codeblog code is freedom — patching my itch

September 27, 2005

review of Serenity

Filed under: Blogging — kees @ 10:40 pm

I should admit first that I’m biased. I loved Firefly, but having seen the movie twice now, I think I can attempt to talk about the movie from the perspective of someone who doesn’t know the whole back-drop of the Firefly universe.

The number of characters seems like it would be overwhelming, but I think their unique aspects quickly become clear. Simon’s transition from escape artist to ship’s doctor seems a little jarring, but I think it’s easily overlooked. The interactions between the rest of the characters are quickly developed with strong dialog. I’ve seen other reviews that say the characters are “too thin”, but I’d argue that they’re much better than that because they follow classic stereotypes without common interactions. For example, the First In Command is married to The Pilot, The Captain can barely control his crew, The Doctor and The Mechanic are endlessly avoiding their shared sexual tension, etc. The relationships may be stereotyped, but the matching of relationship to the specific character type, I think, is novel.

The story is quick, and develops in easy-to-understand steps, picking up a smooth speed right through the end of the movie. It was kind of like falling, with a “wheee” turning into “whoaaa” turning into “oooh shiiiit”. But at the same time, all the tension was always marked with humor to bring you back and make you enjoy the characters. After the first intense confrontation and edge-of-your-seat high-speed escape from certain death, the crew is trying to catch their breath and someone says, “Is everyone okay?” River responds, “I swallowed a bug.”

I will see this movie over and over. I love it, the score made me nearly cry, and I got shivers at least 4 separate times. If I reviewed a lot of movies, I would rate things in “shivers” not “stars”. A scene so good that it gives me the creeps, or fills me with awe. That’s why I go see movies, and Serenity gave me plenty of good shivers.

© 2005, Kees Cook. This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 License.
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  1. It launched yesterday here in AU I’ve seen it twice so far.
    Some of the scenes are just breathtakingly beautiful.

    Comment by Andy Fitzsimon — September 29, 2005 @ 4:59 pm

  2. It’s a beautiful film, well written and made. I do think that the film benefits from having a knowledge of the series, but I also saw the series first and loved so I’m also biased. The only thing that I thought wasn’t as good was that they got David Newman to do the music rather than Greg Edmundson. The music in the film works brillantly in the setting of the film whereas the soundtrack
    from Firefly is great to listen to even without the visuals, the film soundtrack is not so like that in my personal opinion. Love the film and loved the chance to see the characters again.

    Comment by Sarah — November 11, 2008 @ 11:47 am

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