Let me start with the conclusion first: I enjoyed the movie Serenity. Whether you’ve seen the DVD series or not, you’ll enjoy this space western movie. That said….

Warning: Spoilers follow.

If you’re a fan of Firefly, you know what the disappointments are. Shephard Book’s death was the first shock. Book was the captain’s moral compass, even when the captain didn’t want to admit it. And Book had a lot of history with the Alliance that was frequently alluded to. When he died, I thought there would be some sort of miraculous return toward the end.

And then Wash died. Bam, game over. What was that all about? Tired of sentimental story lines, so you write away the love interest? The death was entirely pointless – they could have killed anybody at that point.

River went from Brain Damage Girl to Super Martial Arts Girl. All they had to do was put a cape on her and see if she could fly.

Captain used to talk tough but maintain a sentimental side. No sentimentality left anymore. Except for the fact he was trying to save the universe, you would have thought he was the bad guy.

I left with very mixed feelings – I really enjoyed seeing a new episode of these characters, but the deaths of two characters I enjoyed very much took a lot of the fun out of this movie.

6 thoughts on “Serenity”

  1. See it again. Lots of people who were shell-shocked the first go-round felt much better about things the second time around.

    And aren’t you absolutely amazed that I managed not to spill the beans? I’ve been living with this since MAY. 😛

    If it makes you feel any better, some inside stuff only a geek like me would know:

    1) The plan was to make a trilogy. Joss assured us that both Book and Wash would be in the sequels, but not in any cheesy way. The bad news is, it doesn’t look like there’s going to be any sequels.

    2) The “they could have killed anybody at that point” was exactly the point of Wash’s death. At that moment, all bets are off. Everyone on the crew is fair game, and you really don’t know if anyone is going to make it out alive. Book was the “Hollywood death” – mentor dies while gasping out final words that spur the hero on to greatness. Wash was the Joss “Non-Hollywood death” – sometimes people die unexpectedly “for no good reason” (heavily foreshadowed if you know to look for it). Also, Alan Tudyk had asked Joss to kill him off in the series by season 3. Since the movie was basically the first three seasons of Firefly condensed into two hours, it came a lot faster.

    3) River was always a weapon. Think War Stories – she “killed them with mathmatics”. Think Trash – “I can kill you with my brain”. Here’s the gut-wrenching part: She’s the anti-Iron Giant. In IG, you get the Giant claiming “I am not a weapon” and in Serenity, you get River saying, “You wanted a weapon, now you’ve got one.” She has to make the choice, and she chooses the weapon. Breaks my heart every time.

    4) The captain is still pretty sentimental – it’s just hard to absorb the first time around. It’s more in the small moments. Watch his face when he’s watching the ‘capture’ of Inara. Look for the scene when he’s sitting by River, chained to the floor. See the anguish in him when he has to be alone with the decision to put his crew in jeopardy. He’s still acting like a father to Kaylee (I can’t KNOW that!!)

    Trust me. See it again.


  2. Well, Sean saw it twice, but I think he enjoyed Wash’s death. He’s sick that way.

    I don’t think we’ll do a 2nd viewing, perhaps waiting for the DVD. We want to see several other movies that just came out, which probably explains why Serenity did so poorly the second week.


  3. Michael – You’ve picked up a Teutonic mean streak. 😐
    I did not enjoy his Buffyesque death. (I did think Book’s death was very well acted however)….

    And I did my part, I have paid for seven tickets so far….You’re welcome, Joss.

    Jo, Iron Giant! great analogy. You’re my kind of movie viewer, but I have no trouble with River being a weapon, since I understood that the Miranda revelation had “cured” many of her demons. So now, she’s a smart weapon, sort of like a biological cruise missle. You go, girl….Reivers for breakfast.

    River’s role was portrayed exceptionally well. Mary Margaret was walking around the house fo two days trying to move in that ballet-like style of walking.

    And, M3 was pretty good.

    Now I have to learn that “Safe Word”.


  4. I’m kinda glad you didn’t enjoy his death, Sean. Cause if you did I’d have to worry about you. But you have to admit that it certainly puts you on the edge of your seat for the next 15 minutes. I was still shaking two hours after the movie was over. Of course, that might have had something to do with the fact that I was within spitting distance of Ron Glass and Nathan Fillion…not that I’d actually spit on them or anything, what with being marginally civilized and lady-like.


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