VIDEO: Serenity (2005)

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Cheapus reviews Serenity, the follow-up movie to Firefly, Joss Whedon’s low-rated sci-fi western series that was quickly canceled. In the movie, the crew of Serenity, captained by Mal Reynolds (Nathan Fillion), try to evade an assassin (Chiwetel Ejiofor) who’s out to neutralize River (Summer Glau) because she may have used her psychic abilities to learn secrets about the Alliance. It was a huge gamble making a big budget film based on a failed TV show. Did it pay off? Well… you probably already know the answer to that, but Cheapus will tell you anyway!

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  • Cristiona

    I dunno.  Watching it as someone who hadn’t watched the series, I had no clue what the hell was going on.  Perhaps I should have expected as much, but in theory, movies should be able to be enjoyed without hours and hours of backstory and prep work.

    • Liam Barrett

      I could see why it could be hard work. I know a lot of people who had this as their FIRST introduction to the Firefly universe though, so it may just be a person-by-person thing.

      • okiecrabjp

        I agree with your take on the perspective of a non-fan, and with Cristiona’s sentiment. I’d never heard of Firefly when I saw the movie and while I liked some parts, most of it felt either extremely generic or hollowly significant (like a lot of bad movies and series are with scenes or people you truly have no way to know anything about).

        My reaction too, was basically, “Well… now that I know this was based on a series, it probably would have meant something to me if I had seen it, because this did a pretty poor job of explaining much to people like me”, in the perfectly exemplified “WTF is HE?!” comment about Book.

  • Tim Terrell

    What is that accent? Cockney? And you know that if Book wasn’t in this movie, Ron Glass would have felt slighted and so would the fans of the show? You know that, right?

    • I think it’s an Essex accent actually, a county that’s northeast of London and it’s where people like Nick Frost and Rik Mayall are from. Maybe a bit of Cockney’s creeped in there since he lives in Romford but it’s not full blown cockney.

      • Liam Barrett

        Yep, you got it on the nose sir, although if I’m honest I do play up my accent a little bit as a character quirk, so it DOES sound a little bit cockney.

        • You know how I could tell? I added you on facebook a bit back and I saw that under favourite quotations on your profile you had a quote from a song by Ian Dury called Billericay Dickie. “Good Evening I’m from Essex. As you can clearly tell. My given name is Dickie, i come from Billericay and I’m doing…VERY WELL!” I know that just the first line is the quote but I’m a massive Ian Dury fan all the same. Oh and nice video too. Seems a legit show. I know Sursum did a video on it and now you’ve both got me curious.

      • It is plain to see

        Ah, Romford, the capital of east London.

    • Liam Barrett

      I get why he’s there, and like I said in the video, his scene taken on it’s own is probably one of the best in the film, but that doesn’t hide the fact that he’s only here so the hardcore fans can go, “OH LOOK, SHEPARD!” and then die.

  • MichaelANovelli

    I dunno, Liam, Twin Peaks: Fire Walk With Me came out within a few years of Twin Peaks being cancelled.  (Granted, Twin Peaks had an actual ending, regardless, but still…)

    • Liam Barrett

      Fire Walk With Me is a VERY different animal to Serenity, though. I’m convinced it started off almost as an apology to Twin Peaks fans who hated the second season, and then somehow morphed into one of David Lynch’s most bizarre and unforgiving films, which is really saying something.

      • MichaelANovelli

        Well, I liked the whole show, but Lynch always felt bitter that the network forced him to reveal who killed Laura Palmer, when that was never the point of the show…

  • Daviey

    I saw the movie first, I loved it, and when I eventually sourced the show, i fell even more in love – but the film came first for me, and it made perfect perfect sense to me :)

    • Liam Barrett

      You are not alone, sir. This movie seems like it opened the door to the Firefly universe for quite a few people, which I honestly didn’t suspect was the case when I made this.

  • Moo

    I would’ve traded 7 seasons of Buffy for 7 seasons… even 4 seasons of Firefly. It would’ve balanced out canceling Mantis. AND making it only cool if you’re 10 years old and obsessed with technology.

    • Tim

      Some of the revelations of what would have been in those seasons make you glad we never got them Case in point: Inara being raped by Reavers.

      The series was good. The movie was not, it was Joss making excuses for one of his bad writing decisions.

      See, it’s a space Western. So, Mel’s a bitter old Confederate, the Alliance are the Union who he resents far beyond anything they might actually have done to him, the Hands are G-Men from Washington (who are absolutely always evil in Westerns) and so on.

      Who are the Reavers?

      I think someone pointed out to Joss that the two logical answers (Indians or Mexicans) made him look kinda racist, so he desperately came up with an impossibly stupid plot about a kind control experiment so they weren’t just frontier wildmen. That and some of the other dickhead decisions (yeah, kill Book without resolving any of the mysteries, because it’s OUR fault your show got cancelled Joss) and the dumb attempts at making it hard sci-fi (seriously, how many moons with identical climates is one system supposed to have?) mean this left a sour taste in my mouth.

  • Kev

    Chiwetel was by far the best thing about Serenity — besides everything else :)

    Say Liam, does Alex DeLarge know you break into his flat to do reviews? I kid, I kid.

  • The Crazy Fish

     At the risk of sounding like a troll, I have to ask…who wrote the blurb here? You know, the whole thing under the video. “Cheapus reviews Serenity, the follow-up movie to Firefly…” etc? I’m not sure what you were going for, but I don’t think you succeeded.

    Don’t get me wrong, the video’s fine. I think you’re great in it and I agree with a lot of your points, but that blurb…really doesn’t make you look good. You sound like you’re bashing Firefly and it really made me not want to watch this video.