Humanity has reached the stars, seeking an alternative to an overpopulated Earth. A war between the Alliance and the Separatists has left the Alliance in control. On the fringes of the galaxy, mercenaries, bandits and cannibalistic Reavers roam. The Serenity and its crew, including Captain Malcolm Reynolds (Fillion) are rogues, trawling space for adventure and profit.
After taking aboard a young doctor and his psychic sister River (Glau), Reynolds discovers she is an Alliance secret weapon, and that they are being hunted by an Alliance assassin sent to retrieve her. For River will be the key to a dead planet that holds secrets the Alliance wishes to keep… Joss Whedon, creator of T.V.’s Buffy the Vampire Slayer and responsible for the screenplays for Toy Story and Alien Resurrection, was off to a good start with his series Firefly, until it was cancelled.
Continuing the story with Serenity, Whedon combines slick dialogue with sharp action sequences to make a science fiction film that is fun and intelligent. Whedon’s galaxy culture is reminiscent of both the American West and Asia.
Pistols and rifles make up a lot of the small arms, and the majority of the outer rim settlements resemble something out of a Western movie.
Serenity is made up of very human characters, full of faults and wry humour. Reynolds’ crew stick together through thick and thin and, as usual, Whedon is not afraid to surprise his audience, making death a real possibility for any of the characters.
His female characters are a real treat, both strong and self-reliant, as you’d expect from the creator of the galaxy’s only viable teenage vampire fixer.
Joss Whedon’s first big screen effort is well worth a look, and with a proposed adaptation of Wonder Woman coming up, he could be a filmmaker to watch.