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The future is worth fighting for.  

Year: 2005 
Running Time:
Aspect Ratio: 2.39:1 (Scope) 
Certificate: BBFC 15 Cert – Not suitable for under 15s 
Subtitles: This film is expected to have certain elements which are subtitled, but it is not expected that the entire film will contain them. 
Directed by Joss Whedon 
Starring: Nathan Fillion, Gina Torres  
An image from Serenity

If it lived up to expectation, this relatively low-key sci-fi, based on a failed television programme, would sink into the mire films you never get around to seeing and soon forget about. Whedon however, has made a career out of not simply exceeding expectations, but rather setting them on fire and then chewing on the ashes. With Buffy he reinvented vampires in one sensational show – Serenity however, is a whole new beast.

At once sci-fi, western, comedy, thriller and horror, Serenity is the most original film to come out of Hollywood for years, following the unscrupulous Captain Mal and his motley crew as they roam galaxies looking for jobs - legal or otherwise. It soon emerges however, that one of their passengers, the mysterious River Tam, is a government fugitive and one the oppressive Alliance does not want to give up without a fight. Enter The Operative, the finest villain the screen has seen in a long time. Completely convinced his cause is just, he will let nothing and no-one stand between him and his objective.

The series Firefly was unmercifully cancelled after only 11 episodes but the fact that Serenity’s plot is what was going to make two series’ worth will tell you just how much twisting depth it contains. None of the characters are tired stereotypes, nor are they indispensable and just when you think you’ve figured Serenity out, Whedon will pull the carpet from under you. Therein lies its unique appeal, for while it has the gleam and gloss of a $40 million Hollywood movie, it simply refuses to be one, leaving you exposed to all of its hilarious one-liners, thrilling mysteries, astonishing action and fascinating characters, with no hope of guessing what will come next. If you are disillusioned with mainstream films, Serenity is the perfect cure, or if you just love your films with as much brain as beauty, let Whedon take hold of your imagination and show you what it’s been missing.

Peter Lefort

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Screenings of this film:

2005/2006 Spring Term (35mm)
2005/2006 Spring Term (35mm)
2015/2016 Spring Term (35mm)