There are two sorts of people in the world: those who believe Joss Whedon is a genius and those who are wrong. – Connie Ogle in the Miama Herald, Friday 30th September 2005.
I am a firm believer in Joss Whedon being a genius, and so I was eager to see “Serenity”, the movie spin-off the cult-hit (but short-lived) TV series, Firefly.
For fans of the TV series, the film finally answers all those questions that were left unanswered by its cancellation and the subtle witty touches and powerful, thoughtful dialogue is as present on the big screen as on the small. Unfortunately witty touches and powerful dialogue aren’t enough to keep a viewer’s interest for a whole 2 hours and Serenity fails to really make the transition from TV to film. Joss Whedon has created some intriguing and realistic characters but the pace required to drive forward a single two-hour story leaves little room for the slow growth and development that make his TV programmes so addictive.
It’s not a bad film — certainly one of the most original concepts to be released this year (are they really so desperate they’re making a film about Doom?!) — but the story isn’t grand and epic enough to grip the attention for two hours, and the character development feels rushed, a year’s worth of incremental growth shoe-horned into a single storyline. I enjoyed it, as will everyone else who has watched the TV series, but sadly I don’t think it will appeal to people who aren’t familiar with Firefly.