The Deliverator – Wannabee

So open minded, my thoughts fell out…

Serenity

Posted by Deliverator on October 3rd, 2005

Went and saw “Serenity” last night with my brother. I am a big fan of the series “Firefly” upon which it was based. Firefly got treated quite badly by fox, running the episodes out of order, not airing the pilot (which does an excellent job of laying out the premise/ backstory for the whole series), and giving it an impossible schedule slot. As much as I wanted to like this movie, I felt like it was deeply torn between being a movie for general audiences and one made for the fans of the series (who did after all buy something like 9 million DVD boxed sets of the series). Here are a few of my objections:

-The movie didn’t do a very good job keeping the western feel of the series. What few western themes were present in the movie felt very “thrown in.”

-I didn’t like the cinematography or the blue tones to the lighting. It felt much too space/sci-fi and not space/western.

-The movie didn’t spend enough time setting up the characters, their personalities or relationships. Two important characters from the series die in the movie and I don’t think the non-fan audience cared one bit. Wash’s goof-ball lovableness hardly makes an appearance in the film, so you don’t get a sense of how his vibrant, life-loving personality counterbalances what is lacking in the graven, war-scarred persona of his wife. The sudden, brutal way in which he is killed quite frankly makes me angry. Book’s death makes me angry for a different reason, as it ends (without explanation) all the intrigue relating to his past and why he still has pull with “The Alliance”

-Capt. Mallory seems far too mean spirited in the movie. With none of the back-story of how each member of the crew came to be aboard ship or the wealth of well-disguised acts of heroism on his part, I myself wondered why any of the crew stayed by the bastard or were so willing to follow him into danger.

-Far too much time spent on special effects and action sequences, rather than the witty dialogue and sharp characterizations that made the series such a great ride. I find myself less and less impressed with special effects with each passing day. Like props in a play, special effects should only be used where necessary to tell the story. Eye-candy is great fun to watch, but you are left wanting meat.

-I felt like the movie was a “one take pony.” I felt like most of the actor’s performances were not up to the high standards of the series. Is film really so expensive? The one exception to this is the actor who played the un-named operative. I am pretty sure he is the same actor who had such a powerful role in a movie called “Dirty Pretty Things” a few years ago. I don’t recall his name offhand, except I remember it being hard to pronounce.

The movie had some great moments, but just didn’t hang together well enough for my liking. I will probably see it again once or twice. I do hope it does spectacularly well in theaters and that fox is somehow compelled to bring the series back as a result.