Serenity (2019) Review

So there I am trying to pick a film for date night in the Miles household and what should come up but Serenity on the Sky store? Perfect thought I, not only is it my wife’s favorite film, but it’s a damn good Sci-Fi film, a glimpse into an alternate universe where Firefly was allowed to have multiple seasons and since this is the 5… 10…. 14!?!? (Roger Moores Eyebrow I’m getting old) year anniversary I bet it’ll be all 4k Blu-Ray graphics.

So, with homemade popcorn in hand (no microwaved popcorn in my house), we settled in to watch….

Huh….

Okay… not a celebration of one of the greatest one season wonders in history, instead we appear to be watching a film noir.

Ok, I like film Noir, she doesn’t seem to mind thank to the fact that Matthew McConaughey appears to be suffering from some sort of allergy to his clothing and therefore has more bum shots than I’ve had hot dinners.

He’s a drifter with a past, eking out a living as the captain of a fishing boat who’s fixated upon catching a Tuna that he’s called Justice for… reasons.

Then one day his ex wife turns up, offering ten million dollars to ensure that her wife beating husband (who still hasn’t atoned for Terminator Genisis) winds up sleeping with the fishes in exchange for ten million dollars.

Seems fairly standard and the cast appear to be going for it so this ooks like a nice little timewaster of a film playing a game of ‘guess the twist.’ Which your not going to do. Seriously, don’t even try.

On paper it’s a good twist. The subtle clues are there indicating that THE TWIST is possible within the world of the film but My God, this is a twist that… well, its defiantly going to get some conversations going, mostly along the lines of “What were you people smoking and can I have some?”

I mean it’s the kind of twist that should be kept ambiguous, is it a real twist or is the sun gotten to Baker Dill’s head?  But it’s not ambiguous in the slightest! It’s simply blurted out, threw both of us for a loop and then carries on, taking what had been a fairly grounded, traditional Film Noir into… well, words not make good description.

But aside from THE TWIST, there must be something else to talk about? Well, some of my Colonial colleagues (it was released over there a month before it reached us for no reason that I can fathom #globalreleasedatesnow) have stated that this could become a so bad it’s good cult classic.

It Wont.

“Dunkers,” he said, “I served with cult films I know cult films. Cult films are a friend of mine. Serenity, you are no cult film.”

Strip out THE TWIST and it’s still a very conventional film. All the cast seem to think that their in a proper film and as a result are playing it straight, no-ones got their tongue in their cheek, there’s none of the sense of fun or watching of a car crash that’s needed for the so bad it’s good label. And I know that you can have cult so bad their good films that tricked the actors into thinking that their in proper films but I didn’t get that sort of vibe.

If this film is remembered for anything it’s going to be on one of those infernal ‘top ten weirdest/worst twists ever lists.’ As a film Noir it could have been interesting, as a film about a man deciding whether or not to defend the wife who left him and their child that could also have worked.

I mean there’s a lot here that works- that cast is amazing- Did I mention that Djimon Hounsou is in this as well? Most directors would kill for this level of star power, on paper it all makes sense, it looks great, but it’s all a bit traditionally shot and paced with one of the most random twists ever and I know I’ve banged on about it without actually saying anything but it just sucks all the air out of the film, leaving no space or inclination to talk or think about anything else. Which is a shame as there’s a really good moral film in here somewhere.

But, what do you expect when the directors last trip to the directors chair film was all the way back in 2013! And what flop did he direct? LOCKE!?!!? I love Locke! It’s a one scene (not take) film whereupon Tom Hardy (showing his complete face for once) drives down the M1 making and taking phone calls. (It’s better than it sounds I promise you. You WILL care more than you ever knew you were capable of about concrete).

So watch this until THE TWIST, then turn it off and go watch Locke instead.

My Score- Skip It 

 

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