group of capable crew members on a journey to find the secrets locked within the mind of a telepathic girl named River whose brother has bought her passage aboard the ship. The Captain, embodied by Nathan Fillion, is a gun slinging, no nonsense, realist who understands the dangers of the Universe and the outer planet civilizations. He makes little to no apologizes for the brutal decisions he is sometimes forced to make and when it comes to his crew, deemed as family, he will not stop to keep them safe.
Reavers, a topic only lightly touched upon in the show, is brought to full light in the film. A mystery that only rumors surround they seem to be flesh hungry beasts in the shape of men who have not just mutilated their own face but commit unspeakable harm to their victims. They travel in packed spaceships which are covered in human remains and seem to show up on a planets as quickly and quietly as only a boogeyman could.
The characters, dialog, and weapons borrow heavily from American westerns but never cross the line into cheese. Personalities are well formed and never act outside of their nature just to fulfill a plot device. You can only imagine my delight in the movie theater as I watched a space cowboy deliver justice to zombie like creatures. Joss Whedon, in that moment, became my hero.
As I re-watched this treasure on Blu-Ray for the first time I was impressed all over again. It is a beautiful movie and the clarity is brilliant. Of course, in my humble opinion, it is never a poor decision to watch Nathan Fillion (sans shirt) in the most pristine viewing option possible. All in all; if you haven’t seen the show but are interested in this flick it never assumes. There is a fine line to walk when telling a story to those who are already familiar and those who aren’t. Joss does this masterfully with Serenity while never leaving anyone behind but never badgering a follower with old plot points.
4 out of 5 stars
1 leaf on the wind