Saturday, November 19, 2005

Warning!!! Incoming Movie Review! 

"Serenity" [Minimal spoiling included]
I'm a little late with this review---I was planning to see at least one other important movie and do both at the same time. Then I didn't get back to the theater for various reasons.
"Serenity" is a feature-length continuation of the action in the TV series which Fox presented out-of-sequence and finally killed off partway through its first season. The story is a quantum leap from Joss Whedon's earlier efforts, a unique blend of frontier Western and space opera. One of it's most endearing qualities is what Spiderman used to call "snappy patter" among the members of the crew.
The movie continues the story, reuniting various missing members of the original crew, wrapping up plot threads from the series, and unfortunately making it pretty clear that this final plot twist is pretty much terminal. The climax of the movie's action is one of those grimace-and-slap-yourself-on-the-forehead-even-though-you-know-exactly-what's-going-to-happen-five-minutes-early things.
Negatives stem mainly from the inevitable "TV-show-cast-reunion" aura, and a few too many suspensions of disbelief in the final minutes. For some TMD-related reason or other, they decided to settle the unrequited lust between the naive engineer and the only slightly less naive doctor, while Mal, the captain, and Inara, the professional courtesan---subject of a much more dramatic and intricate romantic plotline---never touched each other during the movie as far as I could tell. Then there's those "terminal" issues, which make it fairly obvious that a resumption of the TV series by the Science Fiction Channel or others---still vigorously favored by its fans---is a remote possibility at best.

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