Serenity: the most underrated sci-fi film of the 2000s is coming to Netflix

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Serenity (13+, 108mins) Directed by Joss Whedon ****

It should have been a guaranteed hit.

With two hit TV series – Buffy the Vampire Slayer and spin-off Angel – writer-director Joss Whedon’s next small-screen adventure, the sci-fi western Firefly was set to be a smash hit when it debuted in 2002.

But, from the start, he was a child unloved by his parent, the Fox network. Like the original Star Trek series in the 1960s, the two-hour pilot was shelved for not being sufficiently action-oriented and instead viewers were thrown into an episode not designed to introduce the characters. . Despite rave reviews, only 11 out of 14 episodes screened before Fox pulled the plug.

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Then came the resurrection. Fans (known as the Browncoats) made it an unexpected bestseller on DVD and began to demand its return. The result was this brilliant standalone adventure, also cleverly crafted as the series’ final installment.

Set 500 years in the future, the film, like the series, focuses on the crew of the spaceship Serenity. Commanded by renegade interstellar officer-turned-smuggler Malcolm Reynolds (Nathan Fillion), the ship travels to the farthest reaches of space in search of food, money, and whatever else it can live on.

However, one of the latest to arrive on the ship, 17-year-old River (Summer Glau), threatens to put their lives in danger. Medium, she escaped the clutches of the ruling Alliance – and they want her back. They think she may have witnessed some nasty little state secrets and want River silenced, at all costs.

Nathan Fillion plays Malcolm Reynolds, the renegade interstellar officer turned Serenity smuggler.

Provided

Nathan Fillion plays Malcolm Reynolds, the renegade interstellar officer turned Serenity smuggler.

Buffy, Angel and Firefly fans will love Serenity because all the hallmarks are there. Strong characters (especially female ones), solid plot, lots of action, dodgy Chinese dialogue (to fool the censors) and great one-liners abound, as Serenity stays true to its origins.

However, you don’t need to be a fan, or have watched the series, or even love the genre to appreciate one of the best sci-fi movies of the 21st century. Sure, the usual sci-fi cliches are there – too many planets that look like Southern California and an overabundance of punching and grappling when other weapons are available – but Serenity has such a sense of fun. it’s hard not to. let yourself be carried away by the captivating story and the extremely likable characters.

Strong characters (especially female ones), a solid plot, plenty of action, and great one-liners abound in Serenity.

Provided

Strong characters (especially female ones), a solid plot, plenty of action, and great one-liners abound in Serenity.

But the real star is Fillion (Two Guys, A Girl and A Pizza Place). Its mischievous captain rivals Han Solo, Starbuck and Blake’s 7 Kerr Avon as the best space anti-hero to ever fly across the galaxy. And he gets all the best lines.

“Do you know what your sin is? asks his nemesis The Operative (Chiwetel Ejiofor).

“Damn, I’m a fan of all seven…but for now, I’m going to have to get angry,” is Reynolds’ return.

Serenity is now available to stream on Netflix.

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