Diego's Review of Serenity
Joss "The Boss" Whedon has done it again. Bringing to a close the epic story arc begun in his short-lived but much-loved TV show Firefly, the God of the Nerds assembles a fantastic cast, an imaginative plot, and eye-popping visuals for one of the best sci-fi films ever made. There is nothing derivative or cliched here; it is all new and all original. I am more than a little biased here, as Firefly is my favorite show of all time, but even non-fans of the series will be blown away by the fantastic action, sharp dialogue, and memorable performances. This movie is a thrill ride in every sense of the phrase.
It would be near-impossible to explain the Firefly-Serenity story arc in one paragraph, so I'll let Nathan Fillion do it for me. This is a cop out, I know, but if you don't already know the plot, this is essential. And I can't think of any better way to word it. So: "Here's how it is: The Earth got used up. So we terraformed a whole new galaxy of Earths. Some rich and flush with the new technologies. Some, not so much. Central planets, them as formed the Alliance, waged war to bring everyone under their rule. A few idiots tried to fight it, among them, myself. I'm Malcolm Reynolds, captain of Serenity. Got a good crew- fighters, pilot, mechanic. We even picked up a preacher, and a bona fide companion. There's a doctor too, took his genius sister out of some Alliance camp, so they're keeping a low profile. You got a job, we can do it. Don't much care what it is."
Got all that? Good, we can proceed. Although you might have to watch the show to understand the proceedings in Serenity, I can't fault the movie for that. If you haven't seen Firefly, it's your own gorram fault for being so bad at picking TV shows to see. After the events of Firefly, Serenity picks up with Mal, Zoe, Wash, Jayne, Kaylee, Simon, River, Inara, and Shepherd Book in perfect fashion. I honestly wept to see these characters on screen again. The opening sequence, where Mal goes through the ship and talks to everyone, just gave me chills up and down my spine. My show is FUCKING BACK! YEAH!
In the opening sequence, we are introduced to an operative, played to the hilt by... the black guy from 2012 whose name is unpronounceable. Chewlehlwletl Ejofofijofir. Or something. He is utterly calm, collected, and intent in his belief that finding the crew of Serenity and killing River is the right thing to do. After a great first action sequence during which we FINALLY GET TO SEE REAVERS, he tracks down Inara and tricks Mal into coming to get her. Classic catchphrases abound throughout this movie, thanks in the most part to Joss Whedon's inspired writing. "I swallowed a bug." SO FUCKING GOOD! Anyway, we do finally get to see what the secret that has been tearing River apart was (no spoilers here, move along), and it's absolutely fantastic. Seriously, if it had been anything short of the incredible climax of this movie, it would have been a disappointment. But thankfully, IN WHEDON WE TRUST, because this movie is all BUT disappointing. Some fans may have gotten pissy because... a certain someone... dies... but again, no spoilers. You have to go into this movie fresh.
I will say this, though-- My favorite scene in film history is in this movie. River gets 'activated,' and rampages through a horde of Reavers, absolutely decimating them. I am talking about an absolute beatdown of epic proportions. It is the greatest action sequence ever put to film. Good God, I am going full raging fanboy here, but this movie is perfect in every sense of the word. There is not a line of dialogue, a moment, a conceivable detail about it that I would ever think of changing. Nathan Fillion was fucking BORN to play Malcom Reynolds, Gina Torres is cold yet appealing as Zoe, and Adam Baldwin plays the dumb yet lovable mercenary Jayne with every fiber of his being.
The soundtrack is spectacular as well. It mixes the western vibes of the show with the full-on sci-fi epic that is this movie, and it's fucking beautiful. Yeah, I listen to it all the time, and it's awesome. In fact, I'll admit this-- I'm listening to it as I write this review. And the final scene... good God. There are almost (ALMOST) no movies that can actually get me choked up, but this is one of them. Partly because the dialogue and conclusion to the movie is beautiful, but also because this is the last time we'll get to see these characters onscreen. And no, you don't get to reboot Firefly, as nobody but these actors could play these characters. Fucking BLASPHEMY.
Final score for Serenity: 10/10 stars. Honestly, there is no way a true fan of Firefly couldn't give this score to Serenity. It has everything fans craved-- Great dialogue, spectacular action, and some of the best TV characters of all time in their own movie. Even if we want more of it, this is the absolute best that Whedon could have done given the restrictions of the art form (in terms of length). You can tell from the show that he wanted to cram a lot more stuff into this conclusion than he did, but he kept it concise, epic, and to the point. And if you haven't seen Firefly... YOU'RE FUCKING DEAD TO ME.