Lowdown: As the Firefly crew escapes the authorities, it stumbles upon a huge state secret.
Back in 2005, when Serenity was released, I watched it and I liked it. How could I not like this science fiction film? It tells the story of the crew of a pretty bare looking spaceship, the Serenity, as it tries to flee the powerful agents of the ruling Alliance chasing it. In the midst of escaping, one of the more eccentric members of the crew whose role is on the hazy side of things turns out to be a living Terminator machine; later it turns out she knows a secret that would put the Alliance in brand new light and let the residents of the galaxy see its rulers differently. The question is, what will the crew of the Serenity do with this secret?
I’ll tell you what they will try to do: they will aspire to do what Edward Snowden did. They will try to do the right thing in the face of vicious adversaries from the ruling government and worse. In this attempt to do the right thing lies a fine, entertaining movie, albeit a strange one: Where did this crew come from? What is the story of this ship they are flying on? And why name the movie after the ship?
As I learned since, there is a reason for this confusion. Serenity may be passable as a movie in its own rights, but it is actually the closing episode of the TV series Firefly. Firefly had 14 episodes during its time (2002-2003) and clearly had much room for further exploration, but for one reason or another did not proceed to season 2. Hence Serenity.
Roll forward to 2013. Being totally addicted to the world of the video game Mass Effect I ended up seeking the further adventures of those involved with the game. Thus we watched the TV series Chuck; and since Chuck's Adam Baldwin is a Firefly graduate, we then moved on to watch Firefly. And since Firefly left us with a taste for more, we went ahead and watched Serenity again. Lo and behold, we finally got the film!
So, what do I make of Serenity now? I think it's a pretty cool science fiction film. I think it shows the leaps and bounds the world of CGI special effects has been taking when its less than decade long effects look outdated. I think it supplies enough closure for Firefly fans, although it leaves plenty of room for its world to be further explored. In other words, I like it; I wasn't knocked off my sofa with awe, but I thought it was good entertainment that was pretty effective at delivering its "question the authorities" agenda as well as themes of loyalty and friendship. I also got to learn where many a good ideas in Mass Effect came from...
Overall: Good science fiction even if it's "just" a feature film length finale for a TV series. 3.5 out of 5 stars.