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09/30/2005 Archived Entry: "Serenity"
SIGH. AFTER ALL THAT ANTICIPATION ... it was better as a TV series.
Most of the core elements that made Firefly so extraordinary were there -- the character interactions, the moody color and atmosphere of the ship, the bitter wit from Mal, and above all the emphasis on free people behaving with outlaw honor while opposing a state that demands perfect obedience. But these elements of greatness were underused or misused -- buried under lots of unoriginal action sequences and cheesy special effects. Oh, and lots of "oh, the ship is shaking apart" stuff straight out of those horrible old Irwin Allen SF movies and TV shows of the early 1960s. You can't just scale up a TV series and call it a movie.
Where my jaw really dropped -- and not in a good way -- was during a scene that should have been both a big climactic triumph and a laugh. This scene is developing and I'm sitting there going, "WTF??? Whedon stole that straight out of Galaxy Quest! And Galaxy Quest did it better." (You may remember: "My ship ... is dragging mines!" Well, it's not mines the Serenity is dragging. But it's sure dragging GQ's creative baggage. And this was definitely a steal, not a tribute by one movie maker to another.)
Still, not a terrible movie. Just not a great, or even an especially good one. I didn't hate it, as George Potter did (warning; strong language). I was just very disappointed and probably won't even remember much about it in the morning. The one truly satisfying element was the revelation of the Reavers' origins. Now that was damed apropos.
YMMV. Most other Firefly fans seem enchanted with the whole film. Keep in mind that I'm a notorious movie snob.
Posted by Claire @ 07:12 PM CST