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After having been not too disappointed by “The Avengers”, I was trying some catching up with Joss Whedon’s backlist and came across some surprisingly good comments about “Serenity”. I read it somehow served as the big-screen replacement of the cancelled “Firefly” tv show, which again put me off a bit, as this show, despite a large and enthusiastic fan base, bored me quite a bit after watching the first one or two episodes.

I am not sure how exactly “Serenity”  fits into the “Firefly” universe, but it seemed to me that the audience is expected to be rather familiar with the show – I had some troubles getting into the story and the politics of the universe it is set in. Taken at face value, “Serenity” looks like a straight-to-video odd mix of Star Wars, Battleship Galactica and some other genre classics. Given some of the costumes, you can chip in “Conan” for good measure, with a pinch of “Road Warrior” and any “running Zombie” movie. Is that a good thing? Hmm… the skill set of the actors and the quality of the special effects reminded me of the original Galactica tv show rather than the remake, so maybe not. Are these more technical deficiencies compensated for by original story or drama?

Hmmm… some colonised planets go to hell because some of the experiments the “Parliament” has conducted did not go as well as was claimed? The universe needs to know about this to bring down the Alliance? The psychic girl with the stunning combat skills is somehow the key to all this? Hmmm… actually, turns out she’s not, and turns out the whole story resolution is nothing but a bit of shooting and hitting “Ravers” (“Crazies” they were called in other movies) in the face. I somehow assume that there are connotations to all this that I did not get, that this may be another case of a film that pretends to be dumb, but has a sutext that you can appreciate.

However, despite my good intentions this subtext did not reveal itself, so in the end what I saw was a slightly dumb space opera, patched together by somebody who has seen it all, and who could not afford better cgi than the average network tv show.

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