|"Can I make a suggestion that doesn't involve violence, or is this the wrong crowd for that?"|
|Time: 119 mins.|
SYNOPSIS: Mal Reynolds and the rest of the crew of the Firefly-class cargo spaceship Serenity continue their mischief-making adventures while being pursued by a relentless government agent out to capture the psychic River Tam who holds a clue to her special abilities.
BOTTOM LINE: Donít let the fact that this film was developed from a defunct TV series discourage you from seeking it out. Producer/director Whedon has taken his beloved failure and turned it into a kick-ass, sci-fi adventure that stands alone as first-rate entertainment. Filled with spectacular effects and crazy characters operating in a fully-developed future universe, itís easy to understand why fans were so sad to see the show end. The cast is led by Mal Reynolds (Fillion), the morally ambiguous, mercenary captain of the Firefly who will take on just about any job that will pay his crew. Two members of his motley band are a brother and sister, Simon and River, who are on the run from the government because they hold a dangerous secret that eventually forces the crew into a fight for their lives. The assassin on their trail, known only as the Operative (Ejiofor), is after River, a young girl with serious emotional scars and deadly physical talents, whom he believes will be the end of mankind. Leaving them nowhere to hide, the captain decides to uncover the mystery behind Summerís violent tendencies and share the horrors they discover with the rest of the universe come hell or high water.
Though the basis for the plot is as old as sci-fi a steely band of renegades on the run from the overbearing and evil government Whedon and company bring a brash energy and dark sense of humor to the proceedings that make the usual seem almost brand new. The fairly unknown cast enables you to be sucked into his universe without preconceived notions of who or what theyíre going to be. Sure, they each fulfill a certain role, but each manages to steer clear of being completely typecast, especially the ladies who are encouraged to physically be all they can be. The biggest surprise was the character of River, who has to both vulnerable and deadly, sometimes in the same scene. Sheís the heart of the film and Summer Glau makes the most of her moment in the sun. Though filmed on a modest budget for a film of this type, the filmmakers squeeze the most out of every dollar with epic space battles, jaw-dropping action sequences and imaginative art direction, creating a definitively new universe. Watching this film made me sorry I didn't see the series and even more sad that this was the last chance we'll get to enjoy these characters. A surprise sci-fi treat that fans of the genre should seek out.