... movie reviews , spoiler_low
sun 2005-oct-23 23:20:22 pdt
After watching the Firefly series DVDs over the last six weeks
or so, last night we went to see Serenity.
So first of all, I thought they did quite a good job of tying up the
loose ends, explaining the mysteries left by the series. And
impressively, they managed to do that while also creating a film that
actually stands on its own -- of course I don't know what it would be
like to see the movie without having watched the series, but it
certainly seemed like it would be entirely coherent.
I'm entirely speculating here, so I may be completely wrong (and
perhaps there's even well-known evidence to the contrary), but I kind
of came away with the impression that Joss hadn't completely worked
out River's whole back-story while they were doing the series, and the
details about Miranda and so on were only developed while writing the
screenplay for the movie. Then again, nothing that I noticed seemed
to particularly contradict anything from the show, so maybe it's just
a question of his having shifted gears from revealing her back-story
over the course of many many hours interspersed with many other
subplots, to revealing her back-story in two hours. I mean, maybe it
appears that he didn't know where he was going and was just
wandering, simply by virtue of the fact that he suddenly sped up, the
way you might do when you suddenly spot your previously uncertain
destination on the horizon.
In any case, on some level, it doesn't really matter to what extent
Joss had this master plan all along; the end result was a great movie!
(Insert trite simile here comparing Joss to Mal -- adapting to
situations as he goes, rather than having a perfect master plan from
the start ... if you like that sort of meaningless comparison.) But
seriously, the story is engrossing, the humor is clever, and all that.
Really, about the only complaint I can think to make is that I would
have liked it to have had more of Inara. I found her character to be
one of the more intriguing characters of the series. But so it goes.
I've heard it said that, compared with the show, the movie is a lot
more space and less western. This is certainly accurate. And so I
suppose I can understand serious fans being upset by that change in
... tone, I guess. But in the end, I suppose I care more about story
than tone. Well, no, that's not exactly it. The point is more that I
thought this tone worked quite well for the story being told, and,
perhaps unlike some people, I didn't feel a strong attachment to the
Definitely highly recommended, along with the series -- even to people
who are not fans of science fiction. (Of course, I suspect that a
good deal of my readership is comprised of bigger sci-fi fans than me,
and saw both the series and the film well before I did!)