Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Serenity (2005)

Number Rolled: 93
Movie Name/Year: Serenity (2005)
Genre: Sci-Fi & Fantasy
Length: 118 minutes
Rating: PG-13
Director: Joss Whedon
Writer: Joss Whedon
Actors: Nathan Fillion, Gina Torres, Alan Tudyk, Morna Baccarin, Adam Baldwin, Jewel Staite, Sean Maher, Summer Glau, Ron Glass, Chiwetel Ejiofor, David Krumholtz, Michael Hitchcock, Sarah Paulson, Yan Feldman, Rafael Feldman, Nectar Rose, Tamara Taylor, Glenn Howerton, Hunter Ansley Wryn

Normally, I would start my entry off with a couple sentence description of the beginning of the movie. Maybe make a mention of the main character or an actor within it. Serenity doesn’t need that kind of introduction. It’s a fair belief that if you are part of the geek culture (especially revolving around sci-fi), you know that this movie is what was meant to tie up the loose ends of a canceled series called, “Firefly.” It’s a show that lasted only one season and has more followers than many of the shows that are still airing today.

Serenity is the saddest movie I have ever seen.

I don’t mean the ending or what leads up to it. Nor am I indicating that the script or plot held a sad tone. It’s what the movie represents that moves me. This film shows, at a very deep level, what Firefly could have evolved into.

Television shows go through a kind of evolution. Think about your favorite complete series of all time; whether it’s “Buffy the Vampire Slayer,” “Lost,” “Heroes,” “30 Rock,” “Dawson’s Creek,” “MacGyver” or anything else doesn’t matter. How would you feel if you watched the very first episode of the show directly before watching the very last? Would it even seem like the same series? Would you be able to believe that the air-head blonde Buffy in the pilot was the same as the broken-down seasoned warrior in the final episode, without knowing what got her there?

Firefly was a brilliant show that had everything it needed to get its characters from where they started to a final product that we will never see. That’s why people aren’t willing to let go of this one season series that could have been more. In Serenity we see how far these characters could go and how much further they have left to travel. Fanfic aside, they’ll be traveling without us.

That is why Serenity is so sad to me. It’s like someone gave me a book, let me start the first chapter then tore it out of my hands and let me read the middle of the next book. Aside from the fact that if someone did that to me in real life I’d likely bite them, it’s almost cruel. We geeks get attached to our characters. We empathize with them. When they die, we cry. When they succeed, we cheer. When the TV goes off, we write fan-fiction and make pictures on tumblr, just to get them to stick around. We look for philosophy between the lines of characters that probably weren’t written with philosophy in mind. We publish books about those philosophies. Here we are handed Mal, ZoĆ«, Wash, Inara, Jayne, Kaylee, Simon, River and Shepherd; all characters that are highly relatable, that have in depth independent storylines that brought them together. We made friends with them as we traveled on their Firefly ship through the galaxy, until they left us behind. The worst part is, I don’t think any of us really understand why.

Emotion aside, the movie’s really good. Attention to detail is spectacular – right down to the blown blood vessels that can appear in an eye that’s been punched. The script was like an episode of Firefly only better. And, of course, it’s Joss Whedon, which means anyone can die at any time from the moment the movie starts to after the credits roll, leaving you wincing anytime someone takes a hit because you wonder if that’ll be it.

Long live Firefly… if only in our hearts.

Overall Opinion – 5/5

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