Tuesday October 4, 2005 - 6:02PM EDT
This movie just isn't that good. It is a space western. Which is an interesting idea but this one doesn't get it right. The gold standard of space westerns are Cowboy Bebop and Outlaw Star. Both Japanese animation. They are both excellent with Cowboy Bebop being superb. I can't be sure if Serenity borrows from those but it probably does, because its idea of a space western is far from original. That is the problem. It is an amalgalm of previous sci-fi shows and western type lingo. I suspect the only reason this movie had any audience is that the audience is too young or too stupid to see the endless rip-offs employed in this movie. Sure lots of movies copy but this just does it bad. First off it takes the idea of space western too seriously. It literally tries to just set a western in outspace. Down to the retarded floating horseless stagecoach that they somehow have to tied down. The camera work is mediocre at best and reflects something shot for a TV series (which incidenty is where this movie came from). They don't use the camera to do anything except show pictures. In a feature film you have the time and the obligation to really do some interesting stuff with the camera and this movie fails miserably at it. Story is pretty basic and could have been lifted from the countless stories in the sci-fi universe that came before it. It has some decent action and the acting is competent but I couldn't shake the feeling throughout the whole movie that I've seen this before, and seen it done much better. That may be the tough part about a cross genre movie like this. Unless you really try you end up just ripping-off bits and pieces from the two genres just to get something intelligible. To get something unique is very difficult. Cowboy Bebop does this well and if you have seen that than this movie is complete garbage in comparison. I wouldn't recommed seeing this movie in the theaters just wait until its debut on HBO or UPN.