I've been mulling over Serenity for several days now. I saw the movie at a preview screening in June, and I'm afraid I was still feeling a little too "squee!" at seeing the Big Damn Heroes together on the big screen to analyze the movie at all. I saw it Friday night, and I was so emotional over several of the events that happen in the movie that I couldn't really cast a critical eye. The third time I saw it, I was pulling an Amelie and turning around to see how everyone else in the theater was reacting to the story.
I think I actually need to see the movie a few more times before I can distill my thoughts into a review. It's hard for me to be objective, because I love the characters, I love the ship, I love the whole Firefly 'verse, and while I know they aren't perfect, I'm not ready to criticize yet.
There was a moment towards the end of the movie, where things seemed hopeless. I didn't see actors who might have to play dead - I saw the vulnerable genius/psychic River, terrified when her brother is hit, but finding the strength to take care of him; I saw the mercenary Jayne, a man who, motivated by fear, has made himself tougher and stronger, but realizing that he might be at his Waterloo, resolves to keep fighting; I saw a young doctor suddenly lost without his medical bag, realizing there is no way to retrieve it.
Here we were, watching a movie where the captain of a space ship dresses like an extra on Bonanza. It's a 'verse where there are shotguns, horses, and guns that shoot out a pulse beam that knocks you out without killing you. And it felt so real to me because Joss Whedon knows how to pull me in, and he lucked out and got a bunch of actors together who were perfect, so I wasn't thinking how cute that Sean Maher is, or how hot Nathan Fillion looks when he wakes up (well, maybe for a moment...); I was looking at Captain Malcolm Reynolds, who lost his faith when he was on the losing side of a war that he hasn't really finished fighting yet; I see Dr. Simon Tam, who gave up his life to save his sister's.
Yeah, I think it's safe to say that I'm not ready to be critical yet. I won't promise that this movie is the next Star Wars, because I've never seen Star Wars and I don't want to lie to you. I can't tell you that this is the greatest movie ever made, because there are movies that surpass it artistically, plotwise, actingwise, etc. But I will tell you that the movie is damn good, that it provides tons of action, some very scary moments, some big laughs at just the right times, and if you see the movie, I might even get a sequel, which will let me spend more time with this crew that I love.
Loki's review is here.