January 24, 2019 at 2:46pm
Serenity is a rather strange film, it follows a fisherman that's been trying to get one particular catch. This fish has been elusive and it seems like the world keeps reminding him of this failure. Baker Dill (Matthew McConaughey) is clearly breaking down and it only gets worse as the days progress. Things then completely change as a past lover comes into the picture. Karen (Anne Hathaway) is here with her current husband, he's abusive and she wants Baker to kill him.
That kick starts the core element of the film, at least one might think. I will mention at this point I'm not spoiling anything, this is just the general premise. I will however mention that there is a rather essential twist that completely changes what this film is. I won't say what it is, or anything about it. Just that it's weird, and not entirely displayed well. It somewhat derails a rather straight forward and perhaps interesting experience. There's certainly something deeper going on, people know things and it's a weird collection of twists that happen outside the realms of this reality.
This was generally shot fine, it looks good and captures a gritty look at this apparent paradise island. While it seems cheery, there are some darker elements at play and while I was initially interested it does get quite weird. I will say that McConaughey did a great job here with his performance, it's a hard one to pull off I suppose.
Everyone else is fine, I liked the variety of characters but they don't really get too involved. They're all there, they just don't necessarily have any importance in what's going on. There's also just the strangest tonal shift as the twist arrives which doesn't make this end on a high note. While it might seem a bit weird to give the context of what happens away, I believe you'll appreciate some notice as you may go into this with certain expectations and just be completely side swiped by it and where things head.
Serenity has an interesting premise, to then wildly go off the rails with a certain twist of direction. It just goes to weird and while that does have a greater purpose, or generally meaning I wasn't entirely thrilled by where it headed. I had thought the core story could have been handled just fine with a neat sense of mystery behind it. Instead, you're left somewhat confused and everyone just vanishes as it focuses in on a few of the characters.
They certainly could have leaned into the mystery elements earlier, I'm sure there are hints upon reflection. I just would have really liked to see them fully embrace the paranoia aspects of what arrived later on. That aside, it was fine to view with a gritty display of the scenery. For a special island, it's really not too happy of a place and you see a direct parallel to that in another location. The wrap up does make sense and I thought that was well done, it's just a bizarre series of events to get there.
Serenity Review at Home with Streamed Viewing
Screening Provided by Elevation Pictures
Rating Overall: 4.5