Feels Like STAR WARS
Release Date: September 30, 2005
Genre: Science-Fiction Adventure
Audience: Teenagers to adults
Rating: PG-13 for sequences of intense
violence and action, and some
Runtime: 114 minutes
Distributor: Universal Pictures
Director: Joss Whedon
Producer: Barry Mendel
Writer: Joss Whedon
Address Comments To:Bob Wright, Chairman/CEO
Ron Meyer, President/COO
Stacey Snider, Chairman
100 Universal City Plaza
Universal City, CA 91608-1085
Phone: (818) 777-1000
Web Page: www.universalstudios.com
Captain Malcolm Reynolds takes any job he can find to keep himself and his crew fed, even illegal assignments like theft. His reputation for resisting the sinister intergalactic government leads a young doctor named Simon to the ship. Simon needs help rescuing his sister, River, from a dangerous experiment. Once she is safely aboard, the crew realizes that a headhunter is after them. It turns out that River is psychic and learned some government secrets while in captivity.
As Malcolm investigates, he finds that the Universal Alliance has been testing a drug on some of its citizens that puts them into a perfectly peaceful – though potentially deadly – state. Malcolm, River and the crew want to expose the danger but have to do so before they’re caught and killed.
This adventure is hard to contain (and hard to summarize). SERENITY has many subplots and only a hazy focus. Although the movie begins with River and the plot depends on her, the real star is the irritable but good hearted captain of the ship, Malcolm. He takes care of his friends and wants to see justice prevail. Further, Simon is fiercely loyal to his sister, neglecting his personal life to make sure River stays safe. His familial love propels him to risk his life many times.
From a filmmaking standpoint, lively action and a quick pace are this movie’s best assets. The script is lacking, however, bogged down with silly one-liners that sound as if they were lifted from a mid-90s Arnold Schwarzenegger vehicle.
Unfortunately, there are a lot of dubious elements in the movie, including a statement that equates God to “a train that never comes” and a character who prays to Buddha for help. River also has psychic powers. The violence is a little intense, especially when men are impaled with swords, but possibly no more graphic than what one might have seen on the television show. The foul language and sexual references are happily minor.
Though there is a positive mention of Christianity, the movie is crowded with mixed spiritual elements that might make it confusing for younger audiences. Keep that in mind if you choose to see SERENITY.
The irritable but good hearted captain takes care of his friends and wants to see justice prevail. Further, a brother is fiercely loyal to his sister, neglecting his personal life to make sure she stays safe. Mixed in with these good aspects are some anti-biblical and false religious elements, however, that will confuse young viewers. The violence can be a little intense, but foul language and sexual references are happily minor. SERENITY moves quickly and is never boring, but use discernment if you choose to see it.