Tuesday, October 18, 2005

Movie Review - Serenity

I saw Serenity over the weekend. For those that don't know, this is the movie spin-off from the Firefly TV series that was cancelled much too early by idiot TV executives in the US. Firefly followed the adventures of Malcolm Reynolds and his crew aboard his Firefly class ship called 'Serenity'. It was a bit like a cowboy movie in space, but don't let that put you off.

Firefly (and Serenity) were created by Jos Whedon who also created Buffy The Vampire Slayer and Angel. Now, as a big fan of Buffy and Angel as well as Firefly, I have to say I consider this man to be a genius. He writes his stories based on the characters in them rather than the situations they are in. This means the viewers actually care what happens to them. The situations the characters are facing are also not too far removed from real life so that we can't relate to them, even though the setting may be a a different planet, or Hell, or America...

Pop culture references are also a big part of Jos Whedon's work. Buffy and Angel had references to everything from Star Trek to Ann Rice, although this is a little more difficult in a sci-fi story set 500 years in the future. There are some references there though and the humour remains.

Anyway, back to Serenity. If you have not seen the TV series, don't worry, you will still understand what is going on. If you have seen the TV series though you will know the characters already and be pleased to see them all again. Once you have seen the film I have a feeling you will want to watch Firefly.

The film follows the story of a girl called River. She is a psychic who was kidnapped by the evil Alliance so that they could exploit her gift as a weapon. As she is a psychic she read the minds of some high up government types and now knows a terrible secret. River's brother Simon breaks her out of her prison and they end up on the Serenity with the Alliance chasing after them.

I'll not tell you any more as it may spoil the movie for you but it was absolutely fantastic. Several reviews have said the same but if the new Star Wars films had been a third as good as Serenity they would have been much better than they were. The characters are funny, they emote and you are bothered when nasty things happen to them. The story is typical sci-fi fare but it is told in a refreshing manor and it moves along at a cracking pace. It's also nice to have some sci-fi where there is no noise in space and the ship our hero's inhabit has no weapons.

One thing I have to say though is that this movie is rated 15 as it contains lots of sharp weapon based violence. When River starts to kick ass with a sword and an axe the blood really starts to fly! Do you see? Sci-fi, martial arts and gore!!!! The perfect combination!!!

This movie is the new Star Wars. Those of us who went to see the Star Wars movies at the cinema the first time they were released remember the feeling of anticipation and excitement as we waited for the film to start and the feeling of satisfaction after if had finished. Want to relive those feelings again? Go and see Serenity.

And one last thing. Mal would have shot Greedo first, no questions asked. :-)

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