“Things are not always what they seem; the first appearance deceives many; the intelligence of a few perceives what has been carefully hidden.” -Phaedrus
After reading numerous reviews I knew I had to see Serenity for myself; good or bad, great or awful I had to experience what the critics were losing their minds over. Let me start off by getting right to the point, this is not a good movie. I don’t think. I’m trying to tell how much of this movie I genuinely didn’t like and how much of it just completely caught me off guard. The acting is atrocious at times but as the epiphany is unveiled suddenly you ask yourself are the performances intentional? I’m so thrown by this one I have to be honest. If I can say anything confidently it’s that whatever is said of this movie, you have to commend those that had the balls to attempt it at all. I think there’s entirely too much wrong with it to consider it a good film but the sheer audacity of what is attempted is nothing short of brazen filmmaking.
Considering the cast it’s not impossible to think their cheesy, porn level delivery isn’t in someway on purpose. For those familiar with the medium that this film reveals itself to be you know that sometimes the performance side of things can feel inauthentic and robotic. I say this as vague as possible because to reveal the twist is to slap anyone interested straight in the face.
This is a very peculiar movie simply because despite all that’s wrong with it I wasn’t disappointed as the credits began to roll. I laughed at it when it wasn’t meant to be funny, I rolled my eyes constantly, and portions of this film are quite predictable or simply uninteresting. But, I still had a lot of fun with it; almost as if at some point in the story I just accepted that crazy shit is happening, it’s sillier than hell, and the end may leave me wanting but I just have to know where this fever dream is headed.
It’s almost like someone proposed the twist and wrote everything around it. Having no idea how to properly connect everything it’s just left haphazardly hoping the audience isn’t paying attention. Sorry, I noticed.
This is a film that is completely shadowed in a trailer that is nothing like the actual movie. I think to conceal the crazier elements the approach to advertising was done well enough but it could also leave many very angry. Drive, starring Ryan Gosling, was heavily advertised as an action oriented movie only to discover it was anything but. More arthouse with moments of shocking violence (Nicolas Winding Refn films in a nutshell) Drive was received by mainstream audiences feeling swindled, basically outright lied to. Killing Them Softly was released in a similar manner. Serenity is being advertised as a sultry adult story complete with sexual intrigue, betrayal and murder. While it does provide these familiar plot points it goes so far off the reservation that the very reality of these characters is brought into question. For those looking for the familiar tropes of a Body Heat type story, Serenity is going to leave you at the very least scratching your head in confusion. I know it certainly side swiped me.
From the director of Locke, the highly isolated drama of one man in a car. Knowing it’s the same creator makes you realize this is someone trying to broaden their creative efforts, for better or worse. For that I commend this man but what a bizarre turn to take. I think the genius may have been left on the paper and what was translated to screen is a jumbled misstep in the realm of hopeful thriller, masterpiece territory, only to find itself in a category destined to be remembered for reasons never intended. It’s bad for reasons I can’t say without ruining what makes it so brilliantly terrible.
Ultimately this is not a great movie but I enjoyed it simply for the daring decisions made and the conviction to sticking with such bonkers laden scene after scene from start to finish. You have to see this train wreck to believe it, bring friends.
Rated R For: language throughout, sexual content, and some bloody images
Runtime: 106 minutes
After Credits Scene: No
Genre: Thriller, Drama, Mystery
Starring: Matthew McConaughey, Anne Hathaway, Jason Clarke, Diane Lane, Djimon Hounsou
Directed By: Steven Knight
Out of 5 Nerdskulls
Story: 5/ Acting: 2.5/ Directing: 2.5/ Visuals: 3
OVERALL: 3 Nerdskulls
Buy to Own: I would say yes just to own it.
Check out the trailer below:
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