Serenity has been almost unanimously panned by critics, and audiences don’t seem too interested considering it’s the biggest box office bomb of both Anne Hathaway and Matthew McConaughey. I’m going to be one of the few voices that gives Serenity a positive review. I had so much fun watching this film, from start to finish. I love mystery/thrillers that make you guess what’s going on, and I for sure love a good twist. This film is both of those things, and it pulls it all off well, it’s not sloppy. I’m going to explain in this review why I think this film is worth your while.
We start off on a boat with Baker Dill (McConaughey) and Duke (Djimon Hounsou) as they’re taking customers out fishing. Dill gets a bite from a certain fish that he’s been trying to catch for some time, try as he may, it gets away. That may sound kind of pointless but it becomes important later on. Shortly after this, Anne Hathaway’s character is introduced. She is an old flame of Baker Dill’s. She requests something of him that he initially rejects, but ponders. Suffice to say that this act she is asking of him is very heavy. The rest of the film focuses on that act she asks of him and whether or not he’ll go through with it.
What I love about this film is the way it progresses and reveals the big twist, which I did not see coming. I mean I knew something had to be coming and could tell things were off, but I couldn’t guess what, which made the experience all the more fun. The performances given are all very good. McConaughey plays Baker Dill with a fitting ruggedness. His character is broken from his past, and that comes through very clearly in his performance.
Anne Hathaway is also good, she plays her character with a sense of fear and mystery. She is in a potential life or death situation and needs Baker Dill’s help, and because of Hathaway’s acting, the desperation shines through. The chemistry between the two leads is spot on too, you can feel the history they’ve had. They just play off one another very well.
Of all the scenes between these two, the one love scene they share is my favorite because it shows us they’re connection. While the dialogue isn’t above and beyond fantastic, it does it’s job of letting us get to know what these characters are all about. The feel is very slick too, kind of a film noir type of atmosphere. A lot of the scenes in the first part of the film take place at night and the ways in which the characters look and talk all fit that more classic noir feeling. That does change after the first part, but for a good reason.
The plot twist that comes about changes everything, and some critics have suggested the twist is crazy or laughable, but I found it interesting and surprising. I suppose it’s up to interpretation, but I love that this twist will surprise you and makes you think about it afterwards. To be honest the only things I didn’t like was that Diane Lane’s character was misused and Jason Clarke’s character was a bit too stereotypically evil.
If you enjoy entertaining mystery thrillers that offer a surprising twist then I suggest Serenity. It features good performances, the two leads have great chemistry, the film noir like feel works well, and the twist provided is both surprising and interesting. And even if you don’t like the twist or think the film is reaching, you won’t be able to deny that you were entertained throughout.
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