Many have thought that this would fall apart due to a rather flimsy, simplistic concept that couldn't support a feature length film. But Kelly just uses the moral question as a simple starting ground for more intriguing places and themes. There have been those who have found it laughable, but here's why it worked for me : the set-up was entirely believable. Diaz and Marsden shed all of their "GQ Magazine" sheen and with the help of Kelly, create completely believable and likable human beings. I was invested in their plight and it made the journey they took powerful and not silly. And even though I'm a huge fan of Kelly, I'm willing to admit that he can be extremely self-indulgent. But he has made his most mature film with this. There were times when he could've thrown in something like a conversation about 70's sitcoms, but he's grounded in his story and doesn't want to stray from it. He goes to surrealistic places but I never felt as if he was just being weird for the sake of being weird. He's telling a deep story about humanity and salvation, and all his stylistic choices only serve the story. In the end it's a film that lays all it's clues out in a way that's easy for mainstream audiences to understand and be thrilled by, but it still remains the atmospheric and exciting Kelly that we all know.
Has its moments, but such weighed down by an incredibly clunky screenplay. The flashbacks don't flow well with the main story (that isn't that interesting to begin with) and the narration by McGregor is incredibly weak due to his character being rather uninteresting. It also tries to be a commentary on the torture tactics of the military but it feels like such an afterthought in the end.
I'm a huge fan of the TV show, so it was going to be hard going into this with an open mind. I knew the creative heights reached by the show so it was going to be hard seeing it as just a bubblegum teen movie. But unfortunately, that isn't even really the problem. I was fine with that. Whedon's script is in fact very funny and entertaining, but the film itself is incredibly flat. The direction is so utterly static that it becomes hard to appreciate just how good Whedon's script is. And I get the feeling that the movie was somewhat chopped up.
Despite being utterly contrived at points and overall kind of silly, you cannot deny how effective it is while watching it. I had to sleep with the lights on and that's saying something seeing as almost no horror movies scare me.