Thursday, May 5, 2005

Serenity

Warning - rant follows

One week ago, I was fortunate enough to attend a test screening of Joss Whedon's new film Serenity. I've been thinking about the movie and my reaction, and finally decided to blog about it. Don't worry. No Spoilers in here.

OK, so I had high expectations for Serenity. It's a Joss Whedon film, after all. But my first reaction after seeing Serenity was that it was not up to Joss' standards.

What didn't work for me? Firstly the whole suspension of disbelief just didn't carry me through. I never bought into the premise of the movie. Things happen on a grand, GRAND scale.. but our crew are just petty crooks. That was the whole POINT of Firefly. I believe the quote Joss used was "This show isn't about the people who made history; it's about the people history stepped on." They sure as hell make history in the movie..

Firefly was about what makes people tick, their motivations and drives. It was all very internal. The epitome of which was the episode Objects In Space. To me, Serenity, the film is very much the opposite of Objects. It's all about the external - explosions and fights and spaceships and stuff.. To give credit to Whedon he did integrate some interesting ideas into the story, like the nature of belief and faith, the role of government (authoritarian / paternalistic vs libertarian) and censorship.. but these are mostly drowned out by the gunfire and explosions.

So in a few words, my main gripe is that it's too much like a generic action movie.

On to what I liked. The cast were fantastic once again, everyone hit their roles like they never left them. Cap'n Mal is front and centre, of course, but River steals the show. Less of Inara and Book and I would like to have seen. And of course there was plenty of funny. Though the timing didn't seem to be quite right.. maybe it's an editing thing..

But of course, I'll be in the line to watch it the very first session it's showing in Sydney. The movie might not be Joss' best work (IMHO), but it's a hell of a lot better than almost everything else out there.

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