Friday, August 13, 2010
Movie You Probably Missed: Serenity
Way back in 2002, there was a very good concept for a television show called Firefly. In Fox's infinite wisdom, they put the show in the time slot were all good science fiction shows go to die; Friday nights at 9pm. The show ran for 12 episodes. It got poor ratings and was cancelled before even running the remaining 2 episodes that were already filmed. That would have been the end of it had it not been for Director Joss Whedon's passion. He convinced Universal Studios to turn the failed television show into a feature film; thus creating the 2005 film, Serenity.
The film is set 500 years in the future, long after people have left earth and colonized in many other planets. It is set after a civil war, in which the outlying colonies fought for independence from the central planets and lost. The crew of Serenity is made up of a group of disgruntled former soldiers who lost the war. They take on board their ship a 17 year old girl who is a telepath and was being experimented on by the Alliance. What the Alliance knows and the crew later learn is that she is much more dangerous than she appears and may hold secrets that could shake the Alliance to its core.
The great thing about Serenity is its layers. It has elements of science fiction, horror, western, action, martial arts, drama, and comedy. The universe Joss Whedon has created is extremely detailed. It is a society which is a melting pot of different cultures and one of the best representations of the future I have ever seen on film. The characters all have just as much depth. Joss Whedon was given the option to replace the actors from the TV series, but he decided to keep the cast he had. This was a double edged sword; on one side you can see on film how much they care about this film and on the other side it leaves the film without any big name celebrities in the film. The latter made Serenity less than successful at the box office. I, on the other hand, prefer this because it helps me get lost in a movie.
Serenity is hands down one of the best science fiction movies of the last decade. You owe it to yourself to find it and give it a chance, you will be glad you did.
My rating: 5 out of 5