A fishing boat captain juggles facing his mysterious past and finding himself ensnared in a reality where nothing is what it seems.
Flashback to a couple weeks ago, I just got my AMC A-List subscription and looking for some films to watch, and along come two articles from film blogs I follow about how “No one is prepared for this bonkers movie” and “the wackiest end of 2019 and we’re only a month in”. Sure sounds like click-bait to me, but then I see Matthew McConaughey and Anne Hathaway are the stars of the film and I’m like, hold on.
I will say that starting with the “there is a wacky twist” lede, maybe diminished the twist for me and by extension you, dear reader. But this is one of the calling cards for this film. I didn’t call every element and aspect of what was going to happen, but it was enough that the ending wasn’t as big of a shock as these articles seemed to imply.
While this “wacky twist” may have been what enticed me to see Serenity (no, not the 2005 Joss Whedon finale to the Firefly series, although on a quick test, results now include both films when searching “Serenity” instead of just the 2005 film), there is a lot more going on. A good chunk of that is McConaughey being McConaughey, although not as good as his recent peak with Dallas Buyers Club and True Detective (Season One). But it is also just plain ‘ol moody, noir-style mystery and suspense. Minus the “wacky” part, the twists and turns in Serenity are well played-out and intricately constructed. This is not a film where, once you know the twist watching it a second time won’t be fun at all. On the contrary, I feel like if I went for a second viewing, while presumably less enjoyable because a gimick is gone, it would hold its ground. That’s thanks to great editing and cinematography that really enveloped my senses and got me hooked from the opening scene.
I’ll be curious to see how this holds up to that second viewing and how much of my enjoyment was a reality distortion field.
4 out of 5