Joss Whedon directs Serenity, based on the Firefly TV show, focused on the crew of the Serenity and their space faring adventures as they try to escape from a skilled assassin who’s trying to capture a member of their team, the film stars Nathan Fillion, Gina Torres, Chiwetel Ejiofor, Alan Tudyk, Morena Baccarin, Adam Baldwin, Summer Glau.
Serenity ironically stands as a great entry point to Firefly if you’ve never seen the show and it still works even as a standalone film if you don’t relate it to the show, such is Whedons great characterization, writing and the way he crafts fun ensemble casts. The film is a sort of conclusion to journey that the characters had been on with a open and closed arc and things are pretty satisfying, considering the film could have split fans of the show right down the middle.
Getting on to what’s good about Serenity, the characters, even if you’re not familiar with them, they have fun interactions with each other due to their strong personalities, clearly representing who they are and what they stand for. The way they all interact as a crew in a space opera way is high entertainment with some great laughs to be had as well some good drama and tension as not everyone gets along all the time, Jayne (Adam Baldwin) the hothead is a personal favourite character, as is the ever reliable Mal (Nathan Fillion) and Wash (Alan Tudyk) is awesome. On the whole all the characters are great and really well written, portrayed adeptly by a cast that knows each other, having worked previously on Firefly and leading on from the show. Whedon flexes his writing talent here with some great character moments from small minor moments like characters simply talking on their down time to characters panicking during crises, it’s great to watch the crew get through situations together, reacting and taking action differently.
The plot for the film is great because it works as a separate entity, addressing things from the show and raising entirely new questions and ideas, we see the cannibalistic Reavers and clues on their origins and see a bit more on the evil regime ruling the galaxy.
Serenity has some great ideas in a universe that it exists in which feels fun and well crafted despite which side of morality you’re looking on and even the evil assassin,’ The Operative’ (Chiwetel Ejiofor) is a pretty cool character I have to say. Whedon excels in making visually great looking films as well and this is no exception with some ambitious and big in scale set pieces and action, as well as great character design, if you go into the film and expect it to be mostly focused on the crew being on the ship itself, you’re in for a nice surprise as we see some cool different locations as the plot goes on. A plot with great pacing I might add, it flows well an is an engaging thrill ride with barely a dull moment, a nice sort of ‘conclusion’ to the story of Firefly but not really as future stories can still take place.
. Great characterization, fun interactions and dialogue
. Well done set pieces, chase sequences and action
. Engaging, fun plot