Serenity has the most ludicrous twist of the year — and it’s only January
Here’s the factor about Serenity: Sure, I’m about to spoil all the things that occurs within the film, however if you happen to haven’t seen the film already, it would hardly matter, as a result of it’s so categorically ludicrous that you just probably gained’t consider me. Even if you happen to do, will probably have bother believing it with your individual two eyes if/once you determine to go see it anyway. When you’ve got seen it already, I’m simply Here to guarantee you that you just haven’t had a momentary lapse in consciousness, or at the least that, if you happen to did, all of us skilled it together.
The primary half of Serenity, which stars Matthew McConaughey and Anne Hathaway, is about what you’d anticipate from the trailers, which body the movie as a horny thriller. McConaughey performs a fishing boat captain named Baker Dill (why not), who spends his days obsessing over a very massive tuna fish he’s named “Justice,” and sleeping with Constance (Diane Lane), who pays him for his time. Naturally, his idyllic island existence will get shaken up when his ex-wife Karen (Hathaway) rolls into city with a favor to ask: kill her abusive new husband Frank (Jason Clarke) for the sake of the son they’d again after they were together.
There’s plenty of shirtless McConaughey (and in-the-buff McConaughey), and Lane and Hathaway get very breathy round him, which is about par for the course that the film appears to be setting. Director and author Steven Knight, nevertheless, has extra on his thoughts. The intermittent flashes of Dill’s son — seen by means of the kid’s pc display as he performs pc games — and the unusual swoops of the digicam trace at one thing, however what comes subsequent is what I might conservatively name “galaxy mind degree.”
As Dill ponders the ethics of committing a homicide with a view to higher the lives of his son and his ex-wife, unusual issues begin to occur on the island. The strangest is the looks of Reid Miller (Jeremy Robust), who drops the next revelation on Dill:
Dill is a character in a video game.
The island is a set of minigames — fishing is a minigame, discovering Constance’s stray cat (not a euphemism) is a minigame — being performed by a really actual younger boy with a useless father (who regarded identical to Dill) and a brand new, abusive stepdad, and since the sport doesn’t contain any violence, the programming is pushing again in opposition to Dill. Reid is “the foundations,” despatched to make sure that Dill stays the course and doesn’t commit homicide.
Let’s recap: Serenity stars Matthew McConaughey as a video game character trying to commit a homicide in a recreation that will be rated E for Everybody if not for all the boning occurring in it.
All of it involves a head when Dill decides to undergo with killing Frank, and the footage of him letting Clarke get dragged off the boat (and consequently drown) is intercut with footage of the boy getting up from his pc, grabbing his useless dad’s knife, and going to homicide his stepdad. We subsequent see the boy in jail, imagining a telephone dialog during which he tells Dill that he’s modified the foundations of the sport in order that they’ll go to one another. Polygons fly by means of the air round Dill till the boy is working down the dock and into his arms, and, in actual life, the child smiles in his cell.
I’ve seen this film, and I still consider virtually none of it. The video game framing system, the variety of occasions Anne Hathaway says “daddy,” the psychological gymnastics concerned in figuring Hathaway and McConaughey as even near the identical age (after which her reminiscing about how he’d informed her she was lastly sufficiently old to sleep with), the truth that a toddler commits homicide — you couldn’t make any of this up. Besides, apparently, if you happen to’re Steven Knight. To be clear, I love Knight — Japanese Guarantees, Locke, and Peaky Blinders are nice — however Serenity is inexplicable. I’m additionally not trying to nonstop dunk on this film; I’m simply genuinely still trying to course of the plot.
Serenity is superbly shot, and there’s not a single efficiency in it that isn’t a hundred percent dedicated (Clarke is having the time of his life enjoying to the rafters, McConaughey is treading into Nic Cage territory, Hathaway is principally enjoying a cartoon — not a criticism). However when the large twist in a movie is so The Sims-adjacent, it’s laborious to deal with anything. (I might say Tron-adjacent, however that’s giving too much credit score to Serenity, whereas The Sims games have all the time been used to enact the weirdest lives to your Sims as doable.) The video game framing system can be slightly undercooked, as any cogent factors concerning the nature of free will and creating your individual path are subsumed by the quantity of labor that has to enter maintaining the metaphorical ship regular as soon as the twist is revealed.
Whereas I can’t whole-heartedly advocate going to see this movie — the primary hour, i.e. when it’s still trying to cover the truth that it’s a video game, is a drag — I can’t think about that there’s a single different film popping out this year that may match it for a way completely unbelievable it’s. That alone makes Serenity worthy of distinction, regardless of how impossible it’s to determine precisely what viewers the movie was meant for. A film that swings wildly for the fences and misses is infinitely extra memorable than one which by no means tries.