... like a leaf?

Arne Keustermans, a young director from Belgium and a personal acquaintance of mine, was hyping this movie since the beginning of the year. He was a big fan of the tv-series FireFly, which was cancelled in the middle of its first season. Fans around the world begged for a follow-up and got this movie.

Serenity was pitched as a "science-fiction western", which is a genre I have never ever heard of. The series' creator (and this movie's writer and director) Josh Whedon must have invented it.

This is a "Janus"-movie, as in "Janus, the two faced God". Style? 10/10! Music? 9/10! Special effects? 9/10! Overall look of the film with a fifth of Revenge Of The Sith's budget? Fantastic! What a job!

So where is the friction? There are far too many crappy actors - Wash (played by Alan Tudyk) looks completely washed out (was he on dope?), Jayne (played by Adam Baldwin) is straight out of the Schwarzenegger/Dwayne Johnson/Marc Vincent-book : frown/add witty comment/swing gun around. Kaylee (played by Jewel Staite) got very tiresome, talking about her sexobsession.

Some puns were bang on, but other remarks felt so forced. The movie echoes visions of Star Wars, Blade Runner, The Matrix, some martial arts ... that is not a bad thing, it's just not very original.

Give it a look, though. It's ten times better than Revenge Of The Sith. As for Serenity : file under "Pretty good just ain't good enough".

Julian De Backer, 4 December 2005