Go and watch Firefly right now. Go to Netflix or wherever and rent all of the DVDs of the show (there’s only one season). If you haven’t done this already, you’re living a seriously diminished life. Once you do that and see how frickin’ great Firefly is, you’ll be able to understand just how mind-rendingly kick-ass the movie Serenity is.
It is that good. Imagine mainlining the Firefly series, having all of the kick-ass cool shit and great lines and laugh-out-loud, yell-with-glee scenes injected into your cerebellum like a jack into the Matrix.
Oh, it’s definitely that good.
Joss Whedon, the writer and director, really pulled it off. I admit, I was a bit worried. Not that Serenity would be bad, but that it would be the show stretched over two hours: a whole lot of filler between plot points in a catch-all Firefly primer. That wouldn’t have been unbearable by any stretch, but certainly not thrilling.
Oh, this is not that at all. Imagine that instead of stretching an episode, Whedon compressed a season (or more). The payoff for this sacrifice of subtlety and measured development is, in my opinion, the far superior path. He really went all-out and it kept me riveted 95% of the time and loving it for the other 5%.
The only big downside is that some of the characters kind of thrive on subtlety and protracted development. As a result, the characters and their involvement get streamlined down to what’s necessary to keep things working and give all of the characters face time. For this reason, I really recommend watching the show first. The break-neck pace, the character interactions, the plot developments will all carry so much more weight and allow you to revel in them. That being said, I can’t even fathom what it would be like to watch this movie without having seen the show. I’ve watched the series four times over easily (we own the DVDs) and love all the characters and the story. I hate to say it, but watching the show probably makes this movie much more enjoyable and feel more complete, because your knowledge of the characters fills in the subtleties that Whedon leaves unsaid for fans and conveniently to the side for anyone else.
Has anyone here seen the movie but not the show? I’d love to hear your thoughts on the flick and your experience.
But, again, watching Serenity was unadulterated bliss and enjoyment. I have not enjoyed and been so engaged in a film like this more than a handful of times ever. I imagine that much of that still translates to uninitiated viewers. Bravo, Whedon. Bravo everyone who worked on Serenity. It’s brilliant.
Ad Exec Reviews: Can’t stop the signal; The future is worth fighting for; They aim to misbehave.
MPAA Review: Sequences of intense violence and action, and some sexual references.