Seeing Serenity

Normally, I don’t mind spoilers for movies, television or comic books. However, every now and then I like to treat myself and avoid them for something special.

In June, as people started buzzing over the Serenity screenings that were held around the country, I heard there were some status quo-changing events and stopped reading posts. I decided I didn’t want to know until I was in the theatre on September 30. And I am very impressed that I never found out. Better, I managed to make it all the way to October 16 before seeing the film and still didn’t know what changed.

Deb, Robbie and I went yesterday, eager to see the film, having come to love the short-lived television series. Rob actually had seen it twice already but came along because he liked it that much.

Joss Whedon, making his feature film debut, did a fine job. Some of it was shot like a television episode, but I give him credit for keeping the camera moving and letting us soak in some details missing from the television screen. His script also worked on the twin levels of satisfying fans of the show and introducing his world to new viewers. I had that confirmed by a guy after the film, recognizing it came from somewhere else but having never heard of Firefly. Now he wants to hunt down the DVDs.

The story reveals more of the universe Mal Reynolds and his crew have tried to avoid. The flashbacks to River’s childhood classroom experience is as chilling as the emotionally void soldier sent after her.

I’d have preferred if everyone got a bit more to do although Jewel Staite’s Kaylee had some of the best lines in the movie. I wanted more between the rare-in-science-fiction husband-and-wife combo. I wanted more about why Shepherd Book left the Serenity and settled on Haven.

But all in all, I was entertained. I laughed, I dropped my jaw in shock more than once and I was moved by some of the events. I’m thrilled not to have know what was coming because it immensely improved the experience.

Sadly, it’s dying at the box office. The third weekend had the movie take in well under $3 million for a total hovering around $22 million. For a $40 million movie that will finish close to $30 million domestic, plus all the ancillary income, Universal and Joss should be happy. Happy enough to green light a sequel? That’s the real conundrum for one and all to ponder.

2 comments

  • Lance Woods

    Saw this during the Diamond Retailers Summit a few weeks ago, and again on its opening weekend. I was knocked outta my chair both times, it was so much fun.

    Cindy’s had me watching her FIREFLY box set, and I was about halfway through it when I saw the film — long enough to get attached to the characters, so certain “events” truly resonated.

    Glad you got to see it and enjoy it, too.

  • Julio Diaz

    Saw it three times in the theater, and now that it’s in the second-run house locally, I’m going to try to see it another time or two, at least.

    And if it does well on DVD (which I think it’s virtually guaranteed to do), I think we’ll still get a sequel, though it’ll be a while as Joss will probably do at least two other movies, including Wonder Woman, first.