Captain Mal Reynolds (Nathan Fillion) and the crew of the transport ship Serenity are galactic outlaws. There's Mal's feisty second in command Zoe (Gina Torres), married to pilot Wash (Alan Tudyk); Kaylee (Jewel Staite), the ship's mechanic and Jayne (Adam Baldwin), the renegade mercenary. Mal agrees to transport River (Summer Glau) and her medico brother Simon (Sean Maher), two fugitives of The Alliance, the coalition that dominates the galaxy, but get more than they bargained for. River has a secret and The Alliance sends The Operative (Chiwetel Ejiofor) to capture her. They take refuge with old friends Shepherd Book (Ron Glass) and the beautiful Inara (Morena Baccarin), but find they are bombarded by troubles from all directions.
Review by Louise Keller:
With a script that's liberally decked with humour, Serenity offers an enticing passport for an intergalactic trip through the galaxy. Good old-fashioned entertainment that delivers primarily through its storyline, it's a bit like Star Wars with a dash of Indiana Jones-style action. The characters are diverse and likeable and even though the plot confuses at times, we are having so much fun it doesn't seem to matter.
Writer/director Joss Whedon first introduced his characters in a TV series called Firefly, which instantly attracted a cult following. But it really doesn't matter if you never saw it; we quickly get in the rhythm of the reality of life on board Serenity, the galactic transporter.
We are in the company of outlaws on the run. They are being chased by cannibals as well as The Alliance, the galaxy's military, which is after their cargo. But theirs is no ordinary cargo. They are chasing River (Summer Glau), the wide-eyed young girl Captain Mal Reynolds (Nathan Fillion) and his crew is transporting. And there's more to River than meets the eye. Apart from her psychic powers, she can instantly be triggered into a deadly killing machine with lethal punches and high kicks. The secret she is carrying is potentially more devastating than all the other external forces they face.
Fillion makes a charismatic hero and the script offers plenty of chuckle-out-loud humour, even during the most serious of moments. I like the against-type casting of Chiwetel Ejiofor The Operative, a quietly spoken villain who never gets angry. There's something menacing about a baddie who is ultra calm.
The action and special effects serve the story well and the film finishes up with a big bang. What more could you ask for in a popcorn movie?
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CAST: Nathan Fillion, Gina Torres, Alan Tudyk, Morena Baccarin, Adam Baldwin, Jewel Staite, Sean Maher, Summer Glau, Ron Glass, Chiwetel Ejiofor
PRODUCER: Barry Mendel
DIRECTOR: Joss Whedon
SCRIPT: Joss Whedon
CINEMATOGRAPHER: Jack N. Green
EDITOR: Lisa Lassek
MUSIC: David Newman
PRODUCTION DESIGN: Barry Chusid
RUNNING TIME: 119 minutes
AUSTRALIAN DISTRIBUTOR: UIP
AUSTRALIAN RELEASE: September 29, 2005