In an era when marketing gives away nearly every plot detail to the moviegoing public, Serenity holds its secrets close until deep into the film’s second act. Your willingness to accept the loopy twists of the story will depend on the level of expectation going in. Writer/Director Steven Knight has crafted an ambitious picture that feels inspired by both Billy Wilder and David Lynch.
Matthew McConaughey gives an interesting performance. He is often aggressive but is also thoughtful and sad. Hathaway is channeling her inner Barbara Stanwyck which is exactly what the role requires. While Jason Clarke steals every scene he’s in. The beautiful island setting and attractive cast give the film a sun-baked warmth which is most of the appeal of the first half. However, once the major plot twist arrives the story drags on far too long. And the reveal lessens the consequences of a central character.
Serenity has an intriguing idea, it’s beautifully executed, and acted to near perfection. I just can’t help to think it is all a case of ‘too much trouble for too little payoff.’ It’s reminiscent of Darren Aronovsky’s The Fountain from a decade ago.
Director: Steven Knight
Stars: Matthew McConaughey, Anne Hathaway, Diane Lane