The motion picture conclusion to the tv show Firefly sees the crew of the Serenity trying to escape the Alliance and their attack hound the Operative (Chiwetel Ejiofor). He is hunting them in order to either recapture or kill the psychic River Tam (Summer Glau) before she and the crew can reveal one of the Alliance’s terrible secrets.
I actually saw Serenity on DVD before I even knew what Firefly was so I can personally confirm that the film is equally as enjoyable to those who have never seen an episode of Firefly as to those who have seen all of them. A couple of characters just appear with no introduction or explanation as to why they are suddenly important but they are quickly established, blending in with the rest of the crew afterwards, so it’s not a big deal.
The main selling point of this film is the comedy. The writing and the humour in this is just top notch. It’s so much better than a lot of cliche drivel we’ve learnt to put up with from action flicks. On top of that, the cast is large and diverse with interesting characters, all of which aren’t out and out good guys, making for a better viewing experience.
Captain Mal Reynolds (Nathan Filion) has the backstory you want Han Solo to have. His hands are a little dirty but he does have a code of morals which he sees to in order to keep himself right. Wash (Alan Tudyk) the pilot and Kaylee (Jewel Staite) the mechanic add to the comedy and heart of the story while River (Glau) and Simon (Sean Maher) provide the primary tension and drive. Each of the rest of the crew fill their niche on the ship well and all of the actors commit to their roles with gusto. It’s very easy to see their love for their characters and for the viewer, in turn, to also fall in love with them.
On top of this the CGI effects are beautiful, the practical effects (which are the standard not the exception) are well executed, the sets are wonderful and the story doesn’t pull punches. All in all it’s a really great swansong for the series and equally enjoyable in its own right. 5/5