This is a movie that I have been wanting to watch for over 18 months or so, from when I read about it. Serenity is a movie based on the short lived Firefly Sci-fi series, written & directed by Joss Whedon. The movie stars the series cast of Nathan Fillion as Malcolm “Mal” Reynolds, Gina Torres as Zoe Washburne (nee Alleyne), Alan Tudyk as Hoban “Wash” Washburne, Morena Baccarin as Inara Serra, Adam Baldwin as Jayne Cobb, Jewel Staite as Kaylee Frye, Sean Maher as Simon Tam & Summer Glau as River Tam.
As fans of the series will know, it’s 500 years into the future and mankind has abandoned Earth and moved onto another galaxy, living on several planets. The People on the “central planets” pursue a wealthy and cultured lifestyle and are tightly ruled by the Alliance. In contrast, life on the partially-colonized “outer rim” planets more closely resembles that of the American Old West. The crew of the cargoship Serenity ekes out a living in the outer rim, dodging both Alliance regulation and attacks from savage spacefaring cannibals known as Reavers.
River is captured by the Alliance in order to use her physic abilities and at the beginning of the film, she is rescued by her brother Simon and taken back aboard the Serenity. The Alliance unleash The operative, a self-described monster with no name, rank, or official existence, to search for the two fugitives. Against Simon’s wishes, Malcolm brings River along on a bank heist on Lilac, which is interrupted by a Reaver attack. After the team’s narrow escape to Serenity, Simon tells Mal that he and his sister will leave the ship after receiving their payment for the job. As Mal meets his heist cohorts at a bar on Beaumonde, River suddenly begins attacking the patrons. After subduing her, Mal brings her and her brother back to the ship, and the crew contacts a reclusive techno-geek called Mr. Universe, who analyzes the bar’s security camera footage and discovers that River’s assault was triggered by a subliminal message.
Malcolm receives a message from Inara, who is held captive on her world by The Operative. Knowing it is a trap, Malcolm comes to get Inara and fights the Operative, barely escaping back to Serenity. When they go to the planet Haven, they see their friend Sheppard and his people killed. The Operative has tracked all the friends of the Serenity crew and killed them. Malcolm orders his crew to disguise Serenity as a Reaver ship; they need to get the planet Miranda and it is beyond Reaver space. Miranda is where they will find answers to what is troubling River. They find out that Miranda was a habitable planet but its cities are empty except for corpses. The crew finds a transmission from an Alliance officer, who explains that the Alliance attempted to achieve permanent peace and harmony by adding a drug designed to suppress aggression to the planet’s atmosphere. Instead, the drug suppressed the people’s motivation to do anything, and they died of starvation. However, 0.1% of the population experienced the opposite reaction: they became the hyperviolent Reavers.
The crew wants to submit this message to the whole human population but The Operative stands in the way. He and Malcolm fight it out on Mr.Universe’s planet while the rest of the crew fight off the Reavers. Mr.Universe is killed by The Operative and Wash is killed by the Reavers’ harpoon. Meanwhile, River begins to get over her fears and saves the injured crew all by herself. Malcolm wins the battle and plays the tape, which alters the Operative’s views on killing River & her friends. He orders the Alliance soldiers not to kill the crew. The crew bury Sheppard, Mr.Universe & Wash and head back once the repairs on the ship is done.