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Movie Reviews by Sarah L. Gerhardt

Serenity (2005)
Directed and written by: Joss Whedon
Starring: Nathan Fillion, Summer Glau, Adam Baldwin, Chiwetel Ejiofor, Gina Torres, Alan Tudyk, Morena Baccarin, Jewel Staite, Sean Maher, Ron Glass, David Krumholtz
Distributed by: Universal Pictures
Running time: 119 min.

Review by Sarah L. Gerhardt


Serenity is a feature film (a "sequel" of sorts) continuation of the short-lived television series Firefly.

Cancelled after just 11 of 14 episodes produced, the television series by Joss Whedon still managed to develop a rabid fan base. After the show was cancelled Joss tried to find it a new home, but had no success. Thus the idea for a movie was born.

Admittedly I have never seen an episode of Firefly. In all honestly it had little to do with subject matter, writing or direction? in theory I had no problem with any of those. However, the channel that was carrying the show had just cancelled another sci-fi show I loved (Dark Angel )? and I did not want to be heart broken.

So, I missed the boat. I was a bit worried that because I was new to the universe that I would spend this movie lost. I knew little about the universe in which I was about to be thrown. I only really knew that it was a sci-fi western of sorts, and I was game for that. I settled back and decided that I would curl up with a movie and allow myself to be absorbed, reserving judgment.

SaveCancelCloseEdit FileWhen finished, click Save or Cancel below. Change PermissionsSerenity begins with a teacher telling the story of Earth. The population problems drove the scientists of Earth to create terra-formed planets in another solar system so that the human race would not die out. We see this through a very special young girls vision or memories. This method of explaining the essence of the times and path of the human race didn?t feel forced. I was glad for this. The movie centers around a tormented young telepath named River Tam (Summer Glau) and the crew of Serenity ? a group of former freedom fighters (Browncoats) who are doing their best to make ends meat in a time when war has ravished the lands and things like money and supplies are hard to come by.

Joss did an excellent job of combining two genres ? Sci-Fi and the Spaghetti Western. The acting and direction surpassed my expectations. Casting was superb. I really enjoyed seeing Chiwetel Ejiofor in this film. He is a brilliant actor and his performance was nothing short of spectacular. Summer Glau was another bright spot. I enjoyed her performance and can?t wait to see her grow as an actress.

Usually I go into a lot more detail about films? but I am keeping my lips sealed, as I want people to feel the same surprise and awe that I did. Though there were times in the film that I did feel as if I was missing an inside secret, it didn?t interfere with my enjoyment or my ability to connect to the characters. In fact, it made me want to rent the series so that I could understand the intricacies of this complex mythos.

This film was certainly a love letter to the fans in many ways, but it was also made accessible to the newbs (like me). I highly recommend this film for anyone who is a fan of the science-fiction genre. I would also recommend it to anyone who enjoys a well-paced, character-driven action film. I am sure that it will grace my shelves and become a permanent part of my collection.

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