Serenity (Not Firefly) Review

Wow, this movie had such a promising premise, but halfway through, all the wind dropped out of the sails (so to speak) of this drama. The whole movie centers around one dilemma, but there’s a twist, a reveal, that eliminates the tension, thereby eliminating any need to continue sitting through the movie. I almost ducked out to see Glass again. Spoiler alert: that means I didn’t like it.

Matthew McConaughey plays Baker Dill, a tuna fisherman with a trophy fish that keeps evading him. Then, one day, a woman, played by Anne Hathaway, shows up with a proposition: “Kill my husband, and I will pay you $10M.” Baker Dill, like any of us, laughs in her face. Then comes the next wrinkle: turns out that Baker Dill and the lady have a kid together, and her new husband abuses him. “If you won’t kill for me,” she says, “then kill for your son.” It’s such a simple, yet compelling, premise. At first, Baker Dill resists, but the job gets more appealing every minute. It seems that he is on a collision course with destiny and his kid’s step dad, and whatever happens, it’s going to be messy.

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And then, and THEN, the reveal hits and eliminates the central dilemma. All of the responsibility for the moral choice is taken away, and Baker Dill is off the hook regardless of the choice he makes. At that point, all I could do is walk out and hope no one saw me leaving the theater.

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My face after the twist.

And let me be clear, the movie was well acted, the dialogue wasn’t corny, the tone was perfect, but if you are writing a morality play, someone has to make a moral judgment. Taking that away from the main character took away the entire reason for the movie. Unless you were only there to see Matthew McConaughey naked.

2/5

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