Review: Firefly's Serenity

22 April 2023

 "Serenity" is a science fiction film based on the TV series "Firefly" created by Joss Whedon. The movie was released in 2005 and directed by Joss Whedon himself. It is a continuation of the story of the show, which was canceled after only one season due to low ratings but gained a cult following after its DVD release.

The story of "Serenity" picks up where the show left off, following the crew of the Serenity, a spaceship captained by Malcolm Reynolds (played by Nathan Fillion). The crew consists of a ragtag group of misfits, including Zoe (Gina Torres), Wash (Alan Tudyk), Jayne (Adam Baldwin), Kaylee (Jewel Staite), Simon (Sean Maher), and River (Summer Glau).

The movie begins with an exposition-heavy opening sequence that sets up the backstory of the show, including the fact that the Alliance, a powerful government entity, is hunting down River Tam, a former government experiment who has psychic abilities. Malcolm and his crew have been hired to transport River to safety, but they soon find themselves caught in a dangerous conspiracy that threatens their lives and the fate of the entire universe.

One of the strengths of "Serenity" is its character development. Whedon does an excellent job of fleshing out the characters, particularly River and Simon. The movie explores River's past and her relationship with her brother Simon, who rescued her from the Alliance. River's character arc is particularly compelling, as she struggles with the traumatic memories of her past and her newfound psychic abilities. The chemistry between the characters is also one of the film's highlights, particularly the banter between Malcolm and his first mate Zoe.

Another strength of "Serenity" is its world-building. The movie expands on the universe established in the TV show, providing more backstory and lore about the Alliance and the various planets and cultures that make up the universe. The special effects are also impressive, with some stunning visuals and action scenes that bring the sci-fi world to life.

However, "Serenity" is not without its flaws. The movie's plot can be convoluted and confusing at times, especially for viewers who are not familiar with the show. Some of the action scenes are also a bit over-the-top and unrealistic, which can detract from the overall believability of the film.

Overall, "Serenity" is a solid science fiction movie that will appeal to fans of the "Firefly" TV show. It does an excellent job of continuing the story of the show's beloved characters, while also expanding on the universe and providing some stunning visuals and action scenes. However, it may be a bit confusing for viewers who are not familiar with the show, and some of the action scenes can be a bit over-the-top.

serenity film poster

Sure, here are 25 bits of trivia about the film "Serenity":

1. "Serenity" was the first feature film directed by Joss Whedon, who had previously worked primarily in television.

2. The movie was made as a continuation of the TV series "Firefly," which was canceled after just one season.

3. The film was shot in Los Angeles and Santa Clarita, California, over a period of 50 days.

5. The name "Serenity" was chosen because it represents the crew's quest for peace and tranquility in a chaotic universe.

6. The film's budget was around $39 million, which was low for a sci-fi movie at the time.

7. The movie's opening sequence, which provides exposition about the universe and the characters, was added at the request of the studio.

8. The character of Mr. Universe, a reclusive hacker, was inspired by real-life computer programmer and activist Richard Stallman.

10. The scene in which Malcolm Reynolds and Inara Serra kiss was added late in the production process, as a way to provide closure for their relationship.

12. The language spoken by the characters, called "Fruity Oaty Bar Language," was created specifically for the movie and is a mix of Japanese and gibberish.

13. Joss Whedon originally wanted to title the film "The Kitchen Sink," as a reference to the fact that he threw everything but the kitchen sink into the script.

14. The movie's tagline, "Can't stop the signal," refers to the fact that the Alliance is unable to suppress information once it is broadcast.

15. The character of Jayne Cobb was named after a minor character in the film "The Outlaw Josey Wales."

17. The movie was released on September 30, 2005, and received generally positive reviews from critics.

18. "Serenity" was a box office disappointment, grossing just over $38 million worldwide.

19. The film has since gained a cult following and is considered a cult classic by fans of the show.

20. Nathan Fillion, who played Malcolm Reynolds, has said that he still owns the jacket he wore in the film. Hey, speaking of jackets, here's an essay on the themes of The Jacket starring Kiera Knightley.

21. The film's score was composed by David Newman, who also composed the scores for "Ice Age," "The Mighty Ducks," and "Galaxy Quest."

22. The movie's opening shot, which shows Serenity flying through space, took six months to create.

24. Joss Whedon has said that he considers "Serenity" to be the final chapter in the story of the "Firefly" universe.


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About the author Jimmy Jangles

My name is Jimmy Jangles, the founder of The Astromech. I have always been fascinated by the world of science fiction, especially the Star Wars universe, and I created this website to share my love for it with fellow fans.

At The Astromech, you can expect to find a variety of articles, reviews, and analysis related to science fiction, including books, movies, TV, and games.
From exploring the latest news and theories to discussing the classics, I aim to provide entertaining and informative content for all fans of the genre.

Whether you are a die-hard Star Trek fan or simply curious about the world of science fiction, The Astromech has something for everyone. So, sit back, relax, and join me on this journey through the stars!
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